Stevens Park Estates: A Master-Planned Historic Neighborhood

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Thanks to excellent planning and deed restrictions, Stevens Park has tremendous architectural character.

Stevens Park Estates has it all – old majestic homes, architectural diversity, a premier golf course, and breathtaking scenic views – wrapped in rich North Oak Cliff history and Stevens family lore.

In 1851, Dr. John H. Stevens – one of the first physicians in Dallas – purchased 168 acres on the courtyard steps after the Dallas County Sheriff seized the property from former owner William Myers to satisfy unpaid debts. Nearly 40 years later, Dr. Stevens’ two children, Annie and Walter Stevens, inherited the Myers Survey land, which had become the family farm. In 1926, the siblings began transforming the acreage atop lush green hills into a prestigious development overlooking a golf course and memorial park.

Stevens Park Golf Course, dubbed the Little Augusta of North Texas, is a beautiful spot to waste a day in North Oak Cliff.

Despite the abundance of affluent neighborhoods in North Oak Cliff, Stevens Park Estates didn’t fit the mold of most developments back then. In similar fashion to today’s master-planned communities, deed restrictions required that the neighborhood was plotted into separate districts for two-story, bi-level, and one-story homes. Building materials were likewise mandated. Homes along Colorado Boulevard and Plymouth Road, as well as corner houses on all interior streets, had to be two-story brick or stone. Homebuyers responded to the architectural cohesiveness with a boon in early sales.

The Refund Payment Plan was another successful sales strategy. Designed by Walter Stevens in 1932, the revolutionary plan guaranteed homeowners a refund in house payments if they were ever unable to complete their mortgage obligations. Between the no-risk plan and lower interest rates, all lots in a section of Stevens Park Estates sold-out in one day.

The introduction of air conditioning not only boosted sales even more, it made Stevens Park the premier development to buy a new house in Dallas. Later in 1932, the Pay Boyd Company completed Dallas’ first automatic air-conditioned house at 2029 Mayfield. Builders advertised that “the air is washed and dried and delivered to the consumer in a clean, sweet, health-giving condition, all smoke, dust, and pollen having been removed and the summer temperature kept about 15 degrees below the outside atmosphere.”

Due to the marketing genius of the Stevens siblings, sales remained robust even during The Great Depression.

Located just five minutes southwest of downtown Dallas, Stevens Park Estates is one of the city’s most sought-after historic neighborhoods. Architecture ranges from Tudor and Spanish Eclectic to Colonial Revival and a handful of 1940s ranch styles, and home sizes run the gamut from quaint bungalows to sprawling estates.

Though some homes have been remodeled, others still contain original finishes like stained or leaded glass, period light fixtures, plaster walls, and bright Art Deco baths with pedestal sinks. In 2011, Stevens Park Golf Course underwent a major redo and earned the moniker, Little Augusta of North Texas.

Deb R. Brimer

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