Brookhaven will soon have its own entry in the “Images of America” history book series, and a book about the houses of Historic Brookhaven is preparing for publication, too.

A watercolor of a Club Drive house created by author and architect Richard Diedrich for the upcoming Historic Brookhaven book.
A watercolor of a Club Drive house created by author and architect Richard Diedrich for the upcoming Historic Brookhaven book.

Arcadia Publishing just offered a publishing contract for a Brookhaven book last week, said former Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams, who commissioned the historical research project that led to the book deal.

“They just recently accepted Brookhaven to be a book,” said Williams, who will be co-author along with local historian Valerie Biggerstaff. Williams said they have to deliver the book by January and it is slated to be published in March.

Biggerstaff, who previously put together an “Images of America” book about Dunwoody, started the project last year with $3,500 from Williams’ mayoral discretionary funds. In part, Williams hoped it could be the beginning of a local historical society.

Williams said the co-authors will receive a 10 percent royalty on sales and hopes to devote it to a “fund to increasing historic preservation” efforts, but it is yet to be determined what form that will take or if the city will be involved.

She said it could tie into a larger nonprofit organization that could form to run other efforts Williams is involved with, including the annual Cherry Blossom Festival and an effort to revive the historic Flowerland garden off Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.

Meanwhile, a coffee-table-style book about Historic Brookhaven homes is in the writing and production stage, even as its backers hope to raise more money to add to it. The book is being funded through sponsorships and pre-sales to owners of houses that will be featured in the book. Backers say they have raised $25,000 but are aiming for more.

“We have enough funds to do a book,” said Richard Diedrich, a local author and architect who is writing the book. “But we’re expecting the book to be just bigger and better.”

Historic Brookhaven is the neighborhood in Brookhaven and Buckhead around the Capital City Club golf course. The book is focused on a part of the neighborhood that is listed as an Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. The area has houses dating between 1910 and 1942.

Planned by a committee of the Historic Brookhaven Neighborhood Association, the book is intended to raise awareness about historic preservation.
Diedrich is writing, interviewing residents and creating some watercolor paintings to go along with the many modern and historic house photographs.

The book’s publication timeline has moved back from late this year to sometime next spring, he said.

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John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.