Thanks to excellent planning and deed restrictions, Stevens Park has tremendous architectural character.

Stevens Park Estates has it all – old majestic homes, architectural diversity, a premier golf course, and breathtaking scenic views – wrapped in rich North Oak Cliff history and Stevens family lore.

In 1851, Dr. John H. Stevens – one of the first physicians in Dallas – purchased 168 acres on the courtyard steps after the Dallas County Sheriff seized the property from former owner William Myers to satisfy unpaid debts. Nearly 40 years later, Dr. Stevens’ two children, Annie and Walter Stevens, inherited the Myers Survey land, which had become the family farm. In 1926, the siblings began transforming the acreage atop lush green hills into a prestigious development overlooking a golf course and memorial park.

Stevens Park Golf Course, dubbed the Little Augusta of North Texas, is a beautiful spot to waste a day in North Oak Cliff.

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Kessler Park

Photos courtesy East Kessler Park Neighborhood Association

By Deb R. Brimer
Contributing Writer

East Kessler Park is a breathtaking mix of storied historic homes and natural beauty. The neighborhood not only contains the largest collection of eclectic architecture within the city of Dallas, its residential patriarch The Rock Lodge – is among the oldest masonry structures in Dallas County.

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Kidd Springs is a mix of yesterday, today, and Oak Cliff natural resources rolled into one trendy lifestyle package. Likewise, Kidd Springs Park and Recreation Center is not only the current gathering spot for neighbors, but the site is also where the neighborhood began.

According to Heritage Oak Cliff, formerly the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, Kidd Springs Lake is the namesake of Colonel James W. Kidd Sr., who purchased 200 acres of farmland adjoining the natural spring in the 1870s. By the turn of the 20th Century, the site contained an upscale country club where the elite socialized in Oak Cliff.

Kidd Springs Park and Recreation Center continues the social tradition today. In addition to the small lake, the expansive complex includes a swimming pool, tennis courts, and baseball field, as well as Oriental and butterfly gardens.

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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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Italian Renaissance Mansion

When I saw this Kessler Park Italian Renaissance mansion, I did a double take. I was pretty darned sure I’d been in it years ago. Indeed, it was a sought-after photography location when I was a photo stylist. There is a very big reason photographers and filmmakers loved shooting here.

It transports you back to the Roaring ‘20s. If they were to remake The Great Gatsby in Dallas, this would be the perfect location. This house represents the plush, wildly successful years of the 1920s, and not a lot of these homes remain.

Listing agent David Griffin wrote the following about this incredible Kessler Park Italian Renaissance mansion at 1177 Lausanne Avenue.

“Often referred to as ‘The Kessler Mansion,’ this circa 1925 Great Gatsby showplace is one of the signature homes in Kessler Park,” he said.

It’s perhaps not a coincidence that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel about the Roaring ’20s and this Italian Renaissance-inspired home both made their debut the same year. If there were ever a home built in Dallas in the 1920s that exemplifies the prosperity and exuberance of that era, this mansion remains one of the finest examples. On over .8 an acre, the beautifully proportioned façade is framed by two elegantly designed loggias with arched columns. With over 6,450 square feet and extensive grounds, a home like this rarely comes on the market in Dallas.

Italian Renaissance Mansion

Italian Renaissance Mansion

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Windmass Capital’s Vision for Colorado Blvd at Marsalis Ave in North Oak Cliff

After over a year of meeting with neighbors, stakeholders, and City of Dallas staff, the WindMass Capital development team has thrown in the towel just before this Wednesday’s City Council meeting where they would have been on the agenda to move forward on a very complicated deal.

WindMass owns the Founders Square Apartments. Over the decades the building became surrounded on three sides by Oak Cliff‘s Founders Park. Long story short, they hoped to swap their 1.37 acres for the adjacent 1.37 acres on the corner of Colorado Blvd. and Marsalis Ave., build a new mixed-use apartment building with retail on the ground floor, then demolish their old building, give it to the city all cleaned up like park land should be, and give a half million dollars to the city for additional park improvements. Sounds pretty crazy amazing, doesn’t it?

As Willis Winters, Director of the Park Department, said at the last Park Board meeting, the city has tried to purchase this property for years to make Founders Park more contiguous, but hasn’t been able to afford it.  This project would essentially accomplish that goal for the Parks Department.

Even neighbors and stakeholders were in support, a rare feat in itself!

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Organic Modernist

When I spotted this Organic Modernist home at 2215 Kessler Woods Court, I did a little happy dance. It immediately brought to mind Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Fallingwater, and Mountainside House created by architect James Fox. The influences of these midcentury masters are evident in the inspired design of this home.
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ElmwoodWhen Debbie Williams with Dave Perry-Miller-Preston Center told us about this adorable Midcentury Cottage in Elmwood with a fantastic price point, we knew we had to take a look.

For one, in a city where move-in ready inventory in the $200,000 to $350,000 price point can be a bit dear, Elmwood is still a place where you can reliably find a Dallas starter home. And unlike other locations at this price point, Elmwood is near plenty of fantastic amenities, and a fantastic commute for anyone working in the downtown area.

With it’s proximity to Bishop Arts and Trinity Groves, plus a soon-to-be revitalized Wynnewood Village (including a movie theater), Elmwood is a great option for a new homebuyer.

“This charming two-bed, one-bath home is in the heart of desirable Elmwood Addition, an area in the process of a great rebound,” Williams told us. “It’s a great time to get in at the beginning of the curve.” (more…)