Ken Storr knew he would love living in Hillsdale from the first moment he saw his house.
“We pulled up and I told the real estate agent you don’t even have to take me inside. I’m going to buy it,” Storr said. “We’ve lived there since 1990.”
The Hillsdale neighborhood is located off of North Druid Hills Road near Cross Keys High School in the southern portion of the city of Brookhaven. Neighbors say they love the location, which is convenient to interstate highways, shopping in Buckhead and the Brookhaven community, which has developed a lot in the past few years.
Established in the 1950s, the neighborhood is comprised mostly of ranch- style houses with large lawns.
Storr said he’s always been drawn to that design, which he describes as vibrant and modern. He collects mid-century furniture too, he said. “It’s just a very interesting era,” Storr said.
Storr said there’s something nostalgic about the neighborhood, too.
“You feel like you live in a different time, where everybody used to walk the streets with the kids and dogs,” he said. “To me it’s like an old-fashioned ‘50s neighborhood.”
One of the things that brings neighbors together is the annual block party during the first weekend of October, said David Schurer, president of the neighborhood association. “We do a really awesome Oktoberfest neighborhood event,” Schurer said.
He said the event always includes great food and live entertainment, which for the past several years has been provided by his own three-piece band.
Schurer said Hillsdale has many senior residents.
“The neighborhood is definitely a little bit older. But some of those people are leaving, truly leaving this world, or they’re moving to assisted living or senior citizens places, so we’re seeing things change,” Schurer said.
Storr, who is 60, said he has really enjoyed getting to know the older residents of the neighborhood, some of whom are the original owners of the homes. One of the neighbors he was closest to passed away this year at age 96.
“Some of our best friends ended up being some of the older people that lived in the neighborhood,” Storr said.
Throughout the city of Brookhaven, there’s been a building boom as people purchase older homes in neighborhoods like Ashford Park and either tear them down or renovate. That transformation hasn’t reached Hillsdale.
“It hasn’t had the newer-style homes that have gone in, say, Brookhaven Heights, where you see a lot more teardowns and rebuilds,” Schurer said.
Storr said a few new homes have been built on Hillsdale lots. But he hopes the look of the neighborhood he loves so much won’t change too drastically.
“I’d have to admit I’d like to see our neighborhood stay intact,” Storr said. “But that’s the Atlanta way – we tear down and build new.”
Storr said one thing is for sure: He plans to stay in his beloved Hillsdale home for years to come.
“This is it. It’s home,” Storr said.