Tenth Street

Tenth Street Historic District (photo courtesy City of Dallas)

One of the only remaining intact Freedman’s Towns in the entire country, the Tenth Street Historic District in Oak Cliff’s importance to the community that still has roots there — as well as to the city — is something historians and preservationists feel they can’t stress enough.

The folk and period homes within the district were built in the late 19th and 20th centuries, with the city of Dallas tabulating 257 homes, four commercial buildings, three institutional buildings, and one cemetery within its boundaries.

“Just as Colonial Williamsburg tells the story of American Independence by immersing the visitor in and interpreting the built heritage of the era, so might a restored Tenth Street Freedman’s Town — on the very doorstep of one of the top public high schools in the nation — bring the story of African American Independence to life,” says the website Tenth Street Life. “Historic Tenth Street may well be the last, best chance in the nation to let the land the freedmen bought and paid for and the homes, businesses, and institutions they built on it with their own hands speak for themselves.”

It is believed that the first residents of the freedman’s town were slaves freed after the Civil War ended, many former slaves of Dallas cotton farmer William Brown Miller. A church was built in 1880, and a school opened six years later. More people arrived when T.L. Marsalis platted the neighborhood four years after that.

Restoring the district is the nation’s (and Dallas’) best and last opportunity to potentially create a history lesson that is immersive and riveting, telling the stories and dreams of the generations of Black families in Dallas as they gained their freedom, even through the dangerous and violent Reconstruction era, and beyond during the Jim Crow era, living to establish businesses that are still here today, acquiring land of their own, and building property ownership and wealth. (more…)

 

Drawing property of UT Alexander Architectural Archives

By Donovan Westover
Special Contributor

The 1935 Walton House has always perched on the center of its vast Bluffview Estates lot, the landscape and grounds cascading down around it with a natural flow. Carol and James Walton selected a huge lot in Bluffview for their impressive 1930s home. At the time, Walton owned and ran City Wrecking and Trading Co., an early Dallas architectural demolition and salvage company.  He later expanded into supplying steel building products. It leads me to wonder if Charles Dilbeck did not use City Wrecking for his rustic architectural elements.  It would make sense.

Photography by Carolyn Brown

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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.

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211 S Windomere Avenue, Dallas, Texas, is currently listed by Diane Sherman and Vinnie Sherman of David Griffin & Company Realtors for $449,500. Open House this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Dallas preservationists take note — an incredible three-bedroom, two-full-bathroom Craftsman circa 1911 was just listed in Winnetka Heights for $449,500! Sited on a rare, interior full lot, with an extra half lot, the home affords an idyllic location on a premier block and is chock full of original architectural details.

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Photograph courtesy of Dallas Fire Department

By Donovan Westover
Special Contributor

My heart sank when I learned my favorite Charles Dilbeck-designed house had burned to the ground.  An exterior appliance started the 2016 blaze, which quickly spread throughout the 9,000-square-foot house replete with acres of 55-year-old wood shingles, wood siding, and wood ornamentation.  I was super sad for the loss to the family, as well as saddened for the loss of such a significant home … albeit not to a bulldozer, this time.

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Become an Authority on Historic Dallas Neighborhoods, Homes with this Class | CandysDirt.com

Dallas doesn’t have a great track record of protecting its historic houses and neighborhoods. Development has often meant demolition and it has been a challenge at times to help people see the value of preserving and protecting older structures and areas around the city.

But the tides seem to be shifting. Realtors are on the front lines and can make a huge impact moving forward. 

That’s where the Historic House Specialist designation comes in. A couple of times a year, Metrotex and Preservation Dallas team up to offer a two-day seminar for MCE credit and a certification for Realtors. The event includes lectures from local experts on architectural history and styles of Dallas, the preservation ordinance, property tax incentives, how to research the history of a building, and more. 

I was lucky enough to sit in on the last one in March and I have to sing its praises. The caliber of presenter was unparalleled —I took 42 pages of notes on everything from preserving historic wood windows and spotting a Dilbeck, to researching the history of a building and learning about early Dallas developers. 

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You know how crazy we are over the Dallas “Round House”, commissioned by Dallas businessman and bon vivant Eddie Parker.

While it has never been officially confirmed, Bruce Goff is credited with designing the house because of its similarities to the other homes he has designed in the U.S. The home is now on the market for $1,725,000, be sure to check out our story on it.

Plus there are so many wonderful eccentricities: 24 karat gold dipped ceramic tiles, Hawaiian mahogany, Frankoma tiled glass walls, onyx terrazzo, intricate mosaics and brass inlaid concrete floors. All these elements plus typical 1960s materials that made that era of architecture so great — natural stone, walnut paneling, glass glass and more glass, and bamboo.

The Dallas Round House is still considered one of the most architecturally significant homes in the city and you do not want to miss it!

Tonight, you can benefit our great friends at Preservation Dallas (for a mere $20) and see this city treasure for yourself! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

7507 Baxtershire Drive, Dallas, TX 75230

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Click here to register and pay: www.eventbrite.com/e/intown-outing-parker-house-tickets-

5314 Mercedes Ave. is currently listed by Scott Jackson of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate for $575,000.

Ladies and gents, I present to you an elegant slice of M Streets Dallas history. If you’ve always dreamed of a life on Dallas’ historic M Streets, now is your chance. Meet 5314 Mercedes Ave. – a stunning 1920s Tudor currently listed for $575,000 by Scott Jackson with Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate. This darling three-bedroom, two-bathroom Tudor offers all the charm and charisma of a bygone era with a number of thoughtful updates for modern-day life.

Nestled on a sizable 7,797-square-foot lot, you’ll enjoy a fenced lawn with spacious back deck and pergola, while a smattering of mature trees add to the charm. But it’s what is on the inside that will blow you away.

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