In the heart of the Briarcliff Woods community lies a hidden treasure: the last key remnant of the Pendergrast family farm, a slice of history nestled amidst urban development. Spanning nearly 9 acres, this land holds the echoes of a bygone era, embodying the dreams and legacy of generations past.
From its early days in the 1920s as sprawling farmland to its transformation into a vibrant conservation community, every corner of Pendergrast Farm tells a story. The conservation community was once a part of the extensive Pendergrast family land, which at one time spanned 90 acres along both sides of Briarcliff Road from Chrysler Drive almost to Crestline.
In the early 1920s, the land was home to a tenant shack occupied by a charcoal maker, who remained until the Pendergrast family built a simple electricity-free cottage in 1930 that allowed them to enjoy the property every summer. The Pendergrasts would leave their Druid Hills home when school let out and move to the “country” found along Briarcliff Road, where they enjoyed raising chickens and cows, as well as a small swimming hole ideal for cooling off during the humid Georgia summers.
As the wheels of time turned, the landscape changed. With the paving of Briarcliff Road, the family erected a permanent stone home that sits at what is now 3436 Briarcliff Road. Today, that home is still in the Pendergrast family, belonging to Martha Pendergrast Coursey, a renowned mosaic artist. Even though the road was paved, it was still an incredibly rural area in the 30s. In fact, just two homes sat between the permanent stone home and Clairmont, nearly a mile away!
In the 1950s, most of the Pendergrast property was purchased by Gardner Brown, who laid out the Briarcliff Woods subdivision where many of the Pendergrast family members later lived.
Today, Pendergrast Farm sits where Bill Pendergrast’s home once sat. Bill was the third son of John Brittain Pendergast, who originally acquired the 90 acres along Briarcliff Road. When Bill called the land home, he shared it with a log barn full of cows, pigs, sheep, goats, horses and chickens. Although Bill’s farm no longer exists in its original form, the Pendergrast heritage endures.
The Pendergrast family had a dream of a conservation community to continue their family legacy. Enter Greg Ramsey of Village Habitat Design, a visionary known for crafting conservation-centric communities. Collaborating with the Pendergrast family, VHD breathed life into this dream, envisioning a space that harmonized sustainable growth with land preservation. The goal was clear: break away from conventional subdivisions, nurturing a cluster of homes amidst sprawling greenery.
The family’s dream was realized through Dennis McConnell, a seasoned builder with a passion for healthy, energy-efficient homes. With a rich history of crafting over 400 homes across Atlanta, Dennis embraced the challenge of sculpting a community that honored the land’s heritage.
Today, Pendergrast Farm respects its past by embracing sustainable living. As you stroll through the community, you’re walking on land that has been cherished for generations. We’re committed to preserving this legacy by maintaining over 60% of the land as green space, ensuring the spirit of the original farm lives on. Woodland and streams have been lovingly restored, and a one-acre organic farm is taking shape, breathing new life into the landscape. A village cluster of 20 homes in a pedestrian-focused space preserves the rural character of the property.
This conservation enclave stands as a testament to the Pendergrast family’s enduring legacy—a legacy of conservation, community, and a deep-rooted love for the land. In the heart of modern development, Pendergrast Farm stands tall, a living testament to the power of preserving history while paving the way for a sustainable future. Pendergrast Farm is more than just a place to live – it’s a piece of history. Visit us to see how we’re writing the next chapter in this remarkable story.