A revamped ranch that honors the original home's architecture in the Northcrest subdivision.
Photo: Brian Robboy
Photo: Brian Robboy

Funky, midcentury DeKalb area is now a ‘national historic place’

Known for midcentury modern homes and proximity to a slew of international restaurants, the Northcrest Historic District is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The nomination to the national list was sponsored by the Northcrest Civic Association, according to a Friday news release. Nomination materials were prepared by graduate students in the Heritage Preservation Program at Georgia State University.

The DeKalb County neighborhood is just outside I-285, southeast of Doraville, and about 11 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta. It’s roughly bound by Chamblee-Tucker Road on the south, Northcrest Road on the west and Pleasantdale Road on the north and east. 

The area was developed as part of an explosion of growth in suburban DeKalb County in the years following World War II. It provided housing and other amenities for workers in new industries in the area, such as the Doraville General Motors plant. 

The district consists of several connected and historically-related residential developments constructed between 1959 and 1975. The largest and earliest of the subdivisions was Northcrest, while other subdivisions include Hidden Acres, Concord Manor and Northcrest East.

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The subdivisions were intricately designed. The planners made sure to include single-family houses, an apartment complex, a park, a school (Pleasantdale Elementary) and a swim/tennis club. 

The developer of the neighborhood, THE, Inc., worked closely with architect Ernest Mastin, a graduate of Georgia Tech, who was influenced by California contemporary designs.

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