Hampton Hills: Oak Cliff’s Ideal Home Place

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Jenni Stolarski with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is marketing this adorable Hampton Hills home at 1426 S. Montreal for $329,000.

Hampton Hills is still living up to its 1924 branding campaign. When developer Alf W. Sanders kicked off his new home building venture 95 years ago, he ran an ad in the Dallas Morning News touting the small neighborhood “Oak Cliff’s Ideal Home Place.” His slogan not only attracted the middle management and tradesmen market that sought easy streetcar access to downtown jobs, but it also set the neighborhood vibe in stone for decades to come.

Besides convenient transportation, Sanders’ selling points ranged from permanently paved streets, water, gas, electricity, and sewer lines to well-drained higher ground, terraced lots, impressive views, and nearby schools.

But Sanders didn’t just talk-the-talk about Hampton Hills. He walked-the-walk by building his own home at 1322 Montreal Avenue and opening a sales office for his Hampton Hills Realty Company in a Tudor-style building on what is now Wilton Street, which remains today.

While Sanders is credited with building many of the neighborhood’s Craftsman and Tudor cottages with detached garages, he is likewise recognized for his creative fusion of brick, stonework, and storybook style. In addition to frame, brick, and stone façades, his interiors were a mix of arched doorways and rich hardwood flooring along with colorful bathrooms and galley kitchens with breakfast areas and built-in cabinetry accented by beveled mirrors and stained glass. But wooden fireplace mantels bordered by built-in bookcases were his signature trademark.

Despite robust sales, home building in Hampton Hills came to a screeching halt during World War II due to the rationing of building materials, but when the war ended, an influx of veterans moving to the Dallas area sparked a building boom. Wiley Roberts – an Oak Cliff Realtor, builder, and executive board chairman of the Dallas Association of Home Builders – opted to pick up the mantle and complete Hampton Hills.

Roberts initially planned on building 25 homes for around $8,000 each. When his son Bill, a Navy veteran, joined him, they upped the total to 40 houses and introduced the latest modern style to the neighborhood, which was a blend of Colonial and Tudor designs. Other than some corner-wrapped windows and the asymmetrical façade with off-centered front entrances, the homes added simple design elements and another architectural dimension to Hampton Hills.

Today, Hampton Hills contains some of the most undisturbed original architecture found in Dallas. But according to Hampton Hills Neighborhood Association, the most important asset is its diverse population of residents who love living near the urban center of Dallas and who always keep the welcome mat out for new neighbors.

Jenni Stolarski with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is marketing this adorable Hampton Hills home at 1426 S. Montreal for $329,000.

Deb R. Brimer

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