Building in a Historic District

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2003 Design Award home on historic Adams StreetHistorical, cultural and aesthetic heritage is among the City's most valued and important assets. As the first city in DeKalb County and one of the oldest in metro Atlanta, Decatur is home to some of the oldest buildings in DeKalb County and many are of local or regional importance. The City was largely built out during the 1920s with Craftsman bungalows. Houses dating from the early 1900s are common throughout many of the City's neighborhoods. In 1990, the Decatur City Commission created the Decatur Historic Preservation Commission to guide preservation efforts.

Information on and resources for historic preservation in Decatur can be found here.

Historic Preservation Commission

Historic Preservation in Decatur is guided by the Historic Preservation Commission, which issues Certificates of Appropriateness for projects located within the four local historic districts or one of the two local historic landmarks - the Old DeKalb Courthouse and the Old Scottish Rite Hospital campus - to ensure that any material change is consistent with the historical character of the property.  Please click here for information on the Decatur Historic Preservation Commission.

Local Historic Districts

There are five local historic districts in Decatur: the McDonough-Adams-Kings Highway (MAK), Clairemont Avenue, The Ponce de Leon Court, Parkwood and Old Decatur Local Historic districts. Each district has a unique set of guidelines developed by the neighborhoods in conjunction with the Historic Preservation Commission.

Local Historic District Guidelines

For the historic districts' preservation ordinance, please see Article 5 of the Unified Development Ordinance

How do I get my neighborhood designated as a local historic district?

The City Commission, through a cooperative process with the Historic Preservation Commission and the city's neighborhoods, can create local historic districts to help preserve the historic character of the neighborhoods. A historic district is a geographically designated area that contains buildings, structures, sites, objects, landscape features and works of art or a combination thereof, which:

  • Have special character or special historic/aesthetic value or interest
  • Represent one or more periods, styles or types of architecture typical of one or more areas in the history of the municipality, county, state or region
  • Cause such area, by reason of such factors, to constitute a visibly perceptible section of the municipality or county

For more information on how to get your neighborhood designated as a local historic district, check Article 5 of the Unified Development Ordinance or contact the Angela Threadgill, Planning Director.  Call 404-371-8386 or e-mail

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