Virginia Highland Real Estate
The Virginia Highland neighborhood is one of homes, shopping, restaurants and watering holes. While we certainly enjoy all those things, what interests us most about the neighborhood is the wide variety of architectural styles of the homes you can see while walking its sidewalks. (A useful map of where you can park to explore Virginia Highland (although the map sees it as including Poncey-Highland as well) can be found here.)
Along with its neighbor to the north, Morningside, the neighborhood as we know it today was formed in the fight against I-485, a major North-South highway which was planned and supported by just about all the powers in the city and the state. It was designed to barrel through those neighborhoods while connecting Georgia 400 (not yet built, but on the drawing boards) and I-20. Dedicated citizens fought it and won. This victory was the beginning of the neighborhood movement in Atlanta and was the major impetus for the revitalization of intown Atlanta.
Years after the highway was stopped, the Highway Department (aka the Department of Transportation) finally put the highway land back on the market. The houses that were built on that land are different enough from their neighbors that you can see where the highway would have gone. If you’ve traveled along Virginia Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue, St. Charles Avenue, or any of the other East-West streets in Virginia Highland, you may have been taken aback by the clash in architecture repeating itself at the same relative location on each street. John Howell Park is also a legacy of that highway land. (The park itself is worth a visit if you are fond of playing or watching beach volleyball.) There are nine neighborhood parks in the Highlands to enjoy.
Virginia Highland is bounded on the north by Amsterdam Avenue, on the east by Briarcliff Road (where Druid Hills begins), on the south by Ponce de Leon Avenue (the northern boundary of Poncey-Highlands), and on the west by Monroe Drive and the eastern edge of Piedmont Park.
One of the most interesting streets in the neighborhood is St. Charles Avenue between N. Highland Avenue and Briarcliff Road. Started after World War I and completed by 1918, this street showcases a great collection of the bungalow-style homes so characteristic of the neighborhood. (The Virginia-Highland Civic Association has a great capsule history of the neighborhood here.)
The homes are served by excellent, award-winning schools including Morningside Elementary, Inman Middle School and Grady High School.
Five main shopping areas concentrate most of the neighborhood’s retail activity: Amsterdam Walk, Virginia at Highland, Highland at Amsterdam, St. Charles at Highland, Virginia at Rosedale, and Midtown Promenade.
In and among these areas are some of our favorites:
Murphy’s. A landmark right in the middle of the neighborhood, Murphy’s sponsors the trivia contest in the zac report, a bimonthly real estate tabloid that we publish. (Contact us by email or by phone (404-564-7200) and we will make sure that you get a copy.) Answering the question correctly and being lucky enough to be the tenth person to contact us with it gets you a free meal at Murphy’s.
Atkins Park Restaurant: A piece of living history, this restaurant shares its name with the original name of the neighborhood. In fact, the second floor of Atkins Park was one of the first homes in the neighborhood, and it was elevated in 1922 to make room for the Atkins Park Deli underneath.
Highland Hardware: Starting out as a local hardware store, it now has a national reputation as the place to go — on the web or in person — for woodworking tools of all shapes and sizes.
George’s: The quintessential neighborhood bar/restaurant, George’s has been going strong for decades in the same location (N. Highland at Virginia). Great burgers and, if running is your thing, you might like to hang out there on Wednesday nights, when it becomes the cool-off destination for neighborhood runners.
What is your favorite spot in Virginia Highland? Drop us an email and let us know what you like about the neighborhood. Of course, if you decide that Virginia Highland is the place you’d like to hang your hat, we would be privileged to help you find just the right home in this wonderful neighborhood.