Greenland Hills – Where the M Streets Live

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5510 Merrimac Avenue Circa 1926

Greenland Hills is one historic Dallas neighborhood that seemingly has it all. Besides the popular M Streets and stunning collection of Tudors, it’s alive with an eclectic – and electric – vibe all its own. That feel is perhaps what defines the neighborhood most.

The Neighborhood Evolution

From the beginning, Greenland Hills danced to its own drummer. According to the Greenland Hills Neighborhood Association , the adjacent Vickery Place and Belmont neighborhoods built in phases, beginning with larger homes and graduating to smaller houses. In contrast, the entire Greenland Hills neighborhood was built simultaneously.

In 1923, brothers Fletcher and Frank McNeny purchased 98 acres of Bennett farmland, which they platted and subdivided for the Greenland Hills development. After installing the infrastructure for streets and sewer lines, the brothers sold land parcels to several builders.

Though most houses included alcoves, hardwood flooring, fireplace mantels, ceramic tile work, and either leaded or stained glass windows, each home had a distinctive architectural façade. Despite defying the cookie-cutter look, one common design thread did run throughout the neighborhood.

5511 Mercedes Avenue
Circa 1927

Veterans returning from World War I created a demand for English and European styles they had seen abroad. Consequently, that demand is reflected in the neighborhoods tapestry of Tudor-style English cottages characterized by mini castle features, including high-gabled roofs, carved columns, intricate stonework, large masonry chimneys, and leaded glass windows. Unlike today’s changing design trends, the historical revival styles became timeless.

Timing is Everything

Greenland Hills was the right development at the right time.

A large portion of the neighborhood’s original homeowners was young professionals who couldn’t afford to buy in the more opulent nearby neighborhoods. That proved to be an advantage for them and Greenland Hills alike when The Great Depression hit.

5439 Morningside Avenue
Circa 1927

In Munger Place, some once-successful businessmen padlocked their mansions and walked away while others chopped-up their fine homes into boarding houses. As a result, that neighborhood went into an even greater depression that took decades from which to recover. On the other hand, Greenland Hills continued to sell houses and survived with little or no economic carnage.

Since the development of Greenland Hills coincided with the expansion of automobile ownership, its oversized lots, which are 50-to-60-feet wide, were meant to accommodate a detached garage. While automobiles were considered a fire hazard then, garages were always built as far from the house as possible.

Living in Greenland Hills and the M Streets Today

Greenland Hills not only offers some of the most well-preserved historic homes in Dallas, but its lifestyle is also equally hard to beat.

5627 Mercedes Avenue
Circa 1930

Located five miles from downtown Dallas and bordered by North Central Expressway, McCommas Boulevard, Greenville Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue – the neighborhood is steps from trendy restaurants, bars, shops, and social events and a short drive from everything the city has to offer.

The Greenland Hills Neighborhood Association actively brings neighbors together at year-round events ranging from plants swaps, chili cook-offs, and National Night Out gatherings to Easter Egg hunts, a Halloween Parade, and Fall Festival.

Deb R. Brimer

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