The modern community of Brookhaven was originally developed around 1910 as Atlanta’s first country club. Located on the northern edge of Buckhead, the upscale neighborhood is an enclave of English cottages and Tudor, Colonial, and Georgian estates. Brookhaven is known for its lush landscapes, beautiful gardens and meandering streets. In the 1980s, the area was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, Brookhaven is a mix of historic homes, ’40s-era bungalows and new homes. The residential areas are within walking distance to Buckhead’s restaurants, stores and thriving nightlife. Brookhaven is also close to the Perimeter Mall, Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square, which offer world-class shopping and other amenities.
The neighborhood attracts established Atlantans and young professionals. Located along the Fulton and DeKalb county line, Brookhaven is also home to country clubs, Oglethorpe University, a large MARTA station and several apartment complexes.
Until the early 19th century, DeKalb County was a “no man’s land” that separated the Creek and Cherokee Indians. In 1821, the government sold the land to settlers, many of whom came via a series of rough trails that became known as Cross Keys. This area was located at a junction near the present-day Peachtree Golf Club and Nancy Creek Crossing.
Brookhaven was first known as Goodwin’s, after a settler named Solomon Goodwin who built his home in 1831. Goodwin’s house today stands at 3931 Peachtree Road, behind the family cemetery and near the present-day Steak Out restaurant. The home is the oldest existing house in DeKalb County and was used to house federal troops during the Civil War.
In the early 20th century, wealthy Atlantans began to build summer homes and estates around Buckhead and neighboring Brookhaven. In 1910, the Mechanical and Manufacturers Club purchased 150 acres for the Brookhaven Country Club, which soon featured a lake, clubhouse, golf course and exclusive homes. Many club members also belonged to the Capital City Club, which purchased the Brookhaven Country Club for its own use in 1913.
In 1915, Oglethorpe University reopened on land just north of the present MARTA station, after being closed since the Civil War. Some of Atlanta’s richest residents moved to the area, and their homes were designed by the city’s leading architects, including Neel Reid, A.F.N. Everett, and Pringle and Smith.
In the 1970s, curving Peachtree Road was straightened and widened to six lanes. Some Brookhaven businesses were eliminated by the expansion. Rail lines and the accompanying MARTA station soon occupied almost all of the land on the east side of Peachtree Road.
In the 1980s, the Capital City Country Club development became a National Register Historic District as “the first planned early 20th-century suburb conceived as a golf course country club community.” Other areas of Brookhaven experienced significant development as well.