Buckhead has a long history, with the area first occupied by Cherokee and Creek Indians, farmers, hunters, traders, and warriors. By the 1820s, however, they had “sold off” to the White man most of their lands, which were subsequently occupied by Andrew Jackson’s military.
It is recorded that in 1838, Henry Irby of South Carolina purchased 203 acres, in what is now the center of Buckhead, for $650. He built a combination tavern and grocery store near the intersection of Peachtree and Paces Ferry roads, where Charlie Loudermilk Park (formerly Triangle Park) is located. First tagged “Irbyville,” the area took on the popular designation of “Buckhead” around 1838, when the head of a large buck killed in nearby woods was mounted on a post not far from the tavern. The area was later annexed to the city of Atlanta in 1952.
Over the years, Buckhead has led the way for the economic well-being of this region. As early as the 1960s, Fortune magazine described Buckhead as “the top encampment of business executives in the Southeast.” More recently in 2018, The Wall Street Journal lauded Buckhead “a major commercial and financial center of the Southeast.”
Buckhead real estate development milestones include Lenox Square, one of the largest shopping centers in the Southeast (1959); followed shortly by the ultra-plush Phipps Plaza; Tower Place, a 600,000-square-foot office building (1974) that began Buckhead’s high-rise skyline; the Ritz-Carlton [now The Whitley], which led the way for a community of deluxe accommodations; and Park Place, the nation’s largest single-purpose condominium building (1986), now one of many pedestrian-oriented, multi-family properties encircling the business core.
Along with its rich history, here are 27 facts to know about the community of Buckhead:
- With its estimated 101,564 residents, Buckhead is larger than all but seven cities in Georgia.
- The daytime population of Buckhead is estimated to be more than 170,000.
- Buckhead has approximately 1,500 retail outlets, and has estimated annual retail sales of more than $3.6 billion.
- 44 percent of Atlanta’s population growth since 2000 has been in Buckhead.
- Millennials are Buckhead’s largest generational cohort.
- Since 2000, Buckhead has grown at twice the rate of Atlanta.
- Over half of all households in Buckhead (53 percent) earn $100,000 annually.
- 79 percent of Buckhead residents have a four-year college degree.
- Between 2000 and 2020, Buckhead more than doubled its multi-family housing units, adding an average of 770 new units per year.
- 93 percent of workers who commute to Buckhead do not live in the area.
- Atlanta’s only AMTRAK train station is in Buckhead.
- Buckhead has two MARTA rail lines, three MARTA stations, eight MARTA bus routes, one Georgia Bus Line, and one “buc” bus route.
- Buckhead has two U.S. highways, two interstate (limited-access) highways, and nine state (one limited-access) highways.
- There are 15 streets in Buckhead that include the name “Peachtree.”
- Apartment rentals in Buckhead average $1,722 per month, with one penthouse unit renting for $12,000.
- The country’s largest Presbyterian Church is in Buckhead; the country’s largest Episcopal congregation is in Buckhead; one of the country’s largest United Methodist churches is here, and two of the country’s largest Southern Baptist churches are in Buckhead; the country’s third-largest conservative synagogue is in this community, and the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese for North Georgia is in Buckhead.
- The Atlanta History Museum is in Buckhead.
- Atlanta’s largest park is in Buckhead.
- The nation’s largest catastrophic care hospital treating spinal disorders, acquired brain injuries, neuromuscular and neurological disorders, and multiple sclerosis is in Buckhead, “the world-renowned Shepherd Center.”
- One of the largest shopping centers in the Southeast is in Buckhead.
- 40 percent of the expenditures in Buckhead are made by visitors from 100 miles away or more.
- Buckhead is one of the country’s largest urban, mixed-use development areas, combining major office, retail, hotel, restaurant/entertainment, and high-rise residential development within its commercial core area.
- A 10×3-foot section of the Berlin Wall is on the grounds of Atlanta International School.
- Steve Penley’s home studio—Penley, the artist of international recognition and plaudits for his big, bold portraits—is located in Buckhead.
- Until 1952, Buckhead was not even part of the incorporated City of Atlanta.
- $13.9 million was the selling price of the St. Regis Residences 9,825-square-foot penthouse condo. This became the priciest condo ever sold in Georgia history.
Buckhead has its own flag. Commissioned by the Buckhead Coalition, it is intended to foster a sense of community for those who live, visit, work, and play in this northern hub of Atlanta. Designed pro bono by the renowned architect Cecil Alexander (chief artist for the 2001 Georgia flag), Buckhead’s community flag’s color is green, representing the lush tree canopy covering its neighborhoods. In the center is a pentagonal shape taken from the leather segments covering soccer balls, acknowledging the sport popular with Buckhead children. Within the design is a buck’s head in two colors indicating the diversity of this community, its homes, its people, its businesses, its occupants, its street patterns, and its architecture, all having a favorable impact on the city of Atlanta. On either side of the buck are white dogwood sprays to reflect the glory of the trees spreading throughout the area, bursting into bloom in the early spring. Along the bottom is the word “Buckhead.” (Flags may be purchased from Atlas Flags of Tucker, 770-938-0003.)