Historic Apartment Building
832 Blaylock Drive
Circa 1917

Lake Cliff may have the most colorful history of any neighborhood in Oak Cliff. It was once part of the original township of Oak Cliff that Dallas annexed in 1901, and it has been the gateway to Oak Cliff since the 19th century.

Named after the small freshwater lake created by the exclusive Llewellyn Country Club in 1890, Lake Cliff was part of businessman T.L. Marsalis’ vision to transform Old Oak Cliff into the most affluent suburb of Dallas. In 1889, he built his private grand mansion at Colorado Boulevard and Marsalis Avenue, and a string of affluent buyers began building the following year.

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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

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906 S. Marlborough Ave.
Circa 1924

Sunset Hill Addition may have been the last thing John Merrifield wanted to crop up on his circa 1843 farm. A telling indication was the purchase he made of another 1,000 acres before his death in 1873, which helped prevent encroachment from the new Hord’s Ridge development near the farm’s eastern side.

Nevertheless, progress eventually had its way. Although Merrifield’s son also expanded the farm, his grandchildren divided it, and by the 1890s, new home development was underway. Mirrored by the success of Thomas Marsalis’ Oak Cliff subdivision, affluent buyers started flocking to Sunset Hill to buy lots and build large homes.

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2328 W. Colorado Blvd. Circa 1941

Stevens Park Village may be nestled off-the-beaten-path between Colorado Boulevard and the edge of North Oak Cliff, but the amazing Dallas skyline is in plain sight from hilltops in the hidden neighborhood. That’s one of the many advantages that villagers enjoy.

The location, just a stone’s throw from Interstate 30 and downtown, is another one. Residents have easy access to the central business district, urban sprawl, and all-things Dallas along with the comfort of coming home to a quiet neighborhood with plenty of village feel.

2107 Barberry Drive Circa 1941

Unlike some historic North Oak Cliff neighborhoods that date back to the 19th century, Stevens Park Village is more of a vintage village. While homes on five of its streets were constructed from 1939 to 1941, houses on the remaining three streets are Midcentury architecture straight out of the 1950s.

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1227 Cascade Avenue – Circa 1922

What do pasteurized milk, Tom Cruise, and Dixie Cups have in common? Answer: the Elmwood neighborhood.

Between about 1,373 houses and 4,426 residents, Elmwood is the most populated single-family home neighborhood in Oak Cliff, and it all started with 20 cows.

According to Heritage Oak Cliff, the neighborhood began in 1907 as a 640-acre Tennessee Dairy with less than two dozen cows. Founded by Lindsley Waters, the modern, corporate operation was not only the first dairy in Dallas to deliver pasteurized milk in glass bottles, it won the “most sanitary dairy farm” prize at the 1908 State Fair of Texas.

But in 1919, a fire destroyed the dairy. Rather than lose valuable business while rebuilding, Waters moved the production facility to Deep Ellum, which helped accelerate deliveries. Five years later, real estate developer Frank G. Jester purchased the farmland and had it platted for Elmwood Addition, a quality new home development with a serene, park-like setting.

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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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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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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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