on Eastwood-Eastland Manor

first of all, what a name!
This subdivision was carved out of unincorporated DeKalb county in the 50s. Cloverdale Dr (the entrance to this subdivision we call home) is not listed in the directory for DeKalb co. until 1953. In 1955/56 it has been relegated to the Suburban Atlanta directory which was, i think, begun that year. Crestwood Dr and Edgemore Dr also appear in 1953, but both only with lower house numbers than our’s or B’s. Not until somewhere from 1958-60 are both our house and B’s are listed and with colored owners (this was still documented at the time). So it would seem that the first inhabitants of Eastwood-Eastland Manor were African-American. VERY interesting as the neighborhood is only—in the last 6-8 years—bringing in the young folk (many white) who are first-time homebuyers. That was the extent of my research one day at the Kenan Research Library.

One interesting thing to note here is that both B and Viv think their houses were built in 51/52, that’s what the tax assessor has on record. I have heard that there can be some discrepancy in tax assessor offices and actual dates (although usually i’d think they’d lean toward a more recent date on the house rather than an older one). Unfortunately i only had the city directories to compare dates with as I was unable to unearth ANY building permits for our neighborhood in the microfilm. I find it unlikely that the directory would be a full 7 or 8 years off and suspect the houses as being built in 56/57 maybe.

This past week, however, I have been photographing and observing the neighborhood from a architectural history/city planning point of view for a school project. Similar to what B and I used to do walking the dogs last spring, i’ve now been documenting and cogitating the various house-styles (traditional american small, ranch, and split level) and neighborhood features (most prominently, the brick-encased mailbox). The neighborhood has enough variety that makes me suspect each home was built by an individual, however, pairs of nearly identical houses are so common i’m not sure a developer wasn’t involved. Perhaps a little of both was happening.

Despite being a textbook 50s suburb with by-the-book houses, there was a definite attempt at variety. The sandstone door-surround is popular as are other mixed material facades: stone, siding, and brick, yellow brick or red brick, granite chunk chimneys or flat sandstone “bricks”. The picture window is popular and front porches are rarely seen except on recent remodels. It should also be noted that there is a particular sameness to streets. On Edgewood we only have ranches, also on the long end of Cloverdale, while closer in and on Crestview what i think are traditional American smalls are most prominent. Some of this could be based on the division of lots, the smalls are on narrower longer lots, while our ranch house sits on a wider lot and slightly less deep.

Since the ranch house has now gained historical significance in it’s crossing of the 50-year mark, we can cherish these neighborhoods and the culture they were conceived in.

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