The real community of man, in the midst of all the self-contradictory simulacra of community, is the community of those who seek the truth.

Allan Bloom

 Northcrest Revels in Bygone Era

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 02/04/05 and saved without permissing (article is no longer available online)

Every once in a while, we stumble onto a hidden treasure a house or neighborhood with a distinct personality that begs to be revealed. Such a place is Northcrest, a northwest DeKalb community with a multitude of midcentury homes. That's the fancy new name for all things '50s an era embraced by those too young to remember it.

Tucked into a triangle just north of I-285 and framed by Chamblee Tucker, Northcrest and Pleasantdale roads, Northcrest is populated with a mix of architectural styles. But areas at either end of the tree-shaded community feature the clean lines of California contemporary houses built in the '60s and '70s and priced from the $180,000s to the $240,000s.

T. Levette Bagwell/AJC
(Click to Enlarge)

The house of Daniel Troppy and Mitch Waldman has features popular in the 1950s.

"It's one of the few [close-in] places you can still find a house priced under $200,000," said John Eaton, who set up a Web site ( for the neighborhood.

It's also a draw for young buyers who are intrigued with the era's design and furniture. Artist Daniel Troppy has been collecting midcentury furniture for years and wanted a house to showcase his collection. Last summer, after searching for more than two years, he and partner Mitch Waldman, a mortgage planner, bought a tri-level, four-bedroom, three-bath California contemporary in Northcrest. They paid $205,000 for the house, which had most of its original features, a selling point for the pair.

"We picked this house because so little had been done to it," Waldman said. "All we did was to give the inside a fresh coat of white paint."

Rooms on the two upper levels have vaulted, tongue-and-groove pine ceilings, exposed beams and large windows that slide horizontally. The bathrooms have the original turquoise tile and fixtures. A "Hollywood tub" with its frosted glass shower doors separates and is shared by two bathrooms.

Five-foot overhangs provide shelter for a balcony that runs along the upper level. A den with a fireplace and brick wall on the lower level opens to an enclosed patio leading to the carport.

The house is filled with light, thanks to the many large windows in every room. There's even a rectangular skylight that floods the small but efficient kitchen and dining room with light.

Other houses have been updated inside, said Re/Max agent Ginny Staib, who lived in Northcrest from 1972 to 1981 and sells homes there now.

"They've updated the kitchens and taken up the carpet to show off the hardwood floors. Those are the more expensive ones. But you can still find fixer-uppers."

In the meantime, Troppy, who is represented by Marcia Wood Gallery, finds the vaulted ceilings and natural light perfect for his artwork as well as his furniture collection.

"Mitch wants to expand [the house]," Troppy said. "But I'm a purist. I don't want to touch the integrity of it."