Mid-Century Architecture in Atlanta’s Collier Heights

Find surprises amidst the ranches of Atlanta’s Collier Heights.

Exuberant metal sunbursts and sprays guard doors in Collier Heights, but they also welcome visitors and bring light and air to the interiors.

On a thousand acres of uncommonly beautiful but topographically challenging Georgia countryside, a group of far-sighted and racially diverse entrepreneurs built, in the mid-1950s, one of our most prestigious African-American communities. More than 50 small subdivisions were developed over 30 years. The community’s 1,750 buildings include well-groomed residences, many in the hands of the original owners. Nearly every mid-century house style can be found here, especially postwar ranches and split-levels. Collier Heights retains its unique place in the history of suburbia and in the hearts of its residents.

“Preservation united the community. Someone honks and you wave. It’s just a connection we all have. We try our best to look after each other . . . and we really appreciate our elders.” -Juanita and Harold Morton 

Along with the Collier Heights Community Association and Georgia State students, the Mortons were a driving force behind the decade-long effort to gain local and National Register recognition.

Tags: Georgia James C. Massey & Shirley Maxwell OHJ June 2014 Old-House Journal ranch

By James C. Massey & Shirley Maxwell

James C. Massey and Shirley Maxwell are the authors of House Styles in America : The Old-House Journal Guide to the Architecture of American Homes, Arts & Crafts and Gothic Revival.

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