An “O” House is a home so fabulous you have to drop whatever you are doing or holding, including your nail file, to look!
Don’t know if the name Fox & Jacobs rings a bell with y’all, but this team built out a whole lot of Dallas and surrounding suburbs from about 1947 to the 1990’s. Two young builders, Ike Jacobs and Dave Fox, sought to “make a killing” building homes and become the General Motors of the housing industry. They certainly put a trademark on the North Texas housing market, and influenced a $2,095,000 home in Devonshire: Casa Verde.
Ike Jacobs was born in Navasota, Texas, in 1919, but grew in South Dallas where his parents owned a dry goods store on Second Avenue, according to a 1978 story in D Magazine. That area is today’s Fair Park, a neighborhood populated by Jewish families at the turn of the century. Ike eventually ended up in Highland Park when his parents opened a second store on Knox Street. Ike Jacobs graduated from Highland Park in 1937, worked his way through A&M by waiting on tables, and later joined the army.
David G. Fox was the father of Dave Fox, Jr., (the “Fox” in Fox & Jacobs) who had been transferred to Dallas in 1937. He liked it so much he stayed here after the war. Ike Jacobs met David G. Fox through friends, and asked him to help back Ike and his brother in home building. At this time, the Veterans Administration was handing out mortgage guarantees for returning veterans, meaning big profits for builders. Fox senior also wanted a job for his son, Dave Fox, Jr., just graduating from SMU after flying B-29’s in the Pacific. With the elder Fox backing him, Ike Jacobs built a few homes in Carrollton. When David G. Fox died, his son, Dave, came back to Dallas to take over the family business.
And that’s how the company was born.
Some of Fox & Jacob’s very first homes were just north of Love Field, off Marsh Lane: two-bedroom, one-bath brick veneer houses with carports that sold for $11,300. The next part of town they developed was off Fisher Road, north of Mockingbird Lane, a series of streets named after race tracks: Pimlico, Santa Anita, Hialeah.
It was 1954. Fox & Jacobs built 40 houses on those streets, Dave Fox moved into one of them, and the duo sold them all without a lick of advertising. Fox & Jacobs came to be known as a solid builder for the bustling middle class. The homes ranged in the — gulp — $12,000 to $50,000 price range. By the time I was looking at Fox & Jacobs homes in Carrollton, Texas, in the early 1980’s, prices had jumped up to $70,000 plus.
5535 Hanover is a far cry from a Fox & Jacobs home.