1999 Candler Park Tour Of Homes
#10 370 Brooks Avenue
Built in the early to mid 1920s, 370 Brooks Avenue was designed by Leila Ross Wilburn, one of Georgia's first female architects. Legend has it That although women weren't all that welcome in the so-called "male profession" of architecture, Leila, with a chosen specialty of residential design, was pretty free to do what she wanted. (And lucky for us!)
From her office in the Peters Building, Leila designed some of Druid Hills' most beautiful estate homes, as well as smaller homes throughout Virginia Highlands and Candler Park. The single-level brick house at 370 Brooks Avenue was part of Leila's bungalow series, with complete plans and specifications offered to prospective homeowners for just $20. An additional $5 bought a lumber and mill list. Plans were published in Leila's book Brick and Colonial Homes: A collection of the latest designs, featuring the most modern in domestic architecture, in which she wrote: "what we most need in America is a better class of small domestic architecture, one which shall provide us with homes more wholesome in their external appearance and more satisfying in their internal arrangement and finish."
While various owners have made some modern improvements, 370 Brooks Avenue is still pretty much the way Leila designed it, with crown moldings, High ceilings and spacious rooms. The only notable changes from original Plans include removal of a wall between two bedrooms, the addition of a small laundry area, and the enclosure of a screened porch.
Decoration is another matter. Owners James and Caryn Tribble have taken a free hand, bathing the house in dramatic color, painting walls and floors and mixing a variety of furniture, textures and styles. Folk art shares space with furniture from the deco period, metals mix with wood, and canvases from a favorite local artist hang throughout. Various walls are striped, patterned and accented, with lighting ranging from catalog finds to contract design, industrial fixtures to modern Italian glass.
James' study features hand-painted concrete floors and glass block, While the large back room is a catchall workspace for Caryn's various design pursuits. "We have great plans for renovating the kitchen and adding on, including an upper level, but that's probably pretty far off. Until then, we've had tremendous fun decorating the house --- it's a very happy place to be."