By Nikki Lott
Special Contributor

This year’s Fairmount Historic Home Tour on Mother’s Day features a gorgeous Craftsman-style home at 1831 Fairmount. The owners are Michael Tucker-McDermott and his husband, Stan. We can’t say this Craftsman is unlike any other (but it is), but we can say that the owners most definitely are. In particular, Michael is a researching, history-knowing, antique-loving ball of energy that basically never sleeps. And he’s tons of fun to talk to. We sat down with him for an exclusive sneak peek into how 1831 Fairmount came to be.

Michael and Stan restored this repurposed dining room built-in sideboard with Prairie-style leaded glass. All light fixtures are period restored lighting.

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It’s practically an institution in Dallas, an event that brings together families to enjoy one of the city’s favorite neighborhoods. Of course, I’m talking about the Swiss Avenue Historic District Mother’s Day Home Tour, which is a two-day event on Mother’s Day Weekend (May 7-8) with a jazz brunch, an art fair, a free speaker series at the Aldredge House, and plenty of time to stroll down the picturesque streets of this standard-bearing neighborhood. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the tour. Brunch is $25 per person.

This year’s tour features some phenomenal homes that really speak to the diversity of architecture in the neighborhood. Not only can you enjoy the classic Prairie-style and Arts & Crafts architecture for which the neighborhood is known, but this year’s tour includes stops at a fabulous Dutch colonial revival and a stand-out two-story manor.

While we can easily fall in love with just about every home in the area, we have a soft spot for 4937 Swiss Avenue, which is owned by Lee and Bryan Jones. This home has gone through such a thoughtful and tremendous restoration that you just have to see to believe! We caught up with the homeowners to see how they’re getting ready for this annual spectacle, and what tour goers have to look forward to when scoping their lovely abode!

Stay tuned to the blog next week as we will be giving away tickets to this fabulous event!

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The Mission-style home at 5703 Swiss has been owned by the family of Virginia Savage McAlester for generations.

The 1917 Mission revival-style home at 5703 Swiss has been owned by the family of Virginia Savage McAlester for generations.

It’s a time-honored tradition now in its 42nd year, and it’s one of the best way to ogle at some real, historic, graceful house candy! Truly, the Swiss Avenue Historic District’s Mother’s Day Home Tour is the only opportunity you’ll get all year to witness the grandeur of the oldest historic district in Dallas from the other side of the window panes.

This year’s tour, scheduled for Mother’s Day weekend (that’s this weekend, y’all!) has some amazing homes on the schedule, including the 1908 residence of architect Collett Munger, as well as the Harris-Savage house, the home of historian, preservationist, and author Virginia Savage McAlester, this year’s Honorary Chair. Her book A Field Guide to American Houses: The Definitive Guide to Identifying and Understanding America’s Domestic Architecture, is a hallowed tome here at CandysDirt.com.

The tour includes a total of six historic homes and an English garden at 6005 Swiss, as well as the Von Erich family estate at 4918 Swiss. The Von Erich’s, Dallas’ first family of wrestling, had an interesting and tragic history best recorded by Texas Monthly‘s “Six Brothers” story by John Spong in 2005.

4918 Swiss was once the home of the Von Erich family.

4918 Swiss was once the home of the Von Erich family.

Jump for more photos of the tour homes, and info on how you can win a pair of tickets to the tour!

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Swiss AveEdit

by Cassie Evans – guest blogger and Candy’s daughter.

Instead of a heavy brunch doting on her, Mom (aka Dallas Dirt Queen, Candace Evans) and I spent Mother’s Day afternoon doing what we do best: judging looking at houses! We loved every minute of the Swiss Avenue Historic District’s Mother’s Day Home Tour.

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Good afternoon, faithful readers! Just as we promised yesterday, you can win a pair of tickets to the popular Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour right here on CandysDirt.com!

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It’s a Dallas tradition to honor mom and her commitment to her family and career (and all those dang peanut butter and jelly sandwiches she made and stories she read to you, even when she said she would only read one book and ended up reading five) with a special weekend at the Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour.

This unique event showcases the lovely historic homes for which this neighborhood is known, and offers a fantastic marketplace and lovely tea that mom will appreciate even if it will take years and years to make up for that phase of your teens where you were a moody jerk to her every dang day.

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Deep Throat house

Did Jo and I enjoy our Mother’s Day? You betcha! I got so caught up with brunch and Mimosas I completely forgot to post the Deep Throat house,  where the then-quite-controversial X-rated film took place about a doctor’s home and home medical office (now that’s antiquated!) where he “treated” this woman, played by actress Linda Lovelace, who ah, shall we say, was anatomically challenged. Looks like rooms such as the wine cellar and doctor’s “office” — featured prominently in “Deep Throat” — actually haven’t changed too much despite renovations. It’s in one of my fave sections of Miami, Coconut Grove, and totally mid-century mod. Talk about House Porn!

Babe Danoff

But Mothers Day should be about rainbows and sunshine, right? So go buy mom this  lovely creature down in Kessler at 600 Rainbow Drive. Totally un-Dallas, in fact, you will feel like you are in Napa or the hills above San Francisco. (Or Bel-Air.) This is the estate of a Dr. Yakimo, built in 1941, a sturdy stone structure that sat on 10 acres and had water pumped from the creek to irrigate it from 1941 onward. There were walkways all over the property, and two bridges that led to the house. The acres were subdivided in the 1980’s, leaving the home’s present lot size of approximately .68 of an acre. Babe Danoff lived in this house after the Yakimos, she being one of 13 founding members of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, or L.P.G.A. as we call it. It began as a hardy, poorly paid band of women who traveled the country for the chance to play golf. Remember a League of Their Own? Babe died in McKinney, Tex. last December at the age of 88. The L.P.G.A. was founded by 13 women in 1950, including Danoff, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Patty Berg and Alice Bauer. Danoff may not have been as well known as the others because she cut short her touring in the early 1960s, after her husband’s death left her with children to care for at home, this home.

Also: a street in the re-platted ‘hood is named Yakimo, presumably after the good doctor, who I definitely want to know more about. We are filming this house Wednesday, by the way, for Daybreak. Talk about privacy, from the street you will never know it’s there. Not even kidding: probably 100 trees on this lot!

The home itself is 3228 square feet, consisting of three bedrooms, two and a half baths, a European style kitchen with commercial stove, island, open shelving, slate floors & those coveted must-have stainless steel appliances. The first floor  master suite has a spacious sitting room & spa bath with a sculptural aluminum steeping tub that probably cost more than a car, separate shower & walk-in closet with a built-in dressing table. There is also a 3-car garage & guest quarters. The main living area is 33 feet long and accommodates entertaining like the Meyerson with hardwood flooring, a striking steel finished fireplace surround, museum-finish walls, and excellent art lighting. Picture windows oversee the gorgeous setting. I’m told the light-filled family room was designed for the original owner for dances! Extensive renovations in 2004 under the skilled guidance of that wonderful Loyd Taylor of Loyd-Paxton, implemented by Aztec Construction. The great price will also make mom jubilant! Only $895,000, reduced from $950,000. What a great nest-egg!