Six Weeks of Wynnton: Peacock Woods - Dimon Circle
In terms of context as a neighborhood in Wynnton, this district is unique because it does not contain an antebellum house. Except for a small strip of property on the east side of Forest Avenue, the land within Peacock Woods – Dimon Circle was part of the original property purchased by John Banks in 1836 (The Cedars). The Banks descendants sold three large unoccupied tracts of this land in 1876, 1880, and 1887 to Charles W. Munro and John F. Flournoy.
Peacock Woods – Dimon Circle District was developed in the 1920s with four separate subdivisions: the northern portion was developed as the Peacock Woods subdivision by John F. Flournoy in 1922; the southeast corner, created by Samuel K. Dimon (a Banks descendant), became Dimon Circle in two sections in 1922 and 1928; Charlie Frank Williams developed Rock Park subdivision in the center in 1924; and Hezikiah Land established the Wynnton Heights subdivision in the southwest corner in 1924.
Flournoy was a prominent Columbus developer. He hired noted landscape architect Earle S. Draper to design Peacock Woods as an upper-class, picturesque neighborhood with curvilinear streets and a park-like setting. Draper was busy in Columbus during the 1920s. He would also work for Lloyd Bowers to design Overlook, along with St. Elmo Place and the extension of Bibb City.
The neighborhood was also never a streetcar suburb - all of its residents had automobiles. Most of the houses being built after 1925, when the city limits expanded to include Wynnton, meant that the residents could use the new concrete viaduct over the railroad yard to downtown. About 50 percent of the houses in the four subdivisions had plans drawn by an architectural firm. The architects included James J.W. Biggers, F. Roy Duncan, Charles F. Hickman, Thomas Firth Lockwood, Jr., John C. Martin, Jr., and the only house in Columbus designed by Neel Reid.
It has a broad range of styles including Colonial Revival, Craftsman, English Vernacular Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, and French Vernacular Revival. Peacock Woods also has one 1954 California Ranch with landscape design by Thomas Church and one modern house designed by Columbus architect Edward Burdeshaw.
This Neoclassical Revival house built for Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Dismukes, Sr., is the only structure in Columbus designed by Neel Reid of the Atlanta firm of Hentz, Reid and Adler. Mr. Reid was responsible for every aspect of design including interior decoration and landscape design. Built in 1926, the house is significant as one of the last and finest examples of his designs.
The Blackmar - Illges House was built in 1934 is an excellent example of a stone French Revival home. Originally the home of A. O. Blackmar, it then became the home of A. Illges. The home was designed by Atlanta architect James Mitchell. The large picturesque garden was originally planned by Atlanta landscape architect William C. Pauley. Pauley’s design perfectly fulfilled Earle Draper’s plan of a garden suburb.
One of the most unique houses in Peacock Woods is the E.D. Martin House, a California Ranch style house built in 1954. It was designed by one of Atlanta’s leading firms, Finch, Barnes and Pascal, and was completed with modern-style garden designed by landscape architect Thomas D. Church of San Francisco, who is credited with being the creator of the "modern California garden." The house features an asymmetrical, long, low, sprawling form and emphasizes the horizontal with its low-pitched roof and ribbon windows. Thomas Church designed the landscaping to complement the house by the use of unique, simple landscaping with modest shrubs and walled terraces.
Little Wildwood Park which extends from Forest Avenue to 17th Street on the north and Wildwood Avenue on the east was originally for the streetcar line to shift from Wildwood Avenue to Forest Avenue at the point where it crossed 17th Street. The line could not make sharp turns, so this piece of land that was never developed by John Flournoy allowed the room necessary for the trolleys to make this shift. According to Joe Flournoy, his family real estate company sold the tract to William H. Young II, who planned to build apartments there. Young later sold the property to the city and the small park was then established there.