Inspired by their work on the Cherokee Gardens subdivision in Louisville, Kentucky, G. A. Puryear, Jr., a Nashville banker, contacted the Olmsted Brothers firm in 1936 about subdividing the estate he had inherited from his recently deceased father. James Dawson led the design of the site, creating a winding network of streets following Sugartree Creek, which flows through the landscape. Plans for the site were completed by early 1937, and construction proceeded quickly. Marketing for lots followed shortly thereafter, and by 1938, several houses were completed or under construction. Pleased with the work, Puryear asked whether Dawson might design the grounds of his own new home in the community.
Valley Brook Drive follows a small tributary of Sugartree Creek down to the main branch of the stream. This tributary flows through the front portion of several of the larger lots of development, providing a scenic buffer between the large homes and the roadway. The plans called for a small reservation along the creek, bordered by a bridle path. The original design also called for a roundabout, named Puryear Circle, at the western end of the development. The circle, however, was not constructed; neither was a stream crossing in this area. And rather than the larger lots typical of the bulk of the community, smaller lots and tighter streets were built.