2707 State Street, home of Patricia and Curtis Meadows

I’m about to give you the dirt on this State Thomas treasure. You’ll be waiting to hear how it was built around the turn of the century, updated in the mid fifties and then eighties, right? The State Thomas neighborhood contains the largest collection of Victorian-era homes remaining in Dallas. Known as Freedman’s Town, it was created immediately after Emancipation (as in the Civil War) as a separate settlement adjacent to the town of Dallas — adjacent, but not in it. By the close of Reconstruction in 1874, Freedman’s Town was incorporated into Dallas, bustling with about 500 citizens.

The area is rich with history in a town where you really have to turn up stones to find it. In 1986, State Thomas was established as a Special Purpose District, making it an urban peripheral of downtown Dallas. It was christened Uptown. The area would soon become one of the most bustling urban success stories in the country, loaded with downsizing baby boomers and energetic millennials coming in as fast as they could.

In 1986, not one of their peers was nearby. In fact, they were still opening garage doors in the Park Cities, Preston Hollow and North Dallas. But State Thomas was exactly where Curtis and Patricia Meadows wanted to settle for their retirement. (more…)

Evan Beattie

Beattie’s most notable current project is the M-Line Tower mixed-use development at 3230 McKinney Avenue. Construction is slated to begin this summer on a design that includes two restaurant tenants of 12,000 square feet facing McKinney, and a residential entry lobby, McKinney Avenue Transit Authority trolley storage, a museum, and office space on Bowen. All photos: Good Fulton + Farrell

Today, we bring you the inaugural column in a new ongoing series, Interview with an Architect. The goal is to speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals.

Evan Beattie

Evan Beattie

Evan BeattieAIA, LEED AP, is a Principal with Good Fulton & Farrell, Inc., an award-winning multi-disciplinary design firm based in Dallas. He’s been with them for 10 years, and was named one of Dallas Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 in 2013, as well as one of the “Top 20 Under 40 in Architecture, Engineering and Construction” by ENR Texas & Louisiana in 2011.

He earned his Bachelor’s of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and moved to Dallas in 2003. He currently lives in the Henderson Avenue area, where he organized fellow residents into the Henderson Neighborhood Association in 2009 to help them have a voice in the development of that fast-growing area. Beattie and his wife will move this summer to a new house he designed in the Urban Reserve neighborhood of sustainable modern homes just a few exits north on Central Expressway.

His work with Good Fulton & Farrell has included the Alta Henderson Apartments in Dallas; master planning for The Canyon in Oak Cliff in Dallas; and Fiori on Vitruvian Park in Addison. He is currently working on three projects adjacent to the Henderson Avenue area, two of which will be mixed-use developments in that neighborhood.

“It has been amazing to watch the pace of change in the urban core of our city these last 12 years, and the momentum just keeps growing for additional investment in urban revitalization and the creation of great public spaces and parks that make our city more livable,” Beattie said. Jump to read our interview!

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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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3110 Thomas 119 Living

Walkable. Urban. Accessible. Mass Transit.

Did I miss any buzzwords that might have tipped you off that today’s Thursday Three Hundred is right in the middle of a very shoe-leather-friendly area?

When I think “walkable” and “Dallas,” I automatically think of the State Thomas area. It’s a fantastic neighborhood just south of Uptown that is super close to the Arts District and on the cusp of everything you want in an inner city setting. Wide sidewalks, patios, mass transit, shopping and dining — State Thomas is perfect.

Of course, this neighborhood has a reputation for being stuffed to the gills with historic buildings, but let me tell you, there are some fantastic modern properties to be seen, and this loft is one of them.

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IHOTW 2411-Hall-Street-view

The State Thomas Home Tour was just last weekend, so we are bringing you a brand new listing (just hit MLS) in the State Thomas District at 2411 Hall Street, No. 1. This is an end unit three story that proves how affordable great brownstone living is in Uptown, especially in the State Thomas ‘hood which is so rich with history.

The way back machine: In 1868, James and Elizabeth Routh Thomas bought 40 acres in State Thomas. Of course, it wasn’t called State Thomas just yet, it was farm and prairie. The hopping part of town we call Uptown was known as The Vineyard, called such because there were actual vineyards and fruit trees raised and cultivated on the land between Cedar Springs and McKinney. The Vineyard was west of McKinney Ave. East of McKinney was the Thomas Colby District until 1976, when it was just shortened to State Thomas. Did the “Thomas” part of the name come from Elizabeth? Or was it from Dallas businessman Thomas Lardner who, in the mid-1980s, cleared more than 30 acres along Thomas, State, Allen and Hall streets with the investor Lehndorff Group.

Lardner was actually one of the first developers to call the area Uptown, and he planned for a high-rise district. But then came the 1980s, real estate crashed, and the neighborhood grew organically into a community of low- and midrise residential buildings. The McKinney Avenue Trolley stopped running in 1956, to start back up in 1989.

Today, Uptown is one of the most walkable communities in Dallas. Weekends and even on many Weekday evenings, hundreds of people walk the well-lit, tree-lined sidewalks from restaurant to restaurant, from home to the gym, from work and home to shops and public transit via the McKinney Avenue Trolley. That and the nearby Katy Trail could be why so many young professionals want to live here.

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State Thomas Architectural Home Tour

Thanks to the incredible generosity of Preservation Dallas, we have TWO PAIRS of Patron-level tickets to give away to their amazing Spring Architectural Tour of the State Thomas District. This tour is almost certain to knock your socks off, with candy-colored Victorian homes, Edwardian cottages, and beautiful Italianate manses that are painstakingly preserved.

Jump to find out how you can win!

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