Articles by

CandysDirt.com Contributor

12/05/19 9:00am

By Hank Tatum 
Special Contributor

The Swiss Avenue Historic District continues to be one of the most popular residential neighborhoods for home buyers in search of homes reflecting Dallas’ rich traditions and colorful past. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the imposing mansions that still stand along the tree-lined boulevard of Swiss Avenue.

And nowhere are the traditions of the neighborhood more meticulously preserved than in the 102-year-old Aldredge House, where the third annual Lantern Walk will give guests a chance to learn about the holiday season on Swiss Avenue in the early 1900s.

Lantern Walk 2018: How decorated tables look back in earlier days.

(more…)

11/08/19 9:00am

By Quin Mathews
Special Contributor

Ever hear of Wandsworth Drive? How did Northaven get that canopy of Live Oaks? Read on…

This story is about tornadoes, but also about trees.  It was near ground zero that I first heard of a “cyclone,” as it was called in the Wizard of Oz, a picture book version that Mrs. Biggerstaff read our class in 1956.  We were the “Gremlins” class at the Mary Boswell School, a preschool and kindergarten in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, just across from the fire station obliterated by the recent tornado and next to Preston Royal Shopping Center.  We know what happened there.

When Mrs. Biggerstaff finished reading us the book, she announced to our delight that the Wizard would be on television that Saturday night.  It was to be its first broadcast ever.  Cyclone, tornado, whatever — it was all very exciting, and on April 2, 1957 my mother called me to our front porch.  There I saw a real one, a long, stringy thing to the south, enormous. No one told me to go inside and take cover.  We watched it and I saw hailstones for the first time. Somewhere in that storm, at least nine people died.

Today parts of North Dallas have been un-landscaped back to the past.  (more…)

11/01/19 9:00am

By James Bell, Esquire
Special Contributor

The recent tornadoes In Dallas caused an unprecedented swath of destruction in the Preston Hollow area. The EF-3 tornado completely demolished some homes and damaged others, as well as several structures. As an attorney who represents folks whose homes and property are devastated by perils such as these windstorms, when I first learn about these catastrophes, my thoughts naturally turn to the legal rights of the affected property owners. I hope their insurance companies will step up and do the right thing for their policyholders who have been faithfully paying their insurance premiums, praying they never need to file a claim, but believing that, if they should, they will be taken care of by their providers.

Sadly, we know that is not always the case. However, there are some things you can and should do when a disaster strikes your property.

I don’t think we can ever remind people enough about some of the essential steps to take for a proper recovery on an insurance claim, particularly a multimillion-dollar home: (more…)

10/09/19 9:45am

Every week, the detail-oriented folks at Green Scene Home Inspections will give CandysDirt.com readers an education in inspection. Want to see what they see? Tune in every Wednesday for “Upon Closer Inspection.”

One of the biggest issues we find in the attic is water getting where it shouldn’t be. In the above photo, you can see that the roof decking in the attic has water stains. The water is getting in through poor flashing around the chimney on the roof.

Flashing is material (usually aluminum or steel) placed around edges and joints to keep water from seeping in. The brick section you see in the photo is where the chimney comes through the attic. Over time, flashing can pull away from the surface and allow water to penetrate. See below for a picture of correct chimney flashing.

Correct chimney flashing

(more…)

09/29/19 9:15am
career

Photo courtesy Dallas ISD

Special Contributor

Four new career institutes in Dallas ISD will provide students with workforce-ready skills that high-wage employers need now and in the future.

Dallas ISD Chief Academic Officer Ivonne Durant and Assistant Superintendent Oswaldo Alvarenga briefed trustees on Sept. 12 about the updated plan to open four career institutes in the four quadrants of the district.

“We understand that while some students will enter college directly after high school graduation, other students will need to join the workforce immediately, and still others may need to work while they attend college or pursue postsecondary education,” Alvarenga said. “This is a career and tech education program that will guide students from concept to hands-on training with instruction by experienced tradesmen with firsthand experience and the contacts to connect students to internships, apprenticeships, and jobs in their industry. (more…)

09/09/19 9:55am

The morning after the Preston Place fire, the extent of the damage was revealed to be catastrophic.

By Kevin McMahon
Guest Contributor

Recently, guest writer Barbara Dewberry expressed her opposition to the City Plan Commission’s proposal for updated zoning for PD-15. I would like the opportunity to offer a counterpoint and speak to the merits of the proposal. But first, I should state something up front some may consider relevant.

I am a former resident of Preston Place.

I lived there about four years. Our unit was the first home purchase my wife and I made, and we undertook a major renovation when we moved in, doing much of the work ourselves on nights and weekends. We aren’t real estate flippers. We had no intention of buying and selling and moving on to the next project. Instead, we put a lot of care and detail into our unit because we planned to call it home for many years. And then one Friday night, we watched with our then-5-year-old son as a fire indifferently consumed all that hard work.

Now two and a half years later, I see another destructive force at work in the neighborhood. It takes the form of hyperbole and fear of change which form the basis of much of the opposition to CPC’s proposal. Ms. Dewberry’s arguments are this hyperbole at work. (more…)

08/14/19 9:00am

By Barbara Dewberry
Guest Contributor
 
Last week in a CandysDirt.com column, Jon Anderson stated in reference to the Jennifer Gates called community meeting on August 7th that I said that, “the neighborhood doesn’t want green space.
 
In fact, I said “We don’t want a public park,” and many people heard this.  The four acres that are proposed to be developed is too small to dedicate land to a public park and also the City has said they will not maintain it.  Thus, to have a park that outsiders will discover and have picnics, kiddie birthdays, and bring dogs and not pick up, will be an invasion into our now quiet neighborhood.  It will be very expensive to maintain.
 
I have always advocated green space around the buildings like that of the Preston Tower and the Athena which allows permeable space, which will be helpful in stopping run-off flooding.  PD-15 is experiencing flooding already and this needs to be addressed before anything is built.  I, with our neighbors, have demanded a 100-foot setback for any buildings facing South toward NW Hwy.  This would allow for more green space, guest parking and save several vintage Live Oak trees.  Our small 4 acres to be developed is not large enough to dedicate 1/3 acre to a park.  Besides, there is a lovely park at Hillcrest and W. NW Hwy.  Also I have always championed green roofs on any buildings that are built in PD- 15. We are demanding for a right in and right out opening to be made in the Pink Wall so that construction vehicles will not be wandering around decimating streets we own and breaking tree limbs.
 
The proposed park is just another device that the developers use to get additional height and density which the neighborhood is against.
 

(more…)

It’s not every day you come across a listing full of personality and impeccable style, which is what makes this residence unforgettable. The University Park home’s stone exterior and idyllic landscaping set a grand tone from the get-go, but you can’t even begin to imagine the fashion-forward spaces that await inside.

 

Bold designer wallpapers, coffered ceilings, and thoughtful paint choices make walking through this elegant abode a design adventure. Your jaw will be permanently on the floor, and if you’re lucky enough to live here, that will be your everyday experience. 

(more…)