Just a short ride from the square in downtown Decatur, bordering Winnona Park, Scottdale and Belvedere Park, is Avondale Estates. It was named for the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon, and most of the civic buildings and many of the houses were built in Tudor style to carry out that theme. It was planned and developed in 1924 by George Francis Willis, who had purchased the entire site. As the first documented planned community in the Southeast, it was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Later, a Local Historical District was also established. Although Tudor architecture gives Avondale Estates its picturesque, small-village charm, the city also offers mid-century ranch-style homes, Craftsman bungalows, new construction, condos and townhouse communities.
Avondale Estates amenities include Lake Avondale, a reservoir stocked with largemouth bass; the Avondale Community Club; and private swim/tennis club.
Besides the Tudor ambience, Avondale Estates is probably best know as the site of the original Waffle House, opened in 1955, which is now the Waffle House Museum. It showcases Waffle House memorabilia from more than half a century.
The city publishes a New Residents' Guide, puts out a print newsletter every other month and sends out an electronic newsletter on Mondays and Fridays. There are also a neighborhood watch program and a citizen patrol program that aims to deter crime by creating a visible presence in support of the Avondale Estates Police Department. The police also provide NIXLE alerts – a community service that sends public safety and crime advisories directly to residents.
In the spring, Avondale Estates hosts the Art-B-Que festival, with music, art and good eats, and in the fall, it puts on Autumnfest, with more music and art and a long line of food trucks.
Kids who live in Avondale Estates attend DeKalb County Schools – Avondale Elementary School, Druid Hills Middle School, DeKalb School of the Arts and Druid Hills High School.
DeKalb School of the Arts is a magnet school for grades 8 through 12. In addition to a rigorous academic curriculum, the school provides drama, dance, vocal and instrumental music, visual arts, video technology, creative writing, multimedia and design and production.
There are also charter and private school options.
The Museum School of Avondale Estates, a charter school, is the only school in Georgia founded on the museum school concept. The fundamental principle underlying the K-8 curriculum is constructivism, which maintains that the basis of learning is an individual's reflection on experiences as a way of understanding the world. The school partners with museums and other institutions around the world to let students make their own discoveries.
The Sudbury School is a private school for ages 4 to 19. Students have complete responsibility for their own education and learn through their own experience. They can be enrolled for three, four or five days a week.
In nearby Decatur, there are two Waldorf schools that embody the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, which structures a curriculum to fit three developmental phases of childhood: from birth to approximately 6 or 7 years, from 7 to 14 years and from 14 to 18 years. The Waldorf School is for pre-K to eighth grade, and Adademe of the Oaks is the sister Waldorf high school.