City of Chamblee
Chamblee (Sham-blee) is a city in northern DeKalb County, Georgia, United States, northeast of Atlanta. The population was 9,892 at the 2010 census.
The area that would later become Chamblee was originally dairy farms. During the late nineteenth century, an intersection of two railroads was constructed in Chamblee; one carried passengers from Atlanta to Charlotte, North Carolina, while the other ferried workers and goods back and forth from a factory in Roswell to Atlanta. A settlement known as Roswell Junction emerged at the intersection, and the United States Postal Service decided to establish a post office there. However, feeling the name of the settlement was too similar to nearby Roswell, they randomly selected Chamblee from a list of petitioners for the new post office name. Chamblee was incorporated in 1907.
During World War I and World War II, Chamblee served as the site of U.S. military operations. During World War I, the U.S. operated Camp Gordon, home to 40,000 servicemen. This influx of new people created a building boom in the town. Camp Gordon was closed after the war and then re-opened as Navy Flight Training Center at the advent of World War II.
Immediately after World War II, Chamblee experienced growth in blue-collar industry and residents due to its proximity to the newly opened General Motors plant in neighboring Doraville. Manufacturing plants also located along the newly constructed Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. By the 1980s, much of the city’s industrial base had downsized or eroded; in its place sprung multi-ethnic business that catered to the immigrants and refugees moving to Chamblee and Doraville en masse due to the cities’ affordable housing. By the time of the 1996 Summer Olympics, Chamblee had emerged as a multi-cultural city inhabited by a large immigrant community.
During the first decade of the 2000s, the city grew as it refined its image, constructing a new city hall in 2002. In 2010, Chamblee annexed an area directly to the northwest that includes Huntley Hills and a resident population of approximately 5,000. It also renamed Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to Peachtree Boulevard, and took steps to revitalize its downtown.
Chamblee is south of Dunwoody, southwest of Doraville, northeast of Brookhaven, and north of Interstate 85. The city is located at 33°53′15″N 84°18′19″W (33.887552, -84.305326). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2), all land.
As of the 2010 Census Chamblee had a population of 9,892. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 45.0% white (19.0% non-Hispanic white), 7.0% black or African American (6.2% non-Hispanic black), 2.1% Native American (0.2% non-Hispanic Native American), 1.8% Vietnamese, 1.6% Asian Indian, 4.6% other Asian, 33.5% from some other race (0.2% non-Hispanic from some other race) and 4.1% reporting two or more races. 58.5% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,552 people, 2,673 households, and 1,849 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,043.3 people per square mile (1,174.5/km²). There were 2,730 housing units at an average density of 869.8 per square mile (335.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.36% White, 3.71% African American, 0.91% Native American, 13.98% Asian, 0.32% Pacific Islander, 31.45% from other races, and 4.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 56.37% of the population.
There were 2,673 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% were non-families. 15.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.57 and the average family size was 3.65.
In the city, the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 17.9% from 18 to 24, 41.0% from 25 to 44, 12.8% from 45 to 64, and 5.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 161.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 176.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,992. Males had a median income of $22,024 versus $22,368 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,492. About 15.8% of families and 22.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over. In addition, 16.7% of families reported a household income higher than $100,000.
Downtown: Downtown Chamblee has been preserved has an early 20th-century railroad community. Many of the buildings are of historic vintage, and the district has architectural similarities to other similar former railroad communities, such as Decatur and Norcross. Much of the downtown businesses are devoted to Chamblee’s antique industry, but that has been changing. The district has attracted significant commercial development since 2000, including lofts and townhomes. The Chamblee MARTA Station and City Hall are both located downtown.
Sexton Woods: Partially in Chamblee and partially in neighboring city Brookhaven, Sexton Woods is mixed neighborhood of 1950’s ranch style homes and more recently new tear downs. Sexton Woods is bordered by Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Harts Mill Road, and Ashford Dunwoody Road. Sexton Woods is also the home of Chamblee Middle School, located on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road until 2006.
Keswick Village: Adjacent to Sexton Woods, Keswick Village is next to Keswick Park in Chamblee.
Clairmont Park: Residential neighborhoods along Clairmont Road, south of Peachtree Boulevard, near Peachtree Dekalb Airport.
Huntley Hills: Huntley Hills is a neighborhood established in the early 1960s, though the first house was built on Plantation Lane in 1950. Huntley Hills Elementary School is located in the middle of the neighborhood. Huntley Hills Elementary has a Montessori program added during the 2000-2001 school year and was opened on August 21, 1964. Huntley hills also has a wide range of special needs programs for children ranging from high to low disorders.
Beverly Hills/Beverly Woods: Beverly Hills/Beverly Woods is a neighborhood established in the early 1950s in a portion of Chamblee that annexed into the city in 2013. Many houses in this area were built as housing for the Doraville GM plant employees that worked nearby. This neighborhood borders Chamblee-Tucker Road, Shallowford Road, and Beverly Hills Drive. Mostly Mid Century ranch style and split level houses with minimal infill housing as of 2017.
Primary and secondary schools
DeKalb County School System serves Chamblee.
Huntley Hills Elementary School, a public Montessori school (Chamblee)
Dresden Elementary School (Chamblee)
Ashford Park Elementary School (Brookhaven)
Montclair Elementary School (Brookhaven)
Montgomery Elementary School (Brookhaven)
Kittredge Magnet School for High Achievers is in Brookhaven.
Chamblee Middle School
Sequoyah Middle School (Doraville, serves a section of southern Chamblee)
Chamblee Charter High School
Cross Keys High School (Brookhaven, serves a section of southern Chamblee)
Henderson High School served residents of Chamblee until closed in mid-1990s.
In historical popular culture
Chamblee was referred to as “Chambodia” primarily by racists and rednecks due to its high Asian population and the concentration of Asian restaurants along Buford Highway. The Asian population has decreased significantly since the 1980s and this slang term is no longer relative to any part of Chamblee. The highest concentration of Asian restaurants is actually in Doraville on Buford Highway. A chapter of Tom Wolfe’s novel A Man in Full is titled “Chambodia”.