Atlanta, Georgia
Druid Hills & Olmsted Linear Park
Atlanta, Georgia
United States

In 1975, this residential community and its linear park were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

About Druid Hills & Olmsted Linear Park

In 1890, Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. traveled by train, streetcar and then horseback from Asheville, where he was working on Biltmore, to Atlanta, where he would design the “ideal residential suburb” for developer Joel Hurt who had amassed 1,400 acres of woodland and scrub farmland.

Olmsted’s plan envisioned a residential community of spacious lots along curvilinear streets, with a linear park and parkway as the centerpiece of the design. The Olmsted Brothers continued the project after the senior Olmsted’s retirement and drew up a planting plan for the park as well as the final 1905 graphic plan.

It was not until 1908 when the project was sold to the Druid Hills Corporation that lots began to be sold and houses built. Early residents included Asa Candler, Coca-Cola magnate and head of the Druid Hills Corporation, along with successful businessmen, professionals, and seven prominent Atlanta architects who built their own homes in the new suburb and designed homes for others.

The years after World War II brought changes that threatened the integrity of the Olmsted plan.  The greatest threat was a proposed roadway that engulfed the neighborhood in a decade-long fight marked by protests, arrests and court cases.

The National Association for Olmsted Parks – along with the Druid Hills Civic Association and the National Trust for Historic Preservation—opposed the road in a long but ultimately successful campaign.  A master plan for the linear park was completed and the Olmsted Linear Park Alliance emerged from that plan as the park conservancy.

Today, Olmsted Linear Park Alliance and the Druid Hills Civic Association continue as stewards of Druid Hills and its linear park. The residential community and its linear park are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (1975) and have local protection as designated historic districts.





Downing Park 

Downing Park was the last park Olmsted and Vaux designed together, and it was completed by their sons.

Dunn Gardens

The grounds of the Dunn family’s summer estate were designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm in 1916.