Oak Cliff’s Kiestwood Neighborhood is Pure Midcentury Cool

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3215 South Franklin Street — Circa 1955

If you long for a quiet, idyllic, Leave it to Beaver-style neighborhood, check out Kiestwood in Oak Cliff. Between hilly tree-lined streets, shaded front yards, and Midcentury upper-middle-class homes, you’ll expect to see Wally, the Beaver, and Eddie Haskell stroll down the sidewalk at any minute.

Built from 1950 to 1965 during the post-war building boom in North Texas, the neighborhood’s original subdivisions – Kiestwood Estates and Southwood Estates – were ideal for executives and managers in the nearby defense industry as well as downtown professionals who sought convenient access to the central business district.

3454 South Franklin Street — Circa 1958

Besides production builders like Fox and Jacobs, the traditional and contemporary ranch homes were a broad mix of upscale custom-built structures and Charles Dilbeck-inspired designs. Original home façades were characterized by wrought iron architectural detail and iron-laced porches. Interiors were a blend of formal living areas, dens with knotty pine paneling, fireplaces, and ceramic tile bathrooms, and large open yards were a signature feature.

Kiestwood houses were among the first chic homes in Dallas to offer master bedrooms with walk-in closets and built-ins and vanities in the dressing room.

2536 Whitewood Drive — Circa 1956

Today, more than 400 homes in the Kiestwood historical neighborhood – bordered by Kiest Boulevard, Southwood Drive, Hampton Road, and South Ravinia Street – symbolize Dallas’ largest intact collection of Mid-Century ranch homes. Aside from style and its cool vintage vibe, Kiestwood is known for diversity, neighborhood spirit, and proximity to schools, Kiest Park, Interstate 35, Dallas Executive Airport, and shopping along Jefferson Boulevard, in the Hampton-Illinois area, and at the newly reimagined Wynnewood Village.

2738 Whitewood Drive — Circa 1958

In recent years, D Magazine named Kiestwood one of the hottest neighborhoods in Dallas. The only thing missing here is the Cleavers: Ward reading his newspaper, Wally and Beaver getting into trouble, and June vacuuming while wearing a Sunday dress and ever-present strand of pearls.

Deb R. Brimer

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