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.”

(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.

(more…)

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!

(more…)