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Druid Hills Civic Association records, 1938-2014

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/c9hw4

Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Druid Hills Civic Association.
Title: Druid Hills Civic Association records, 1938-2014
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 65
Extent: 41.875 linear feet (75 boxes), 15 oversized papers folders (OP), 29 extra oversized papers (XOP), 2 oversized bound volumes (OBV), AV Masters: 0.25 linear foot (1 box), and 30.9 MB born digital material (12 files)
Abstract:Records of the Druid Hills Civic Association (DHCA), a neighborhood advocacy group, including administrative records, project and subject files, financial records, photographs, audiovisual materials, printed materials, and born digital records that document the organization's work from 1938-2009.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Series 4: Some financial records are restricted.

Special restrictions apply: Use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact the Rose Library at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Rose Library's ability to provide access to audiovisual material.

Special restrictions apply: Access to processed born digital materials is only available in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (the Rose Library). Use of the original digital media is restricted.

Collection stored off-site. Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance to access this collection.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials in This Repository

CAUTION, Inc. records, 1982-1986, MSS 763


Gift, prior to 1955, with subsequent additions.


[after identification of item(s)], Druid Hills Civic Association records, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by Laura Starratt, Michael Camp, and Faizat Badmus-Busari, August 2015.

Born digital materials processed, arranged, and described by Brenna Edwards, 2020. Born digital materials include files taken from three optical discs. For information as to how these materials were processed, see the processing note in the description of series 8, Born digital material.

This finding aid may include language that is offensive or harmful. Please refer to the Rose Library's harmful language statement for more information about why such language may appear and ongoing efforts to remediate racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, euphemistic and other oppressive language. If you are concerned about language used in this finding aid, please contact us at rose.library@emory.edu.

Collection Description

Historical Note

The Druid Hills Civic Association (DHCA) was founded by citizens of Druid Hills on November 4, 1938 at the Druid Hills School in DeKalb County, Georgia. According to their 1948 bylaws, Druid Hills is defined as that area bounded by Briarcliff Road on the west, La Vista Road on the north, Clairmont Road and Scott Boulevard on the east, and Ponce de Leon Avenue on the south. Druid Hills at the time was an unincorporated part of DeKalb County and governed by county ordinance.

The purposes of the DHCA include promoting the general welfare of the section, furthering civic improvements, protecting property rights, and improving educational facilities. In fulfilling its objectives, the association has concerned itself with zoning disputes, road construction, and environmental awareness. In doing so, the DHCA opposed the annexation of Druid Hills to Atlanta in the late 1930s and 1940s and works for enforcement of property restrictions and zoning laws. The association, along with the Druid Hills Fire and Sanitary District, created in 1937, worked to increase the salaries of firemen and to erect a new fire station. Other activities included building sidewalks, sponsoring Boy Scout troops, and preserving a natural forest, which later became the home of Fernbank Science Center.

The DHCA has often taken positions on major zoning ordinances and other legislation that would alter the composition, size, and traffic patterns of the neighborhood. In the 1960s, the Association protested that the proposed construction of a segment of the Stone Mountain Freeway would damage the integrity of Fernbank Forest and the neighborhood’s historic character, and the segment was not built. During the 1970s, the association blocked the establishment of a house of worship for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Hare Krishna). The 1980s witnessed association members working with city planners on ways to develop the Great Park, a 219-acre area located between Ponce de Leon and Euclid Avenues. The state of Georgia, in compliance with a plan commissioned by Governor George Busbee, agreed to donate part of the Great Park to be used as the site of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. A number of area residents, some of them members of the Druid Hills Civic Association, opposed the construction of a proposed Presidential Parkway leading to the Carter Presidential Library and formed a group known as CAUTION, Inc. (Coalition against Unnecessary Thoroughfares in Our Neighborhoods). The DHCA has also worked closely with Emory University, which lies primarily within neighborhood boundaries, on issues affecting the neighborhood, especially the development of the Emory Village business district adjacent to the university. Another notable construction controversy involved the thirty-six acre Durand’s Farm property, which was sold to a developer in 1992. The DHCA was concerned that development of the land would negatively affect the Peavine Creek watershed and sued to stop construction, but a Superior Court judge denied their request and allowed development to proceed.

The Association has also served as a hub for historical and cultural issues in the neighborhood, spearheading the annual Druid Hills Home and Garden Tour and working to include the neighborhood on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains the records of the Druid Hills Civic Association from 1938-2014 with the majority of materials documenting 1971-2014. The materials include administrative records, president's files, project and subject files, photographs, audiovisual materials, and printed materials. Administrative files (1938-2009) include records of the Board of Directors of the organization, documents from DHCA involvement with the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, records of various DHCA committees, DHCA organizational records, meeting minutes and agendas from Board meetings, lists of DHCA officers, and other materials that document neighborhood issues. The Atlanta Urban Design Commission records document zoning and construction issues relating to several large Druid Hills structures. Also included are committee records that describe the activities of the annual Home and Garden Tour Committee, the Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee, the Historic Landmark Preservation Committee, the Special Projects Committee, and the Transportation Committee. Financial records include bank statements, expense reports, tax records, Treasurer's reports, and related correspondence.

The papers of presidents of the Druid Hills Civic Association from 1974-2000 include correspondence, lists of officers, notes, and other records. Correspondence topics include zoning disputes, highway construction, agreements with publishers for promotional neighborhood materials, and neighborhood events. Projects and subject files cover the work and research that the organization undertook from 1960-2014. Much of the material documents zoning issues DHCA took on to keep the neighborhood's historic designation, but the organization also worked on larger projects that would have changed the face of the Ponce de Leon corridor including the Stone Mountain Tollway, the Presidential Parkway, and the organization's work with CAUTION, Inc.

Also included are photographs of the Druid Hills neighborhood as well as other activities of the Druid Hills Civic Association from 1986-2002. The majority of the photographs are undated. There are photographs of the annual Druid Hills Home and Garden tour; pictures of structures in the neighborhood such as homes, businesses, and churches; and pictures of the Paradiso project, New Northwest Elementary School, and various construction sites. There are also audiovisual materials that document the activities of the Druid Hills Civic Association including a video from 2006 of the organization's work on historic preservation as well as an audiocassette of Spencer Tunnell from 1993.

Printed material contains planning documents, newsletters, newspaper clippings, and other printed material. The planning documents contain government agency studies including analysis of local traffic in the neighborhood and county land use plans as well as a1969 master plan for Emory University. Newsletters consist of issues of the Druid Hills News, a quarterly newsletter for neighborhood residents. Other printed material includes magazines containing articles on neighborhood events, proclamations and awards, and a publication by the Fernbank Museum of Natural History entitled "A Walk through Time in Georgia."

Arrangement Note

Organized into eight series: (1) Administrative records, (2) Presidents files, (3) Project and subject files, (4) Financial records, (5) Photographs, (6) Audiovisual materials, (7) Printed materials, and (8) Born digital records

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