Every stylish lady needs a refreshing makeover from time to time. Grand historic homes are no exception. When the Swiss Avenue Historic District kicks off its weekend-long 46th Annual Mother’s Day Home Tour, 5007 Swiss Avenue will be unveiling an elegant new look.

Since sharing the vision for historic home preservation is part of the Swiss Avenue Historic District’s mission, it featured the home in last year’s tour to showcase planning and craftsmanship in-progress. This year, tour-goers will get an up-close-and-personal look at the exquisite results.

The sprawling Italianate-style home was built at the top of Swiss Avenue in 1921 for Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Porter Mason. Mr. Mason owned Mason Engineering Company, and his wife was a Dallas arts benefactress who sponsored tours for famous musicians like Ignacio Paderewski, Jascha Heifetz, Van Clyburn, and Sergei Rachmananoff. Legend has it that Rachmananoff once performed in the home’s music room.

In 1983, another set of owners had the house physical moved from the original site at the corner of Swiss Avenue and Oram to its present address. Since 2011, homeowners Brian Shultz and his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Odstrcil, have been making their own history in the home.

The couple initially married while on vacation in Istanbul – one of their favorite places in the world. They later hosted an alfresco Turkish-themed wedding at the house for a few hundred family members, friends, and new Swiss Avenue neighbors.

“Since our families did not join us in Turkey, we surprised them by getting legally married here with a dear friend of mine [who’s a] minister officiating,” Shultz said. “Our families were thrilled, [and] It was an awesome event.”

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By Nikki Lott
Special Contributor

This Mother’s Day, buy flowers, do brunch, and then head to the 37th Annual Fairmount Historic Home Tour. Travel back in time and ooh and aah over all the incredible details like exposed beams, overhanging eaves and romantic wrap around porches.

There once was a time when we went outside, meet our neighbors and … talked. CAN YOU IMAGINE? Back then, you needed neighbors to get all the hot goss and a cup of sugar. Well, maybe that detail hasn’t changed as much, but over the years the architecture and craftsmanship certainly have.

Along the tour, you’ll see delicately restored bungalows, a few new old homes (INTRIGUING) and one home that’s in transition. A chance to see the progress in person? Yes, please.

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The next area of the Old East Dallas neighborhood to be featured in our Neighborhood Spotlight is the ever-popular Munger Place. Comprised of over 250 households and the largest collection of Prairie-style homes in America, Munger Place has a lot to be proud of — past and present. (more…)

 

The English garden at 6005 Swiss is the stuff dreams are made of.

The English garden at 6005 Swiss is the stuff dreams are made of, but it’s not the only stunning home you’ll find in the Swiss Avenue Historic District.

It all began when successful real estate developer Robert S. Munger had a unique and forward-thinking vision. He came up with the idea of planning and building an upscale residential community near downtown Dallas. This first deed-restricted neighborhood in Texas included the exclusive and elegant parade of stately, beautifully grand homes along Swiss Avenue.

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1122 Jackson a

Downtown urban living is affordable and flexible at 1122 Jackson St. Apt. 609 in the Soco Urban Loft Condos. You can own a piece of the Dallas skyline here without feeling cramped. Your wallet won’t either: it’s priced under $200K.

This is a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit with 954 square feet. The owners have built in a Murphy bed in the living area, making the smart choice to have this light-filled room as the main recreation and sleeping area. When it’s up, the room looks and functions like a stylish living space. When it’s down, the room becomes a large bedroom. In the hallway, there’s a loft bed above the walk-in closet, accessible by ladder. Lots of sleeping options.

Prices in Soco generally range from $175 to $220 per square foot, and this one is priced at $209.

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1115 S. Canterbury Court Saturday 700

Who would have thought you could find Cape Cod style in Kessler Park?

Dallas is certainly filled with a wide variety of unique homes, but finding one with that Eastern Seaboard vibe is like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack. So we’re beyond excited that Kay Wood with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International has just listed this two-story cottage at 1115 S. Canterbury Court for the first time in history.

Yes, you read that right.

This home has never been on the open market. “It’s always been sold by word of mouth,” Wood said. The present owners are only the third family to have occupied the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home, listed for $750,000. The thought of owning a home that’s only been in the hands of three families and invokes a distinct feeling of being on the Cape, makes our hearts skip a beat. (more…)

Contemporary Home, 5343 Wenonah Dr., Dallas, Texas

Photos: Sean Gallagher

Greenway Parks is a distinctive Dallas neighborhood, to say the least. It’s included in The National Register of Historic Places, has received The Neighborhood Achievement Award from Preservation Dallas and was chosen as one of Texas’ 25 Best Places by the Texas Society of Architects. That’s some pedigree. It’s also nestled between Bluffview and the Park Cities, minutes from Love Field and the Southwestern Medical District: location, location, location.

It was designed in 1927 by David R. Williams, in the English tradition of having a “common-green,” a green space for use by the neighborhood community. This was a novel concept for Americans in the 1920’s, so you can say Greenway Parks was setting the pace back then and has continued to do so throughout history. Architects of note, like O’Neill Ford and Howard Meyer, have designed significant homes in the neighborhood, it’s zoned as a Conservation District and the HOA ensures not only is your home protected but you will also have a lot of fun if you can find a home for sale. And we did, on one of the largest lots in Greenway Parks.

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The Davis Building, aka Republic National Bank Building, in downtown has Dallas Historic Landmark Designation. 1926 this structure was the tallest in Dallas. In 1945, this structure was the largest office site in Dallas. Photo: Davis Building.

Downtown Dallas’ Davis Building, aka Republic National Bank Building, has Dallas Historic Landmark Designation. In 1926 this structure was the tallest in Dallas. In 1945, it was the largest office site in Dallas. Photo: Davis Building.

Dallas has a rich historic and architectural legacy, shown through buildings like the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff, DeGolyer House and Gardens in East Dallas, and the Eastside Warehouse District and State Thomas neighborhood in Uptown.

But just because a building or neighborhood plays an important part in the story of Dallas doesn’t mean it’s protected from big changes, up to and including demolishment.

Just last September, 1611 Main Street and neighboring buildings were razed as part of the Joule’s expansion plans. It was a beautiful Romanesque Revival built in 1885, one of downtown’s oldest structures. It sat next to the site of another Dallas landmark torn down by the Joule in 2012, the former Praetorian Building.

Lakewood Theater is another example of an unprotected structure—it may be beloved, but nothing stands between it and the wrecking ball besides the assurances of the owner that they won’t demolish as part of renovation plans.

That’s where historic designation comes into play and the efforts of Dallas preservationists to care for the future of the buildings and neighborhoods that have shaped what our city into what it is today.

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