House Envy: Soak up history in this stately Neel Reid home in Druid Hills

The residence boasts period architectural details—like door pediments and a formal courtyard—and a rich past

It was on nightly walk around the neighborhood when David and Michele Wilson noticed a ‘for sale’ sign at 850 Oakdale Road. The year was 2003, and the couple were living two blocks away on Springdale Road. They had long admired the stately home, which was designed by revered Atlanta architect Neel Reid and built in 1915.

David, a cardiologist, and Michele, a stay-at-home mom, thought the house would be an ideal place to raise their three young children. “After looking inside, we were completely sold,” Michele said. “We loved the grand entry, the well-proportioned rooms, and the architectural details.”

Indeed, the home is filled with Reid’s trademark features, including high ceilings, intricate moldings, door pediments, perfectly scaled rooms, lots of windows, and a formal courtyard. Situated on 1.2 acres in Druid Hills, which has no shortage of grand historic houses, the residence is convenient to Emory University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, and the Paideia School.

The home’s ownership also has a rich history. Its original owner was Sigmund Montag, proprietor of the National Pencil Company, where Leo Frank was employed. Montag was also the great-uncle of Driving Miss Daisy playwright and Atlanta native Alfred Uhry.

The 5,887-square-foot house has five bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths, a large foyer, a formal living room, a spacious dining room, and a charming screened porch with brick flooring. A 2004 renovation by custom home builder James Cotton included a kitchen makeover and the addition of a family room, breakfast room, and master suite. The renovated chef’s kitchen features glazed cabinets, granite countertops, and an expansive center island.

Outside, there’s a bricked courtyard and two side patios. The level back yard includes a small pond. The home also comes with a 250-square-foot carriage house with a one-bedroom, one-bath nanny suite.

Michele particularly appreciates the lightness and brightness of the house. “There are lots of windows and French doors, and every room has a pretty garden view,” she said. She also loves the screened porch, where the family often gathers for summer suppers.

Despite their love for the home, the Wilsons—now empty nesters—recently listed it for sale. “We plan to stay in the area, but we don’t need this much house anymore,” Michele said. “It’s time for a new family to make memories here.”

This Druid Hills home is listed for $3,100,000. For more information, contact Debbie McDonald of Karafotias Realty at 404-808-0998 or