The planned community was initially conceived by Joel Hurt, and developed with the effort of Atlanta's leading families, including Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler. It contains some of Atlanta's historic mansions from the late 19th and early 20th century. Druid Hills includes the main campus of Emory University, which relocated to Atlanta in 1914.
Druid Hills was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and was one of his last commissions. A showpiece of the design was the string of parks along Ponce de Leon Avenue, which was designated as Druid Hills Parks and Parkways and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 11, 1975.
The remainder of the development was listed on the Register as the Druid Hills Historic District on October 25, 1979. Later the Park and Parkways district was consolidated into the Druid Hills Historic District