Buckhead (Atlanta)

Buckhead is an uptown district within the city of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Comprising over 100,000 residents and approximately the northern one-fifth of the city, Buckhead is legally defined as that portion of the city of Atlanta northwest of Interstate 85 and northeast of Interstate 75. Thus, the boundaries are the city limits on the north, northeast, and northwest, and the interstate highways on the southeast and southwest. Local advertisers stretch the definition, sometimes including places in northwestern DeKalb County.

History and economy

The name "Buckhead" comes from a story that Henry Irby, who had a general store and tavern at what is now the intersection of West Paces Ferry Road and Roswell Road, killed a large buck deer and placed the head in a prominent location [cite book|title=Weird, Wacky, and Wild Georgia Trivia|last=Watson|first=Stephanie|coauthors=Lisa Wojna|year=2008|publisher=Blue Bike Books|isbn=978-1-897278-44-4|pages=59, 60] . Prior to this, it was called Irbyville through most of the 19th century.

The community was annexed by Atlanta in 1952, following an earlier attempt by Mayor William B. Hartsfield in 1946 that was voted down by residents.

The main north-south street is Peachtree Road, which extends south into the heart of the city as Peachtree Street. This name change is significant in that it defines a border between Buckhead and Midtown Atlanta. The main east-west street is West Paces Ferry Road, named for a former ferry across the Chattahoochee River. Hardy Pace, one of Atlanta's founders, operated the ferry and owned much of what is now Buckhead, and as far west as Vinings. The area north of Buckhead, beyond the Atlanta city limit, is the city of Sandy Springs.According to Forbes Magazine, Buckhead is home to the 9th wealthiest zip code in the nation--30327, with a household income in excess of $341,000 per year and is the location of the wealthiest of Atlanta's neighborhoods. Home to the Governor Mansion the area's real estate market is also the most expensive in the state of Georgia with an average home value in 2005 of approximately $761,000. [http://www.forbes.com/business/forbes/2004/0112/034.html] [http://streetsofbuckhead.com/] [ [http://www.batma.org/directors/7_01_01.htm Beverly Hills 30305] ] Claiming two of the nation's fourteen Mobil five-star restaurants — Seeger's and The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, publications often refer to Buckhead as the "Beverly Hills of the South," and "Robb Report" magazine has consistently ranked it one of the nation's "10 Top Affluent Communities" for "some of the most beautiful mansions, best shopping and finest restaurants in the Southeastern United States". [ [http://www.hillstreetpress.com/BuckheadNet.html Buckhead: A Place for All Time] ] [ [http://www.worldres.com/Property/35512-AmeriSuites+Buckhead AmeriSuites Buckhead in Atlanta] ] [cite web | title = Mobil Travel Guide 49th Annual Five-Star Awards | publisher = Mobil | url = http://mobiltravelguide.howstuffworks.com/fivestar.php#restaurants | accessdate = 2007-01-16 ] [ [http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/39/14/36 Atlanta–Discover the Possibilities Of the `Athens of the South'] ] [ [ ~ATLANTA~] ] Buckhead is also an internationally renown shopping district with more than 1,400 retail units where shoppers spend more than $1 billion a year. [ [http://www.frommers.com/destinations/atlanta/0002010031.html Shopping] ]

Historically the primary shopping district comprises Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza--sister malls located diagonally across Peachtree Road from each other (housing more than 350 boutiques and offering the highest concentration of high-end stores in the United States) but the area has a new retail development under way. Known as The Streets of Buckhead, the development will bring a clutch of exclusive boutiques to Atlanta in a street level shopping district as well as the 5 star St.Regis Hotel Atlanta, additional upscale dining options, new mulit-million dollar condominums and office space. The development is quoted as being part of a vision to turn Peachtree Road into a viable shopping and entertainment vicinity much like Fifth Avenue, with Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza to the north and the Streets of Buckhead to the south. [ [http://www.ncaasports.com/basketball/mens/story/7083969 Atlanta: 2004 Men's Regional Site] ] [ [http://www.atlanta.net/finalfour/pdfs/aroundatlanta.pdf Around Atlanta] ]

To reverse a downturn in the Village area during the 1980s, minimum parking spot requirements for bars were lifted, which quickly led to it becoming the most dense concentration of bars and clubs in the city. [ [http://www.thebuckheadalliance.org/PR020804.htm Buckhead Village BAR BRAWL: Critics try to pressure landlords of busy clubs] ] During the late 1990s Buckhead experienced an increased crime rate around the area's nightclubs and shopping districts, culminating in several gang-style shoot-outs and homicides including one involving NFL star Ray Lewis. Beginning in 2004, residents sought to ameliorate this situation by taking measures to reduce the community's nightlife and re-establish a more residential character. The Buckhead Coalition was instrumental in persuading the Atlanta City Council to pass an ordinance to close bars at 2:30 a.m. rather than 4 a.m., and liquor licenses were made more difficult to obtain. Buckhead maintains its title as Atlanta's entertainment district, with more than 300 restaurants, bars and night clubs still in operation. [ [http://www.buckhead.net Buckhead Entertainment] ]

Buckhead high-rise buildings

While much of west and north Buckhead maintains itself in single-family unit residential in forested settings, the Peachtree Road corridor has become a major focus of high-rise construction. The first 400-foot (121 m) office tower, Tower Place, opened in 1974. Park Place, in 1986, was the first 400+ foot (121+ m) condominium. 1986 Also saw the completion of the 425-foot (129 m), 34-story Atlanta Plaza, then Buckhead's tallest and largest building. In 2000, Park Avenue Condominiums upped the ante, pushing the record to 486 feet (148 m). Since that time, a wave of development has followed. Currently the 660-foot (201 m) Sovereign and 580-foot (177 m) Mansion on Peachtree are in a race for the sky (both set for completion in mid to late 2008). Today Buckhead has over 50 high-rise buildings, almost one-third of the city total. [ [http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bo/?id=100304 Emporis Building Database: Buckhead Atlanta] ]


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Buckhead, like all areas of Atlanta, is part of the Atlanta Public Schools district.

The following public elementary schools serve Buckhead:
*E. Rivers Elementary School
*Garden Hills Elementary School
*Morris Brandon Elementary School
*Sarah Rawson Smith Elementary School
*Warren T. Jackson Elementary School

The area is served by Sutton Middle School and North Atlanta High School.

Private schools

Local private schools include the Atlanta International School, the Atlanta Speech School, Christ the King School, the Atlanta Girls School, The Galloway School, The Heiskell School, Holy Spirit Preparatory School, The Lovett School, Pace Academy, and The Westminster Schools.

Colleges and universities

Also located in Buckhead is the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business Executive Education Center. This facility houses the e.M.B.A. program and Terry Third Thursday, a lecture series featuring business leaders.

Public libraries

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System operates the Buckhead Branch [http://www.af.public.lib.ga.us/buckhead_branch.html] .


Buckhead is home both to Piedmont Hospital and the private, catastrophic care hospital Shepherd Center which specializes in spinal cord injury and acquired brain injury. The two hospitals are located adjacent to one another along Peachtree Road. This location is called "Cardiac Hill" by runners of the annual Peachtree Road Race.


Besides Peachtree, other arterial roads include Piedmont Road (Georgia 237), Roswell Road (Georgia 9), and Paces Ferry Road. In the early 1990s, after a bitter fight against GDOT by residents, Buckhead was severed by Georgia 400, a tolled extension of a freeway which was to connect all the way to the south side of Atlanta. However, MARTA's new north line was put in the road median, providing alternative transportation for Buckhead and Sandy Springs residents.

MARTA has three stations in Buckhead, the southernmost being Lindbergh Center. Just north of there, the original northeast (orange) and later north (red) lines split, with Lenox at the southwest corner of the Lenox Square parking lot, and (since late 1996) Buckhead on the west side of the malls at Peachtree and 400. A circulator bus called "the buc" (Buckhead Uptown Connection) notes that "the buc stops here" at all three stations. The proposed Peachtree Streetcar project would provide street-level service with frequent stops all the way to downtown Atlanta, complementing the existing subway-type MARTA train service.

Proposed secession

In June 2008, a newsletter by the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation began circulating that proposes the secession of Buckhead into its own city after more than 50 years as part of Atlanta. This comes on the heels of neighboring Sandy Springs, which finally became a city in late 2005 but was previously unincorporated, and which triggered other such incorporations in metro Atlanta's northern suburbs. Like those cities, the argument is one of local control and taxes, although unlike Fulton and neighboring DeKalb counties, Atlanta has divisions called neighborhood planning units intended to address such issues.

Additionally, there is already an incorporated Buckhead, Georgia, thus it would have to choose a different name (or convince the existing town to do so). The Georgia General Assembly and governor of Georgia would have to approve both the deannexation and the new city, as would a majority in a referendum, both of which could be extremely divisive along race and class lines. Buckhead has about 45% of the city's tax base, both in property taxes and sales taxes. Buckhead's total valuation for 2008 is 72.4 billion dollars, the loss of which would be a crippling blow to the city's finances.


*Buckhead is featured heavily in Tom Wolfe's novel "A Man in Full".

*Robert B. Parker's Spencer has lunch at Buckhead Life Group's Corner Cafe in "Hugger Mugger".

*The novel "Peachtree Road" by Anne Rivers Siddons takes place almost entirely in Buckhead, and explores the values, morals and accomplishments of the community through the eyes of Shep Bondurant, a quintessential Buckhead gentleman.

*Author James Dickey of "Deliverance" fame grew up in the area.

*The novel "The Red Hat Club" takes place in Buckhead and has many references to Atlanta culture.

*On his debut for the Atlanta Braves in 2007, fans initially believed that back-up catcher Corky Miller had been recruited by the club from the ESPNZone restaurant located in Buckhead.

*In the movie Little Darlings, Tatum O'Neal's character lives in Buckhead. The Swan House, part of the Atlanta History Center, is shown as she is driven downtown to meet the bus for summer camp.

ee also

*List of leading shopping streets and districts by city


External links

* [http://www.insidebuckhead.com Buckhead community search site]
* [http://www.buckhead.org Buckhead community web site]
* [http://www.buckhead.net/ Buckhead.net]

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