Informal windshield surveys of the Buzz beat reveal that no community or town in the area features extended walls as much as does Dunwoody. Seemingly everywhere along main and sometimes secondary roads, they project a distinctive look. These walls are obviously for privacy, but perhaps there is an outward resemblance to other eras in history.
In sixteenth century England and Wales, “enclosure” was a process that created physical boundaries for traditional meadowland in open field systems. Under enclosure, land was walled or fenced and deeded to one or more owners. From the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, enclosure became a kind of movement and a widespread feature of the English landscape visible in Britain today.
Over the past three or so decades elaborate walls have become integral to the increasingly dense streetscapes of Dunwoody, as pictured above. Often behind the walls are green spaces and wooded areas that appear worlds apart from heavily trafficked avenues. It could be that the walls of Dunwoody will protect and define residential patterns, as the new town becomes more urban, while seeking to hold on to simpler times of traditional suburban development.
Dr. Paul Hudson, historian at Georgia Perimeter College and Oglethorpe University and a longtime resident of the Brookhaven area, writes stories for the Buzz.