Fox & JacobsWe’ve written about Forest Highlands before — the small clutch of Fox & Jacobs homes bordered by Forest Lane, Marsh Lane, and Webb Chapel Road, where some of the more affordable (for the square footage) homes in North Dallas exist.

The neighborhood full of Midcentury Ranches has been home to Dallas families since the late 1950s. Built by brothers Ike and Joe Jacobs and David G. Fox of Fox & Jacobs, the L-shaped Accent and Flair homes of the 1960s are present in several neighborhoods in North Dallas, especially along Marsh Lane.

These homes came in several variations of the same floorplan — some are around 1,500 square feet, some are closer to 1,900. Some had the option of a formal dining room or a fourth bedroom (which means your formal living room has a walk-in closet).  (more…)

“In order to be successful, one must project an image of success at all times.”

That’s a piece of wisdom from Peter Gallagher playing Buddy Kane, the trite mantra-spouting real estate king in the 1999 film American Beauty. Of course it’s utter B.S. because Buddy, well, he was B.S..

But there’s a Realtor out there right now, down on her hands and knees, scrubbing dingy bathroom carpet in a late ’70s Fox & Jacobs tract home, saying (or pleading) to herself “I will sell this house.” And like Annette Bening playing Carolyn Burnham in American Beauty did, she’ll hear advice like Buddy’s and believe he’s the smartest man that ever lived. And that’s why self-help is a $11 billion business.


Custom Landscaping Is Just the Beginning at this Kiestwood Estates Renovation |

One of the largest concentrations of intact midcentury houses in Dallas can be found in an Oak Cliff neighborhood many people have never heard of, Kiestwood Estates. 

Our Thursday Three Hundred at 2529 Woodmere Dr. is a 1955 ranch-style midcentury in this wonderful part of the city, set among rolling hills and wooded lots. Custom landscaping and an amazing drive-up is just the beginning in this home, which has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas, two dining areas, and 1,860 square feet on one story. There is an open house this Sunday, Feb. 18, from 2-4 p.m. Would you like a sneak peek?


3446 Saint Cloud a

Northwest Dallas is one of the hottest areas in Dallas when it comes to home renovations and flips. These residential properties, largely built in the 1950s and 60s, offer nice-sized footprints for stylish, refreshed digs, and lots of folks are taking advantage with engaging results.

Our Thursday Three Hundred, located at 3446 Saint Cloud Cir. near Forest and Marsh lanes, offers a beautiful combination of up-to-date character and old-fashioned charm. Sitting on over a third of an acre on a cul-de-sac, this 1959 ranch has four bedrooms, two full bathrooms, one half bathroom, and 2,491 square feet on one story.

It has been tastefully—and thoroughly—renovated, resulting in a cohesive, curated look. The rooms flow easily from one space to the next, and the clean lines and natural light make the home feel spacious.

There’s an open house this Sunday from 1-3 p.m. Let’s take a peek before then.



Casa Verde

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.



Travis Plano JD Miles

Photo credit of JD Miles, CBS 11 News

Can you remember the names of the kids who lived next door when you were growing up? I recall Margaret Ann Smith Something or other… and Mrs. Looce, the nice lady on the corner who made the most creative Easter eggs ever. Shirly Jackson was across the street. But that’s about it for the memories from our little street in Westchester, Ill. So I was very impressed when Channel 11 reporter J.D. Miles recalled that he had grown up next door to Nicki or Nadir Soofi on Travis Drive in Plan. Soofi was one of the two young men killed Sunday while attempting to carry out a mass shooting at a Garland art contest that was also pretty obviously mean-spirited.

In fact, Sunday’s “Art Fair” it reminded me of the time the Nazis decided to plan a march in suburban Skokie, Illinois, a leafy Chicago suburb that was predominately Jewish and like ground zero for Holocaust survivors. (more…)

park forestOne of the great things about a neighborhood school is the fact that the neighborhood it is in is often very much a part of the fabric of the school, and vice versa. That is definitely the case with our School + House entry for this week, Dallas ISD’s DeGolyer Elementary, which sits just about in the middle of the tight-knit neighborhood of Park Forest.

DeGoyler is a school that is walkable from just about any of the 200 homes in Park Forest, and because of that, the neighborhood is fiercely loyal to the school. And parental engagement is robust — whether it’s Dad’s Club or the PTA.

The school is no slouch academically, either, earning a firm B from the Texas Education Agency’s A-F ratings, meeting state standard with two distinctions.

And Park Forest — a neighborhood tucked between Forest Lane, Northaven Road, Marsh Lane, and Cromwell Drive — is a darling spot to raise a family, too. From the community pool (memberships available) to the robust crime watch to the wide variety of price points, there really is so much to recommend the neighborhood full of Midcentury Fox and Jacobs homes.  (more…)


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