North Oak Cliff Church Annex Converted into Inspiring Live-Work Space

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1900 W. 10th Front Elevation
Photos: Metroplex HD

Imagine you had close to 10,000 square feet of raw, usable live-work space in one of the hottest areas of North Oak Cliff. The possibilities are endless for the creative, passionate buyer. We’ve already seen what a quality commercial live-work conversion looks like in the sizzling Dallas Design District. Imagine you could have all that space in a fantastic location at less than half the price.

1900 W. 10th front

The church annex at 1900 W. 10th St. was built in 1975 and was an accessory structure for Calvary Baptist Church for many years. It was one of the 23 churches lining W. 10th St., and helped the Sunset Hill thoroughfare earn the title of having the most churches per square mile than anywhere else in the United States in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! In fact, there were so many sanctuaries that the street was renamed to Church Street. 

Tenth Street ultimately met its demise as Church Street in the later years of the twentieth century. After World War II, the sale of alcohol was banned in Oak Clifl changes in zoning took place, and the automobile culture was born. No one single element destroyed the Avenue of Churches, but all these factors together created a Pandora’s box that once opened, destroyed the community’s fabric.

—”Road to Glory: Tenth Street Becomes Church Street” by Rene Schmidt

Later it was purchased by Iglesia Bautista la Gran Comision of Oak Cliff. But once the congregation moved, and no probable tenant was lined up, the building was put on the market. According to Sunset Hill resident and Oak Cliff preservationist Michael Amonett, the building attracted few buyers, including a group of Buddhists.

For Vennessa V. Torres, she saw a grand opportunity in the church annex to create a live-work space that would be out of this world. Venessa and her husband started the transformation with the first of two phases. They began by building a guest apartment on the first floor where they would live while they finished out the rest of the building. the apartment has two bedrooms, one full bath, a laundry area, and a one-car garage.

1900 W. 10th Entry Area 1900 W. 10th Living 1900 W. 10th Dining table 1900 W. 10th Den 1900 W. 10th Dining Bar 1900 W. 10th Seating

The second phase was the build-out of the live-work space. They transformed the remaining 4,000 square feet into a dynamic, open area with room for offices, a venue, or a completely enormous living area. As it exists now, the Torreses have two offices, a coffee bar, and plenty of room for any kind of entertaining you can dream up.

While the upstairs has been cleared out, it’s still in original condition. I imagine it’d be a great workshop or maker space, a dance or art studio, or even a place to host larger events like a gallery exhibition or show.

Vennessa is a seasoned interior designer and founder of V. Mode de Vie, and you can see her aesthetic all over the 5,000-square-foot raw-chic first floor. Museum-finish walls, high-end LED lighting, raw plywood floors that look perfect in the space, and industrial-chic bathrooms.

1900 W. 10th Bar 1900 W. 10th Studio
1900 W. 10th Shelves 1900 W. 10th Bedroom 1900 W. 10th Bedroom 2 1900 W. 10th Living 2 1900 W. 10th Living Dining 1900 W. 10th Living Space 1900 W. 10th Kitchen 1900 W. 10th Nursery

“The difference between the upstairs and the downstairs is staggering, but it shows the work a good designer can do,” says listing agent Grecia Garza with Rogers Healy and Associates. “The possibilities are endless.”

The current zoning according to Dallas City Hall’s almost indecipherable zoning maps is R-7.5 (A), which translates to one single-family home per 7,500-square-foot lot. If you wanted to add a commercial component to the building, you’d have to go through re-zoning it.

“Another church was recently converted on Windomere, and re-zoned as multi-use,” Garza said. “We have no doubt this church can also be rezoned.”

In fact, the church building at 410 S. Windomere is inside the Winnetka Heights Historic District, which is governed by very strict zoning covenants. It might actually be easier to re-zone this church annex building at 1900 W. 10th St., but you have to have the intestinal fortitude to deal with City Hall. Godspeed, and all that.

Amonett notes that, because there is no parking on the site, though Torres has permits for a driveway, it cannot be anything other than residential. So you have to pour a driveway and some additional parking, first.

Garza has this property on the market for $799,000, and considering the openness and versatility of the space, it’s a pretty great deal. We hope that the property attracts a buyer that will build on Torres’ momentum and creates interiors just as stunning. Of course, they could always purchase and then hire Torres to finish out the second floor.

And if I had that scratch, that’s exactly what I’d do.

1900 W. 10th Back


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Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

Reader Interactions


    • mmJoanna England says

      Hi Rob. Actually, Oak Cliff is divided into a few areas, with North Oak Cliff being one of them. South Oak Cliff is another.

  1. mike miller says

    One small [very late] correction to your interesting article. This building was not built in 1975. I’m not sure the date of original construction. But being from a family with a long history at Calvary Baptist, I know it was decades before that. My parents were married in this ‘annex’ building (circa ’52-’53), I have several pictures of us as children in that building (circa ’62-’63), and my family threw my wife’s bridal shower there in 1987. Glad to see it get some new life.

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