This Old House just released their list of best old house neighborhoods for 2012, and wouldn’t you know it, we’re in a few of these towns! From Memphis to Charleston to (near) Atlanta, this trio of antique abode hot spots represents a wide range of styles and personalities. Here’s the rundown on TOH’s picks for the supreme spots to pick up a vintage pad in the Southeast.
Avondale Estates (GA)
Decatur garners a lot of attention for its lovely square and enlightened citizenry, but right next door the little city of Avondale Estates (pop. 3,000) is holding its own. George Francis Willis cooked up the idea for a neo-Tudor town in the 1920s, drawing his inspiration from Shakespeare’s hometown, Stratford-on-Avon. It has a cozy, English village-esque downtown with restaurants and shops, great charter schools. and scenic Lake Avondale, not to mention its own MARTA rail stop. Given the era of development, most of the housing stock comes in a variety of 1920s styles - Tudor, Craftsman, and Colonial Revival, and also some ranchers that made their way in during the 1950s. Prices can range from $100,000 to $700,000.
Park Circle (North Charleston, SC)
North Charleston is known for being a little more rough around the edges than its namesake to the south, but that translates into something you’ll be hard pressed to find on the Peninsula: affordability. Park Circle, a scant 20 minutes north of Charleston, got its start circa 1912 as worker housing for the area’s industrial workplaces and naval base. So while you won’t find many architectural masterpieces in these parts, you will encounter well built, adorable bungalows and Colonial Revivals. A 30 acre park provides recreation and a weekly farmers market, while Montague Avenue is the go-to-spot for shops and restaurants. Redevelopment of the old naval base could bring new parks, studios and offices. Expect to see prices range from $50,000 to $300,000.
Central Gardens (Memphis, TN)
This close-in suburb sits only two miles from downtown Memphis, and out of these three neighborhoods has the most prestigious past. Businessmen loaded with cotton money built impressive homes in Neoclassical and Mediterranean Revival flavors, and more than a few beautiful trees were planted. In fact, the whole district is classified as an aboretum, with more than 90 species of trees present! The Cooper-Young and Overton Square areas provide residents of Central Gardens with eating, shopping, and entertainment options. Although the most impressive manors can command seven figures, more modest bungalows and Foursquares can be had for closer to $200,000.