The Perkerson neighborhood (formerly called Perkerson Park neighborhood) is located in Southwest Atlanta, Georgia in NPU-X (Neighborhood Planning Unit). The name change was made by request of residents/members of the Perkerson Civic Association (PCA) in order to keep people from confusing the neighborhood with Perkerson Park which is the large park (49 acres) that serves the area.
- 1 Boundaries
- 2 History
- 3 Neighboring communities in NPU-X
- 4 Great urban renewal story
- 5 Housing
- 6 Places of interest
- 7 Education
The area that now encompasses the Perkerson neighborhood was originally owned by Jeremiah S. Gilbert (a farmer) who purchased the land from his father, the first doctor in Fulton County. Mr. Gilbert was married to Mathilda Perkerson, the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Perkerson who was the second sheriff of Fulton County who was from another pioneer family of Fulton County. The Perkerson neighborhood developed out of the land of Thomas J. Perkerson and Jeremiah S. Gilbert who bought 500 acres (2.0 km2) from his father's holdings. The land was not developed fully until the 1950s.
Thomas J. Perkerson settled in Land Lots 103 and 104 (Perkerson Park and Sylvan Hills) with his family in the mid-1830s. His home stood for well over a hundred years on Perkerson Road (Old Rough and Ready Road) before its demolition for construction of a grocery store.
Thomas Perkerson was the second sheriff of Fulton County as well as one of its most notable citizens. His land was subdivided into Perkerson Park and Sylvan Hills in 1944 after the death of Lizzie Perkerson Butler, who was the last family member to live in the old house which had survived General Sherman's burning of Atlanta because the family refused to leave the house as Matilda Perkerson Gilbert was too sick to be moved.
Neighboring communities in NPU-X
Great urban renewal story
The Perkerson neighborhood is currently recovering from a serious decline. One of the major roads in the neighborhood, Metropolitan Pkwy., was once the site of the earliest family vacation motels and trailer parks for vacationers who travelled along Highway 19/41 from the northern states to Florida with the advent of the automobile and theme parks around the country. Metropolitan Parkway was the site of the earliest automotive dealerships as well, and the strip became known for the new car dealerships that sold Chevrolet and Ford vehicles. As the U.S. Interstate highway system was built, then Highway 19/41 saw a decline in traffic, and Metropolitan Parkway became the site of strip clubs and motels that catered to the sex trade which led to lots of prostitution, robberies and murders. Thankfully, many of the old motels are no longer in the sex trade business with the majority of them having been torn down.
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Places of interest
The Historic Jeremiah S. Gilbert House at Avery Park
Designated: Landmark Building Exterior October 14, 1989 2238 Perkerson Rd., S.W. / Atlanta, GA 30315 Fronting 600' on the east side of Perkerson Road beginning 225' from the southeast corner of the intersection of Langston and Perkerson Drives / District 14, Land Lot 102 / Fulton County, City of Atlanta / Existing Zoning R-4 Constructed: 1868, remodelling and addition 1930s Builder: Jeremiah S. Gilbert
Located on a heavily wooded lot, the Jeremiah S. Gilbert House is one of Atlanta's oldest surviving structures and employs a distinctive building technology using field stones, mortar, and wood. It is one of the few examples of this construction type still found in Atlanta. The Gilbert House has threefold significance: first, as the home of one of Atlanta's earliest families; second, as a rare example of an exceptionally significant technology; and lastly, as a rare extant example of an Atlanta farmhouse complete with surrounding outbuildings situated on a relatively large parcel of undeveloped land.
Jeremiah S. Gilbert (1829–1932) was the son of an early settler of Fulton County, William Gilbert. William was the first physician in Fulton County and served as a member of the Georgia General Assembly in 1843. Jeremiah's grandfather, Charner Humphries, owned and operated the first- known inn in this area, the Whitehall Tavern. After acquiring 500 acres (2.0 km2) of land from his father in 1861—land previously owned by Charner Humphries—Jeremiah married Sarah Matilda Perkerson, daughter of an early settler of Fulton County, who was the county's second sheriff. In 1861, Gilbert enlisted in the Third Regiment of the Georgia State Troops, one of the first Confederate companies to organize in Georgia. Upon his return from the war, he found that his first home had been destroyed by Union troops, at which time he began construction on the house that exists today. Jeremiah's son, William, became a prominent Atlanta surgeon and physician; son Hugh served as the tax assessor for Fulton County for twenty years; son Jeremiah Otis practiced dentistry in Atlanta; and daughter Annie Bell was a schoolteacher. The property remained in the Gilbert family until the City of Atlanta purchased it from Jeremiah's granddaughters in 1971.
The Jeremiah S. Gilbert House is a well-preserved two-story rectangular farmhouse. Its architecture reflects varying building techniques and styles that were popular when the house was first built, as well as when it was remodelled many years later.
The Gilbert House is of a concrete-like masonry and weatherboard construction. The first-floor exterior walls are constructed of fieldstone and rubble, and a mortar of clay and sand. The second-floor exterior walls are made of weatherboard. The shed-type dormer roof was added in the 1930s. The front facade of the house has been stuccoed. The porch of the front facade reflects only minor changes, with its tapered pier-columns that sit atop rectangular bases and the addition of screens.
The house has two interior end chimneys. A one-story weatherboard addition is located on the rear of the structure. A pantry and screened porch are located in the addition. Bricks surround the door and window openings. The lintels are of unplaned wood.
The house's earliest features reflect the necessity to use materials and techniques available to Jeremiah Gilbert on his farm land, due to scarce building supplies and loss in transportation and commerce during Reconstruction. Gilbert constructed the exterior walls of fieldstone and a mortar-like substance of clay and sand. He constructed the walls in wooden form twelve inches (305 mm) at a time until the mortar dried.
Another example of rural building techniques is found on the wooden lintels in the screened-in porch on the rear of the house. The lintels are rough, irregular pieces of wood. This is another example of how rural Georgians had to compensate due to the expense and scarcity of building supplies after the Civil War.
The Gilbert House is located on a slight rise of cleared land. Although the land is largely wooded, the area immediately surrounding the house has been cleared. Three outbuildings constructed of weatherboard are located on the property. They include a well house, a storage structure, and a garage which all appear to have been built in the 1930s.
REFERENCES Brunskill, R. W. Illustrated Handbook of Vernacular Architecture. New York: Universe Books, 1971. Downing, A. J. The Architecture of Country Houses. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1969 (original published in 1850).
Draft nomination. John Culbreth, administrative assistant, Bureau of Parks and Recreation, City of Atlanta, March 20, 1979.
Draft nomination. Toni Jay Stultz, administrator, Atlanta Urban Design Commission, October 1, 1979.
Fowler, Orson S. The Octagon House: A Home For All. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1973 (original published in 1853).
Ginn, Kacy. National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination Form, 1980.
Haddow, David F. The Gilbert House. October 25, 1977.
Holly, Henry Hudson. Holly's Country Seats. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1863.
Teel, Leonard Ray. "Old House in Need of Friends, " Atlanta Journal, November 3, 1978.
Thomas, Mary Booth. "City Seeks Help to Restore House Jeremiah Built," Atlanta Journal, May 30, 1978.
CRITERIA (criteria descriptions)
Group I (1) Group II (4) (5) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) Group III (3) FINDINGS The proposed nomination of Gilbert House meets the above-referenced criteria for a Landmark Building or Site as set out in Section 16-20.004 of the Code of Ordinances of the city of Atlanta.
Discover southern hospitality and the charm of the Victorian era at the historic Gilbert House. Dating back to the post Civil War period, the house stands as remarkable evidence of the determined spirit of the Atlanta citizens who rebuilt their city following the devastation of the Civil War. Because of the contributions of the family to the development of the city, the building has been called "Atlanta's Most Historic House." The construction of the House is unique; according to one expert, there is not another house built this way in the entire state of Georgia!
The Historic Jeremiah S. Gilbert House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it is designated as a City of Atlanta Landmark Site. Original family furniture, photographs, and artifacts bring history to life for visitors.
The Jeremiah S. Gilbert State Memorial Site
Perkerson residents are zoned to schools in the Atlanta Public Schools.
1) Perkerson Elementary School (for students who live north of Pegg Road)
2) Emma Hutchinson Elementary School (for students who live south of Pegg Road)
1) Sylvan Hills Middle School
2) Crawford W. Long Middle School
South Atlanta High School
1) School of Engineering 2) School of Health & Medical Science 3) School of Law & Government 4) School of Leadership & Econimics