Founded in 1979, the Community Center of South Decatur is a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and maintain The Solarium at Historic Scottish Rite as a sustainable community resource to be used for the assistance, education and enjoyment of the Decatur community.

Inviting Warmth Meets Living History

Welcome to The Solarium, a truly unique venue with historic charm that embodies the warmth and vibrancy of the surrounding neighborhood. Designed in 1918 by renowned architect Neel Reid, this architectural gem is located in the heart of Oakhurst Village in Decatur, Georgia.

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Serving a Community

Managed and maintained by the The Community Center of South Decatur, this self-sustaining non-profit organization serves the community in many ways. Each year, The Solarium hosts and partners to support many thriving community events and educational programs and provide grants to other non-profit groups in the city. These remarkable events and outreach are financially supported by the rental of The Solarium’s event space for Weddings, Social Events and Meetings.

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Since 2002:
We’ve raised and invested over $250,000 in improving and maintaining this historic facility.

There’s a lot of Good being done.

2015 Community Grants Total $9,000!

GRANT RECIPIENTS INCLUDE:
DEF
Global Growers
MLK Service Days
National Association on Mental Illness
Woodland Gardens
Wylde Center

2014 Community
Grants

GRANT RECIPIENTS INCLUDE:
Decatur Police Dept
Decatur Preservation Alliance
Global Growers
Reading is Essential for All People, Inc (REAP)
Wylde Center

Events Hosted
and/or Supported

EVENTS INCLUDE:
Barbecue Blues & Bluegrass Festival
Breakfast with Santa
Capoeira
Jazz Nights
MLK Service Days
Patio Party


Oakhurst Chorus
Oakhurst Neighborhood Association
School PTA Fundraisers
Sips and Small Plates
Wine Crawl

Calendar

May 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
4
  • Oakhurst Choir Rehearsal
5
6
  • Private Event SETUP
  • Private Event
7
8
9
  • Oakhurst Neighborhood Association Meeting
10
  • CCSD Board Meeting
11
  • Oakhurst Choir Rehearsal
12
  • NO SITE VISITS - BETH OUT OF OFFICE
  • Private Event
13
  • Private Event
14
  • Private Event SETUP
  • Private Event
15
  • Private Event
16
17
18
  • Private Event
19
20
  • Private Event
21
  • Private Event
22
23
  • Private Event
24
25
  • Private Event
26
  • Private Event Set Up
  • Private Event
27
  • Private Event
28
  • Private Event
29
  • Private Event
30
31

ParaLabel-History

It started with helping.

The Scottish Rite Convalescent Hospital for Crippled Children was founded in 1915
through the dedication of Mrs. Bertie Wardlow and Dr. Michael Hoke.

The two-cottage Decatur facility gave indigent, crippled children a place to recover after having surgery at Piedmont Hospital and Wesley Memorial Hospital (now Emory University Hospital). It accommodated 18 patients – 20 in case of urgency.

Three years later, in 1918, a new 50 bed building was opened on West Hill Street with the facilities to become a full orthopedic surgical hospital for those who could not afford to pay for care, and featured a natural light surgical suite. The new hospital focused on treating Georgia children crippled by polio, and was the first hospital in the United States devoted to the orthopedic care of children. The Oakhurst hospital served as a model for 19 later Shriner’s Hospitals for Crippled Children around the nation.

Until the mid 1960s, the hospital accepted only children whose parents could not afford to pay for their care. During the early years, the Scottish Rite Masons were depended upon to cover the cost of the staff salaries and medical supplies.

Two young but accomplished architects were chosen for the design of the hospital buildings that opened in Decatur in 1918, Neel Reid and Hal Hentz. Until the 1930s, the medical profession had few drugs available to treat crippling childhood diseases so the original hospital design reflected the emphasis then given to providing young patients with plenty of sunshine and fresh air. The Georgian Revival style buildings all have a southern exposure, allowing for plenty of sunshine. The ward buildings on each side of the central administration building have generous windows, including clerestory windows above the main roof-line to provide additional interior light. And in the days before air conditioning was common, the buildings were sited to allow ventilation in warm weather.

The design also included light and air-filled areas for play and rest. Each ward had a glass enclosed sun or play room. Sliding glass doors fronted each ward and originally led to screened porches. Bedridden children could be wheeled onto these porches or even onto paved terraces in front, to rest or play in the open air. Then, the new medicines that became available to treat childhood diseases in the 1940s reduced the importance of the screened porches. Steel casement windows have enclosed these porches since that time.

Two other main buildings were added later. A service annex, built prior to World War II is a one-storied addition attached to the north side of the administration building. Then, a nurses residence building was built following World War II to the east of the hospital.

In 1966 the hospital began taking paying patients so that specialty pediatric care would also be available to those who could pay. Other surgical specialists joined the orthopedics on staff as new surgical clinics were added and in 1971, additional services were developed including a Pediatric Continuity Clinic plus neurology, allergy, and cardiology clinics. The Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital finally left Decatur in 1976, eventually merging with Egleston Children’s Hospital to form today’s Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

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Incorporated in 1979, the Community Center of South Decatur worked for many years to facilitate the redevelopment of the historic Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital. Now, two decades of work by community activists have come to fruition. The renovation is complete, with the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, two art galleries and Progressive Redevelopment Incorporated, which completed the renovation project, among the tenants.

The Community Center of South Decatur is now renting the beautiful East Wing of the historic building for wedding receptions and other social events. Known as ”The Solarium at Historic Scottish Rite”, this tastefully appointed space, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of our area’s most desirable event venues.

Contact

If you would like more information about The Solarium and/or Community Center please take a moment to send us a message.

321 West Hill Street
Decatur, GA 30030

T:404.370.0888

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