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With the advent of the streetcar system in Atlanta, Virginia Highland became a weekend picnic destination for those wanting to get out of the hustle and bustle of downtown Atlanta, according to Lola Carlisle, who co-authored a book on the neighborhood, “Images of America: Virginia Highland.”
Developers soon realized that with beautiful rolling hills and easy rail access it was a mecca for development. “Development started in the late 1800s and early 1900s and by the late 1920s much of what you see today was built,” said Carlisle. “Over the years, Virginia Highland attracted all types including European immigrants who felt comfortable in the familiar environment, with homes within easy walking distance to the shops and restaurants they needed.” Today, Virginia-Highland is commonly considered one of the best places to live in Atlanta and has around 7,800 residents. Single-family homes start in the $400,000s and go to over $1 million, although it’s possible to find condominiums in the $200,000s.
Virginia-Highland is walkable, dog-friendly and family-friendly with excellent public schools: Morningside Elementary, Spark Elementary, Inman Middle School and Grady High School. Virginia-Highland’s restaurants and stores are a draw to those from all over Atlanta and within easy walking distance from many homes. Area parks include John Howell Park, New Highland Park, Orme Park, Piedmont Park and Wildwood Park. There is also a very active civic association that oversees many aspects of the neighborhood’s development.
Ponce City Market, a mixed-use development, is underway in the old Sears Building in the Old Fourth Ward and will be an excellent place to shop, in addition to the popular area stores like Trader Joe’s. Festivals abound including the Summerfest Festival typically held on the first full weekend in June.
Regional medical centers include Piedmont Healthcare, Emory Hospital, Grady and North DeKalb Hospital.