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About us

The Defoor Centre has been providing clients with memorable events held in our ever-changing art galleries since 2002.   As one of Atlanta's premier event venues,  Defoor Centre is ideal for private weddings, mitzvahs, corporate meetings and parties.

The Centre is located in west Midtown off Howell Mill Road in the Atlanta Design District.    The 5,500 sq ft hexagonal Forum Gallery is perfect for all types of events, from 250 - 300 seated, to 400 cocktail style, while the 2,900 sq ft Encore! Gallery holds 150 seated and 300  cocktail style in its uniquely funky space.

Chef Chester "CJ" Johnson will gladly customize a menu to fit your theme, budget or other special requirement.  Our friendly and accommodating staff will be focused on you and your guests'comfort.  

Come and experience the ART of celebration!
 

The Defoor Centre ... Reflecting a century of Atlanta history

As you enter the lobby area of The Defoor Centre, your eyes are immediately drawn to the area of obviously old brick wall that has been left exposed.

The bricks are the remnants of a fireplace that was part of the kitchen of the original structure dates to the 1800s.   For decades, the three-story building, centered in a sprawling set of relatively-new add-ons, was called “The Rock House on the Crooked Road,” referencing the exterior of the house built with nearby rocks and its presence on Defoor Avenue, which twists in a northwesterly direction through the west side of Midtown.

On a map depicting Atlanta in 1864, the spot where Defoor Centre sits today was labeled “Old Stone House.” (See photo.)  Neighborhood legend tells us that the house once served as a Civil War hospital. Because of its proximity to the Battle of Peachtree Creek, one of the three major battles in the Battle of Atlanta, it could well have served that purpose.  Indeed, when the Forum (the six-sided building) was built in 1975-76 by the Gospel Harvester Church as a sanctuary, and they were connecting the Forum to the original home, Civil War bullets (balls) were found imbedded in the exterior wall. A park dedicated to the battle is located near Peachtree Battle Avenue where it intersects Northside Drive, only a stone’s throw from the Centre.

In the 1900s, the Westside was an important warehouse district. The railroads converged in this area, providing convenient delivery to warehouses serving downtown retail establishments such as Rich’s Department Store and Davison’s. Today, in addition to discount warehouse businesses, many of these facilities have been converted into multi-purpose lofts. A historical fact: Franklin Garrett’s history of Atlanta, Atlanta and Environs, reports that an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Defoor, were murdered in the summer of 1879 while sleeping in their nearby home. The murderer was never brought to justice. (Although not covered in Mr. Garrett’s well-known history, sightings of a female ghost have been reported by psychics who have visited the building. Quite naturally, she has been named Mrs. Susan Defoor.)

In 1996, three Iranian brothers owned the building. They had formed The Deljou Art Group and hired artists to create oils and acrylics, which are reproduced and sold in quantity to designers of the bedrooms of cruise ship lines and hotels. They built the 12,000 square-foot room off the back of the original three-story building, and the church sanctuary. The five skylights were installed to create natural light for the artists to paint.  This space is currently the home for the Defoor Café and Bar, the Encore Gallery, the Gatsby Room and the Rhombus Room.  The building was purchased from the Deljous by Deborah Eason in 2002, and today continues to showcase the art of local artists in its many galleries. providing the perfect backdrop for any type of event.