04/19/19 9:55am

Every stylish lady needs a refreshing makeover from time to time. Grand historic homes are no exception. When the Swiss Avenue Historic District kicks off its weekend-long 46th Annual Mother’s Day Home Tour, 5007 Swiss Avenue will be unveiling an elegant new look.

Since sharing the vision for historic home preservation is part of the Swiss Avenue Historic District’s mission, it featured the home in last year’s tour to showcase planning and craftsmanship in-progress. This year, tour-goers will get an up-close-and-personal look at the exquisite results.

The sprawling Italianate-style home was built at the top of Swiss Avenue in 1921 for Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Porter Mason. Mr. Mason owned Mason Engineering Company, and his wife was a Dallas arts benefactress who sponsored tours for famous musicians like Ignacio Paderewski, Jascha Heifetz, Van Clyburn, and Sergei Rachmananoff. Legend has it that Rachmananoff once performed in the home’s music room.

In 1983, another set of owners had the house physical moved from the original site at the corner of Swiss Avenue and Oram to its present address. Since 2011, homeowners Brian Shultz and his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Odstrcil, have been making their own history in the home.

The couple initially married while on vacation in Istanbul – one of their favorite places in the world. They later hosted an alfresco Turkish-themed wedding at the house for a few hundred family members, friends, and new Swiss Avenue neighbors.

“Since our families did not join us in Turkey, we surprised them by getting legally married here with a dear friend of mine [who’s a] minister officiating,” Shultz said. “Our families were thrilled, [and] It was an awesome event.”

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04/17/19 9:30am

 

7110 Cliffdale Avenue

If you aren’t familiar with the El Tivoli Place neighborhood, you’re not alone. Touted as a hidden North Oak Cliff treasure, the neighborhood epitomizes the saying that “big things come in small packages.”

El Tivoli Place is big on beauty, charm, life, and style. Despite its proximity to downtown Dallas, the neighborhood maintains a quiet, serene vibe characterized by rolling hills, creeks, winding streets, and old-growth trees. And the history of El Tivoli Place is every bit as colorful as the tapestry of native spring flowers growing throughout the area.

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04/14/19 9:30am

ConnecticutThe world has changed significantly since contractors put the first board in place on this historic lakefront Connecticut home in 1940. In addition to changing styles, trends, and innovations, the pace of society has accelerated dramatically as well, so the need to retreat from hustle and bustle stress has never been greater.

But this modernized log main house and guest cabin contain everything right outside the door to put you in rest and relaxation mode, including beautiful lake views, a large dock, private beach, two decks, and three-quarters of an acre lot with old growth trees, natural greenery, a lush lawn and plenty of room for entertaining and parking. (more…)

04/12/19 9:55am

The 2019 Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour will offer an inside look at the architecture of the grand estates lining Swiss Avenue. (Courtesy Photos)

The Annual Swiss Avenue Historic District Home Tour – commonly called the Annual Mother’s Day Home Tour – is the matriarch of all home tours in Dallas, and rightly so. Swiss Avenue Historic District (SAHD) was Dallas’ first historic district, and Swiss Avenue was the city’s earliest grand neighborhood.

In addition to its designation as an official Dallas Landmark District, Swiss Avenue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On the regional level, it is the finest example of an early 20th century neighborhood in the Southwest according to the SAHD. The eclectic mix of architectural styles run the gamut from Mediterranean, Spanish, Spanish Revival, Georgian, and Mission to Prairie, Craftsman, Neoclassical, Italian Renaissance, Tudor, and Colonial Revival.


This year’s tour will showcase five of the era’s most popular styles, including a romantic Spanish Revival; an Italianate Mediterranean Villa; a pristine Mission Revival; a Prairie Foursquare with unique Georgian influences; and a Progressive-Style Prairie Foursquare.

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04/10/19 9:25am

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.

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04/07/19 9:30am

BerkeleyIf you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind historic showplace in Berkeley, California, this 1926 treasure is a must-see. From the stunning 3,087-square-feet home to the naturesque 6,970-square-feet lot, every inch of indoor and outdoor living space is designed to dazzle the senses.

Located on a private cul-de-sac at 2772 Hilgard Avenue, the sprawling two-story home – nestled amid lush native greenery and old growth trees – has the secluded feel of an intimate compound although UC Berkeley and the Greek Theatre are just steps away.

Between sweeping interior design, arched doorways, ceramic tilework accents, terra cotta tile flooring, and multiple stucco fireplaces, the three-bedroom – four bath home has the look and feel of a European villa.

The home’s distinct connection to nature and the outdoors is part of its magical appeal. In addition to expansive paned windows and glass walls with loads of natural light, double doors opening to the balcony and earthy courtyard let the alfresco feel in, and views of San Francisco and the bay are breathtaking. (more…)

04/03/19 9:00am

This split-level at 2810 W. 9th Street is inside the Beverly Hills neighborhood of Oak Cliff.

You won’t find Rodeo Drive in Dallas’ Beverly Hills, but you will find a storied, deep-rooted neighborhood built by pure grit and generations of human spirit.

According to Heritage Oak Cliff, though Beverly Hills is now part of historic Oak Cliff, it began in the mid-19th century as a small dairy farming community on part of the McCoombs and McCracken Surveys outside the city of Oak Cliff. But its history stretches across the Trinity River.

In 1855, a group of immigrants from Switzerland, Belgium, and mostly France – called the European and American Society of Colonization to Texas – purchased 640 acres of former Peters Colony land for their Utopian settlement, La Reunion, where they had the freedom to pursue their political beliefs.

Coombs Creek cuts through the center of the Beverly Hills neighborhood of Oak Cliff.

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04/01/19 12:00pm

Jack and Kate LaGere found exactly what they wanted when they least expected it. The couple wasn’t intentionally house hunting when they drove by 3524 Saint Johns Drive and spotted the For Sale sign. But after several subsequent walk-throughs and exploring every nook and cranny, the LaGeres knew the 1928 Tudor was a perfect fit with their family and historic vision.

Since Jack and Kate had three small children, they wanted to live within a safe walking distance to an elementary school and playground. Armstrong Elementary is not only across the street from the historic home, the school is Kate’s old alma mater. The house is likewise located on a large corner lot at St. Johns and Byron, which contained plenty of yard space for the active kids to practice sports and play outdoors.

The LaGeres had envisioned finding a classic home they could redesign while preserving its history. The Tudor had endless possibilities.

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