The Bishop Arts District has a long and colorful history, some of which is still reflected in murals throughout the area. (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

What a difference a century makes. Generations of real estate developers have banked on converting North Oak Cliff’s stunning countryside into the most affluent residential area of Dallas. After all, nothing said success more than a sweeping three-story Queen Anne mansion on a hill surrounded by limestone cliffs, natural springs, and lush native greenery.

In 1887, partners Thomas Marsalis and John Armstrong purchased 2,000 acres that were platted Dallas Land and Loan Additions #1, #2, and #3. Located on the western bank of the Trinity River, Marsalis and Armstrong planned the addition as the residential neighborhood for the incorporated city of Oak Cliff. Due to brisk land sales and hundreds of new Victorian homes, the population skyrocketed to 2,500 residents by 1890.

426 Melba Street is a listing from Dave Perry-Miller InTown.

(more…)

Photo: Carolyn Brown

By Donovan Westover
Special Contributor

When I began working with Dilbeck connoisseurs Willis Winters and Jann Patterson Mackey on house selection for Preservation Dallas’ October 27th Fall Architectural Tour – Charles Dilbeck In Dallas, they stressed the need for us to feature a Cochran Heights home.  The neighborhood recently received a Texas Historical Commission marker recognizing it as a significant part of Texas history, based upon the numerous Dilbeck designed houses in the neighborhood.

 

Photo: Carolyn Brown

The entire neighborhood is fun and peculiar to immerse in, and the house we focused on is a super intact library of Dilbeck’s quirk.  So much so that the house still has the 1936 kitchen and bathroom!  While it may be the tour’s most modest Dilbeck house, it delivers a powerful punch.  The current stewards have taken incredible care of this little gem as only the third owners, and I can hear the cameras clicking away to capture all the surprising details.

(more…)

725 Lowell Street Dallas, TX is currently listed by Brent Germany with Keller Williams Realty Plano for $549,000. Open House, Saturday, September 1st from 1-4pm.

Is there anything more charming than a home straight out of time but with all the modern luxuries we love? This gorgeous four-bedroom, three-full-bathroom Craftsman is located in the coveted Junius Heights historic district, with prime placement near the heart of Dallas.

For those of you who need a refresher on Junius Heights, the neighborhood was developed by C. H. Munger and is described as “the greatest lot sale in the history of Dallas” with 200 lots reportedly sold between 12:01 a.m. and 12:45 a.m. on September 3, 1906.

According to the Junius Heights Historic District, “Advertisements of the day promised that Junius Heights would become the choicest residential section of Dallas. The neighborhood was well known by its large columns on Abrams and was served by the Junius Heights streetcar line until streetcar service was discontinued.”

Today it is home to the largest collection of Arts and Crafts/Craftsman homes in the southwest, and our Friday Five Hundred is one of its gems! Maintaining all its glorious 1915 architecture, but with top-to-bottom upgraded interiors, 725 Lowell Street is a rare find and could be yours for just $549,000. Let’s take a closer look shall we?

(more…)

Photo by Simon Luna photography

Corsicana invites you into their booming downtown and onto the porches of their historic Carriage District this weekend with their Inaugural Porchfest and Crafternoon. You may have heard of the Porchfest craze sweeping the nation musicians playing on grand porches of neighborhood homes for a family-friendly afternoon of socializing and entertainment. (more…)

Source: Google Map

Eagle Ford Elementary School.  Source: Google Maps

On Monday, preservationists launched the process of designating the Eagle Ford School building as a historic landmark. If you’ve driven down Chalk Hill Road just south of Interstate 30, you may have wondered about the rather small, oddly out-of-place concrete building, brightly colored with lavish details at the entry. Above the front entrance is inscribed “Eagle Ford District 49.”

The almost-forgotten Gothic revival building at 1601 Chalk Hill Road was at risk of being demolished. The road was recently closed due to construction, but neighborhood historic groups had been talking to the owner for years about plans for the building.

From 1916 through 1963, the school served the many immigrant families living in Cement City, Arcadia Park, and other nearby neighborhoods.

Bonnie Parker, of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde, is the most well-known attendant of the Eagle Ford elementary school — her report card was found in its basement.

(more…)

The “Graffiti House” at 1007 Fort Worth Ave. won a Preservation Achievement Award last year. Photos: Alicia Quintans

Before-and-after photos of the “Graffiti House” at 1007 Fort Worth Ave., which won a Preservation Achievement Award last year. Photos: Alicia Quintans

When you drive or walk down Swiss Avenue in Dallas, it’s hard to believe that this area full of stately, handsome homes was dilapidated just 40 years ago. Cars were jacked up on properties and screens hung off windows, with the many mansions in total disrepair or abandoned.

This was just before the creation of the Swiss Avenue Historic District in 1973. It was the first of its kind and a trailblazing event that paved the way for future preservation projects around Dallas.

(more…)

One of the architectural gems in Dallas is Fair Park, a 277-acre recreational and educational complex southeast of downtown Dallas. It is home to many George Dahl-designed Art Deco buildings constructed for the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936, and is registered as a Dallas Landmark and National Historic Landmark.

Mark Lamster

Mark Lamster

But this park, home to the Texas State Fair each fall, is underperforming the rest of the year.

The next Dallas Architecture Forum event will address “Making Fair Park Work,” a panel discussion moderated by Dallas Morning News architecture critic Mark Lamster, who is also a professor in the College of Architecture Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA) at the University of Texas at Arlington.

The main question will be, “how can Dallas transform Fair Park into a year-round destination and economic engine for its South Dallas area?” The city is now faced with several options for its redevelopment, and must choose the best path forward.

“The Dallas Architecture Forum is pleased to present this next panel in its 2015-16 series of thought-provoking panel discussions on topics impacting the citizens of Dallas both locally and globally,” said forum executive director Nate Eudaly. “Moderator Mark Lamster will be joined by a panel of well-respected community leaders to discuss this extremely important topic. The result will be engaging and thought-provoking discussions for our attendees.”

(more…)

4109 Live Oak

The stately home at 4901 Live Oak was torn down by investors last year. Noted preservationist Virginia McAlester has put together a fund that will keep properties like this one from being razed.

Back in the 1970s, Munger Heights was a seedy neighborhood full of rent-by-the-room boarding houses and dilapidated old homes desperate to be shored up should they catch a stiff breeze. Homeowners and activists saw the area for what it was — full of potential — and created a revolving fund to buy the homes at risk of being lost to a wrecking ball so they could be restored to their historic beauty.

After watching perfectly useful historic homes and buildings being torn down one after the other, Virginia McAlester, Jim Rogers, Lisa Marie Gala, and Neil Emmons said that enough was enough. Together they founded the Dallas Endowment for Endangered Properties (DEEP) fund.

(more…)