Berkeley Park is a small in-town neighborhood located in northwest Atlanta. Just west of Midtown and below the southern boundary of Buckhead, our neighborhood is quickly becoming known to the many looking for convenient, quality, and affordable in-town living.
The neighborhood is primarily made up of single family homes but includes one medium sized apartment complex (Howell Mill Ridge Apartments), several small multi-family units (mostly rented to Georgia Tech students) and many small businesses. Within Berkeley Park, there are over four hundred single family home and apartment addresses and over one hundred small businesses. During the summer of 2000, the Berkeley Park Neighborhood Association, working with the Department of Planning, Development and Neighborhood Conservation, was able to get our zoning designation changed from R5 (multi-family) to R4A (single-family). In addition, the CDP Land Use maps now reflect that Berkeley Park is a low-density area for development. The BPNA plans to continue working with our Planning Department and surrounding neighborhood groups to better identify the true needs of our community and set a direction for future growth in and around the area.
We're really glad you stopped by our Web site to check out Berkeley Park and the Berkeley Park Neighborhood Association. We encourage you to take a few more minutes and use the links to the left to learn more about us and our neighborhood. Everyone can't live or work in Berkeley Park but those who do know it as a great place to do both.
It is not certain where the name of our neighborhood originated, or when. The minutes from the Atlanta City Council meeting in 1924 indicate that the name Berkeley Park existed even then. Here are the facts that were attained from researching the archives of the Atlanta History Center:
From the minutes of the City Council meeting in 1942: "By Planning Commission, we are submitting the following subdivision plats approved by this Commission in accordance with an act of the Legislature of 1921; Property of E.C. Kontz, Berkeley Park, L.L. 152-2, 17th Dist., Fulton Co, Ga." The Atlanta City Directory for 1924 lists: "Kontz, Ernest C (Mary Elizabeth), Lawyer 607 Frant Bldg., Tel Walnut 1975, h616 Piedmont Av, Tel Hemlock 3326" The Atlanta City Directory for 1924 lists: "Rivers, Eretus (Unas), Pres E. Rivers Realty Co., R Boxboro, Tel Hemlock 0373-J" The Atlanta City Directory for 1924 lists: "Rivers E. Realty Co., E Rivers Pres, J.H. Hopkins Sec, 209-211 Palmer bldg, Tels Walnut 3063-3064 (see pg. 138)" Page 138 is an advertisement for Rivers E. Realty Company for "Real Estate, Renting, Loans".
The 1930 Atlas of Fulton County Land Districts lists E.C.Kontz as owner of over 10 acres of land south of the railroad line, and M. Wood Estate as owner of 8.8 acres of land north of the railroad line. This appears to be the land that the Howell Mill Ridge Apartments are currently located on.
Franklin Garrett, the famous Atlanta historian, wrote a book called Atlanta and It's Environs. On Page 803 he writes about development in 1924, "Builders were busy on the outskirts too. Berkeley Park, along and contiguous to Howell Mill Rd between Chattahoochee Ave and Collier Rd was developed by E. Rivers Realty company."
We hope that this puzzle will someday be pieced together to reveal a more thorough history. The following compilation is included in the recently published Berkeley Park Information Book and Directory.
In February 1999 a committee of three individuals was created with the intent of capturing the history of Berkeley Park through the memories of the existing long-term residents. Linda Alcott, Dwight Glover and Tom Hawley conducted a series of interviews with each available long-term resident to document their memories of past times in Berkeley Park. With the support of each participating resident, we hope to forever preserve the origins of our community and the lives of those who created the history of Berkeley Park.
We have an enormous wealth of history still alive today in Berkeley Park. In the 1920's, Berkeley Park had just a handful of homes scattered throughout it's boundaries. At this time, our community was mostly farmland, cow pastures and meadows. With the exception of Northside Drive (from Collier to about Bellemeade Avenue), the east end of Bellemeade Avenue and the mid section of Holmes Street, most of the current roads were already in place. They were, however, all dirt at the time.
Civil War historians believe that Berkeley Park was located on several trench lines that ran along Bellemeade Avenue. The spot at the corner of Bellemeade and Tallulah/Commerce, provided an excellent vantage point for soldiers to see northward, due to its height. In 1993, a Berkeley Park resident using a metal detector found several Confederate bullets and a silver button from a Confederate uniform on property on Bellemeade Avenue. The items were imbedded about 7 inches below the soil line.
After the Civil War, the barracks at Camp Oglethorpe were broken down and it is believed that the lumber was sold to home builders who used some of it in construction of homes in Berkeley Park. The early Berkeley Park homes were purchased for between $1,000 and $1,900.
In the early days, most Berkeley Park families often purchased their homes with the intent to live in them the rest of their lives. In fact, in 1999 we still have two current residents who were born and raised in our community. Ruby Parker was born in 1908 on a farm located approximately where I-75 and Northside Drive currently meet, within a few feet of the boundaries of Berkeley Park. Ruby is the only current resident we have confirmed that actually attended E.P. Howell School, which used to be on Bowen Street. In addition, Katherine Kent, born in 1927 lives in the very home she now resides in. The house was originally owned by her grandparents, then passed down to Katherine's parents, and finally to Katherine. Three generations of both Ruby and Katherine's families have lived in Berkeley Park.
In the early part of the 1900's most residents made their living off the land, or owned and/or worked in small businesses in the area. Each property had an outhouse in the back yard, which was serviced by a businessman who arrived by horse and cart. The homes were heated either by wood or coal fireplaces or kerosene cook stoves and lighted by kerosene lamps. Each home had a well that provided water. Some Information provided by http://www.berkeleypark.org/