neighborhood

Photo: Swiss Avenue Historic District

Why do you love your neighborhood?

That’s the question my lovely editor Joanna England asked me recently. It got me to thinking about what draws us to our ‘hoods and what keeps us there. It’s an especially important question when you have chosen to live in a conservation or historic district. So, I thought it would be interesting not only to answer Joanna’s question but to reach out to a few of the Realtor resources I continually rely on, that also live in these neighborhoods.

There are some obvious reasons why we choose these areas, of course. Moving into a conservation or historic district means your investment is protected. No one can build a McMansion next door, and no one can paint their house seafoam green (someone tried that in our neighborhood and yes, they had to repaint).

You are also preserving the history of the neighborhood as well as the home. Where else will you find telephone nooks, mail slots, and coal chutes? Homes were built close together, with front porches and front entries. That means you get to know your neighbors. Just look at the Peak’s Addition and their popular Dallas Porch Fest. These folks know how to party, and you bet the neighbor’s all know each other. The result of all this neighborliness is safety. I can tell you none of my neighbor’s leave town without telling about four others, so we can all keep watch on their home.

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By Hank Tatum 
Special Contributor

The Swiss Avenue Historic District continues to be one of the most popular residential neighborhoods for home buyers in search of homes reflecting Dallas’ rich traditions and colorful past. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the imposing mansions that still stand along the tree-lined boulevard of Swiss Avenue.

And nowhere are the traditions of the neighborhood more meticulously preserved than in the 102-year-old Aldredge House, where the third annual Lantern Walk will give guests a chance to learn about the holiday season on Swiss Avenue in the early 1900s.

Lantern Walk 2018: How decorated tables look back in earlier days.

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Twenty windows — that’s how much natural light you can soak in if you end up unable to resist this incredible urban townhome. Apparently, some lucky buyer out there felt the same way and just snatched up this listing repped by Compass agent Mohammed Jaber. It’s not difficult to see why, as this week’s Inwood National Bank Home of the Week has near-universal appeal for pretty much half of homebuyers in Dallas.

“The townhouse appeals to today’s buyer because of its open and ‘loft-like’ floor plan,” Jaber notes about this end-unit townhome — an absolute bargain. “It’s especially attractive to the younger professional buyer who wants to be in a large open space.”

 

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During this year’s Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour, the Aldredge House – the Grand Dame of the Swiss Avenue Historic District – will open its doors at 5500 Swiss Avenue and host a free and open to the public speaker series sponsored by Friends of Aldredge House.

Slated for Saturday, May 11, and Sunday, May 12, scheduled talks will cover a wide range of topics, including antique cars, family heirlooms, historic homes, and preservation, as well as native greenery. 

The speaker series is just one of the activities on offer during the weekend-long Swiss Avenue Historic District Mother’s Day Home Tour. 

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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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The 2019 Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour will offer an inside look at the architecture of the grand estates lining Swiss Avenue. (Courtesy Photos)

The Annual Swiss Avenue Historic District Home Tour – commonly called the Annual Mother’s Day Home Tour – is the matriarch of all home tours in Dallas, and rightly so. Swiss Avenue Historic District (SAHD) was Dallas’ first historic district, and Swiss Avenue was the city’s earliest grand neighborhood.

In addition to its designation as an official Dallas Landmark District, Swiss Avenue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On the regional level, it is the finest example of an early 20th century neighborhood in the Southwest according to the SAHD. The eclectic mix of architectural styles run the gamut from Mediterranean, Spanish, Spanish Revival, Georgian, and Mission to Prairie, Craftsman, Neoclassical, Italian Renaissance, Tudor, and Colonial Revival.


This year’s tour will showcase five of the era’s most popular styles, including a romantic Spanish Revival; an Italianate Mediterranean Villa; a pristine Mission Revival; a Prairie Foursquare with unique Georgian influences; and a Progressive-Style Prairie Foursquare.

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Our Splurge: 5323 Swiss Avenue is listed by Kay Weeks of Ebby Halliday for $3.7 million.

Don’t let Halloween get you spooked! Tour these Swiss Avenue stunners instead. Two properties. One neighborhood. Drastically different price points. If it weren’t for all the Halloween hub-bub, we’d still think they’re a great buy.

Didn’t you hear? They’re located smack dab in a treasured Dallas enclave that’s known for getting its trick-or-treat on! That’s right. Enter the Swiss Avenue Historic District. The neighborhood with the good candy. The houses that spring for the big bars. Whether you’re all chocolaty goodness or pure vanilla smoothie, these two beauties will take a bite out of your Dallas home search and are the creme de la creme in the neighborhood for the price. Don’t believe us? Enter if you dare. Mwahahahahaha…

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This home at 5017 Swiss Avenue is one of eight that will be featured during this years’s Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour.

Mother’s Day weekend once again brings the Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour.  The annual tradition began in 1974, the same year that the neighborhood was named Dallas’ first residential historic area.

“Dallas has so few historic areas. I think there is a uniqueness to this home tour because there’s so much history involved with it,” Swiss Avenue Historic District representative Bob Cox said.

This year’s event will feature five homes on Swiss Avenue as well as three on Bryan Parkway. Multiple architectural styles will be represented including a French Normandy with Tudor influences, a brick mansion indicative of Louis Sullivan’s Chicago styles, and in Italian-style home currently being renovated.

Matt’s Rancho Martinez will cater a Mother’s Day lunch from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday.  The Matt Tolentino Band will perform early 20th century music — the songs that were popular when many of the homes were originally built. There will also be other local performers on Saturday and Sunday as well as horse-drawn carriage rides, a kids’ play area, and more.

“I think one of the neatest things about the tour is that it shows people what urban living can be like,” Cox said. “It allows people to kind of rediscover that it is a very livable and beautiful part of the city.

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