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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The L.O. Daniel Mansion is the former homestead of the neighborhood’s namesake. (Photos: Robert Bittle)

By Deb R. Brimer
Special Contributor

The L.O. Daniel neighborhood is every bit as noteworthy as its legendary namesake. Lark Owen Daniel may not be a household name today, but he left his footprint in North Oak Cliff and the downtown Dallas business world.

Daniel moved to the area from Waxahachie in 1890, according to Heritage Oak Cliff, and made his fortune as the founder of Daniel Millinery company downtown. As a business and civic leader, he was also a founder and officer of Mercantile National bank, which subsequently became MBank, Bank One Texas, and JPMorgan Chase Bank through a series of mergers and acquisitions. And he served as president of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Wholesale Merchants Building Company, and Trade League.

In 1901 – the same year the City of Dallas annexed the town of Oak Cliff – Daniel purchased 27 acres of rolling countryside in the future neighborhood that now bears his name. Within the next four years, Daniel reached millionaire status and celebrated his success by building a luxurious 5,000-square-foot Colonial Revival mansion on the property.

The City of Dallas designated the L.O. Daniel homestead a historical landmark in 1984. Located across the street from Sunset High School, the restored wood frame mansion with two stories of wrap-around porches is the centerpiece of the neighborhood.

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Homes in historic Dallas neighborhoods are selling like hotcakes, mostly for the reason they were preserved in the first place: character. These areas fit a human scale that has long since been rendered incompatible with modernity, but still, that comfortable nostalgia makes them all the more desirable. 

And while East Dallas is already phenomenally popular, the Vickery Place area is coveted even more so, thanks to its prime location near Greenville Avenue, it’s fantastic proximity to downtown Dallas, and the walkable nature of this neighborhood, originally platted in 1891. What’s really great is all of the investment happening here now, with families buying up homes and taking the time and care to bring them up to today’s standards. An absolutely stellar example of this is the beautiful one-story Craftsman bungalow at 5417 Willis Ave.

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