Kidd Springs is a mix of yesterday, today, and Oak Cliff natural resources rolled into one trendy lifestyle package. Likewise, Kidd Springs Park and Recreation Center is not only the current gathering spot for neighbors, but the site is also where the neighborhood began.
According to Heritage Oak Cliff, formerly the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, Kidd Springs Lake is the namesake of Colonel James W. Kidd Sr., who purchased 200 acres of farmland adjoining the natural spring in the 1870s. By the turn of the 20th Century, the site contained an upscale country club where the elite socialized in Oak Cliff.
Kidd Springs Park and Recreation Center continues the social tradition today. In addition to the small lake, the expansive complex includes a swimming pool, tennis courts, and baseball field, as well as Oriental and butterfly gardens.
After the City of Dallas annexed Oak Cliff in the early 1900s, Leslie A. Stemmons and Thomas S. Miller Jr. began putting the residential building blocks in place in the center of Kidd Springs. They christened their development the Miller Stemmons Addition, which still contains more than 200 homes built as far back as 1910. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Neighborhoods.
In 1905, furniture magnate John F. Zang launched his Crystal Hill development in the eastern quadrant of Kidd Springs. Though he named the addition after the silica sand that was prevalent in the area, the moniker was also a prime fit with the affluent buyers he planned to attract. But soft sales during World War I eventually prompted Zang to subdivide the land and sell to builders of smaller houses.
The post-World War II era ushered in a new set of challenges. By that time, Kidd Springs was an old neighborhood, and veterans moving to the Dallas area flocked to the suburbs to buy new houses. But the neighborhood managed to weather the adversity with most of its housing stock intact.
Today’s young professionals have a totally opposite mindset. They’re attracted to the look and feel of restored historic homes and apartments as well as the neighborhood’s location and style options.
Located in North Oak Cliff, Kidd Springs is across the Trinity River from the Dallas central business district in downtown and just a stone’s throw from restaurants, bars, and shops in the Bishop Arts District.
The architectural diversity of historic homes runs the gamut from large Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Prairie, and Neo-Classical to one-story late Victorian, Tudor, Bungalow, and shingle residences. And then there’s a world of leisure and social opportunities at Kidd Springs Park and Recreation Center.