The Story of Avondale Estates

Jun 11, 2020

The beauty and gracious living we see today at Avondale Estates goes back in time even farther than its Shakespearean name, even before a Tudor architectural style, which took root here initially, prompted some to call it “a little England in Georgia.” Before the crisp, modern evolution of luxury homes that we see now in the single-family properties of Avondale Estates, the idea began with a getaway.

In the 1890s, Atlanta business and industry leaders bought lots here for their weekend and summer getaways. With natural beauty, prosperous neighbors, and a feasible trip to the city, even before cars were common, this fortunate corner of DeKalb county attracted a certain respectful sort of attention.

The growth and economic expansion of the early 20th Century brought with it an over-the-counter medicine tycoon named George Francis Willis. After heading the finance committee that gave us Georgia Tech, Willis bought the whole town of Ingleside, Georgia, changed its name to Avondale Estates, and started building his dream. He was inspired specifically by visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The name from Elizabethan England was part of his vision for a planned community that offered people the pastoral pleasures we connect with that time in history.

How the Dream Continues Today

You don’t have to study the architecture to enjoy what resulted when this idyllic dream came true. The three-, four-, and five-bedroom single-family homes people find here today need no further explanation when folks feel the freedom of the open plans and the connection with the outside world given by windows that serve as a frame for nature. It’s not just the presence of up-to-the-minute conveniences that make these homes modern. Even more it is how considerate the designs are, showing a real understanding of how people want to live today.

Porches and decks and terraces are only the beginning. This connection is still sustained when you go inside. And this is the breakthrough, the miracle heritage of modern design. It added to the architectural language that one thing that was missing when Tudor designs were all the rage, at the time when Avondale Estates was born.

What the Founders Got Right

A practiced eye can see the heritage, the references to Tudor that survive in the luxury homes of Avondale Estates today. Steep roofs and the blending of wood and stone are inherited directly from those Tudor designs, even though they look up-to-the-minute in the way they are expressed today.

What made Tudor a good idea in the 1920s was that those steep roofs with their overhangs, those thick walls of stucco and masonry, helped people keep their cool in the days before HVAC. One obvious downside was that Tudor revival windows were tiny by today’s standards. Though this was helpful before air conditioning, there’s little need for this sacrifice today.

As a result, the luxury homes we see in Avondale Estates represent the refinement of generations of good ideas, and a profound appreciation of the tastes and preferences of today.

We would welcome the chance to discuss opportunities in Avondale East and how they could influence your plans to live or invest in metropolitan Atlanta. For more information, visit or contact us at 770.502.6230.