From The Archives: Urban Pioneers Restored Winsome Winnetka Heights Home

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One of the bathrooms in 123 S. Winnetka when the Calhouns purchased it in 1978. (Courtesy Photo)

[Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This week, we’re taking time off to focus on our loved ones, so we are sharing some of our favorite stories from this year. Keep an eye out for our top features from the archives as we rest and get ready for a brilliant 2018! Cheers, from Candy and the entire staff at!]

From Joanna England: Just about every home we cover here on has a story, and just like the houses, no two are alike. What I’m particularly drawn to is a story about rebirth — about taking a neglected home and restoring it to the condition it deserves. This particular story was made even more interesting by the anecdotes offered by the Realtor, Diane Sherman, who is an expert in historic homes. She marketed this house, which was listed by the very couple who brought 123 S. Winnetka back to life.

If you read our Thursday Three Hundred yesterday, you know that love stories are our thing. Well, here’s another one, but this time it’s a two-story Foursquare in Winnetka Heights. This home was in desperate need of some love when Jim and Kathy Calhoun purchased 123 S. Winnetka in 1978. “This is a labor-of-love, come-a-long-way, urban-pioneer story,” says listing agent and fellow Winnetka Heights resident Diane Sherman, who has listed this fully restored beauty for $539,500. “The wallpaper was wild!”

I can see what she means. Of course, the transformation will astound you!

123 S. Winnetka had been converted to a duplex when Jim and Kathy Calhoun purchased the 1913-built Foursquare in 1978. (Courtesy Photo)

After a detailed transformation, 123 S. Winnetka is one of the prettiest houses on the block.
“It was originally a single family home, built in 1913, that had been turned into an upper and lower duplex after World War II,” Sherman said. “Jim and Kathy had a ranch-style home near Kimball High School, but wanted the romance and space of an older two-story Foursquare. They restored this one and did their best to do so in a sensitive way so as to preserve the feel of the home.”
They did an outstanding job, we think! We love that the wide wood trim and millwork has remained intact and unpainted throughout the first floor of this four-bedroom, three-bath, 2,704-square-foot Foursquare in one of the hottest neighborhoods in Oak Cliff. This is a sought-after area, thanks to its historic character as a preservation district, its proximity to downtown Dallas and the Bishop Arts District, and its pedestrian-friendly streets.
If it sounds like it’s too good to be true — why would someone put such a stunningly restored home on the market, you wonder? — it’s because they are downsizing. “They are moving to Plano to live with their eldest son so they can age in place in another big two-story with a pool,” Sherman said. Multi-generational living!
And wouldn’t you appreciate some of the really beautiful, personal touches in this house. This is a front-porch neighborhood, where you can meet friends from all walks as they trot by your front door.  “Jim is a musician,” says Sherman. “He says the front porch has been his ‘favorite room in the house,’ where he reads the paper, drinks coffee, plays his guitars, watches the world go by and waves to the neighbors.”
It sounds absolutely perfect, doesn’t it? We think it does, too!
Every room in this home feels so perfectly classic and warm — an excellent combination of historic details and clean lines that pairs well with the Calhoun’s lovely collection of mission and traditional furniture. Me? I’m more likely to spend my time gazing out of the wavy glass above the two window seats in this house. Or, I could relax in the shady, grassy backyard. Or I could take up Jim’s advice and enjoy the front-porch life. There’s no wrong answer!

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.

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