Old East Dallas
The area began as a 40 acre tract east of the city of Dallas. The Beeman family had settled there in the 1860s and in 1872, William H. Gaston began promoting the area for development. Four families settled there at the time, but when the railroads came to Dallas, a number of railroad workers came and built houses between Dallas and East Dallas.
Old East Dallas is a community consisting of several neighborhoods in east Dallas. In 1890, the city was annexed into Dallas, making Dallas the largest city in Texas among other neighborhoods of this district.
The expansion and development of Dallas in the early 1920s allowed neighborhoods such as Lakewood Heights to become successful areas of construction. Lakewood Heights not far from down town Dallas, located in the lushly wooded area of East Dallas, began its development in 1914 and was completed in 1940.
These tree-lined streets with houses that date back over 70 years are now considered an “interesting mix of housing opportunities” with the construction of larger and modern houses. The key to Lakewood is in the name. During the day, the action is on the bike/walk trails circling White Rock Lake, and in the sprawling parks and gardens. Later, people head into town for shopping and dining, maybe capped with an evening venue at the Art Deco-style Lakewood Theater.
Junius Heights was built at what was the eastern edge of the city of Dallas in the late 1910s and construction continued into the 1930s. Most of the houses are Craftsman and Prairie style bungalows with a smattering of other styles. The neighborhood was served by the Junius Heights streetcar line until streetcar service was discontinued in Dallas.
Today, residents of Junius Heights remain ever vigilant in protecting and promoting their neighborhood’s rich heritage and historic resources. An active neighborhood association continues to raise money for various rehabilitation projects throughout the neighborhood and in 2007 the group started an annual historic home tour.
Munger Place Historic District
Munger Place was established in 1905 by cotton gin manufacturer Robert Munger the man also responsible for perfecting Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin, on 300 acres as one of Dallas’s first suburbs, and was originally intended to be one of the most exclusive communities in the city. To attract the “right” social element, Munger Place was carefully planned. Just minutes from downtown Dallas by carriage, Munger Place became the very first deed-restricted neighborhood in Texas. Homes had to be a full two stories, cost at least US$2,000 and no house could face a side street. The infrastructure featured such amenities as sidewalks, paved streets, shade trees, sewers, gas mains, and electric street lights. Many of the Dallas’ leading businessmen and social elite soon called magnificent Munger Place home.
Today, Munger Place Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places and celebrated its centennial in April 2005. Munger Place Historic District is located within the boundaries of the largest collection of Prairie homes in the United States. Munger Place Historic District offers a sense of cohesiveness in a historic Dallas neighborhood.
Peak’s Suburban Addition Historic District
Peak’s Addition is an eclectic collection of late 19th- and early 20th- century houses that reflects the suburban expansion of Dallas from its post railroad boom to its subsequent emergence as the commercial and transportation center of North Texas.
This historic district is unusual in that it developed over a period of years with three distinct architectural styles. Examples of the Victorian and Prairie eras are very abundant. In addition, examples of streetcar apartments from the 1920’s and 30’s are also present. This is Dallas’ fourteenth historic district and was adopted in 1995. This neighborhood has one of the highest concentration of Victorian homes in Dallas.
Swiss Avenue Historic District
After a group of French, Belgain, and Swiss settlers known as the La Reunion Colony failed in their attempt to establish a utopian community just west of the Trinity River in 1855, several of the remaining settlers chose to remain in Dallas and moved east of the Trinity River to get a fresh start. Among the remaining settlers were Swiss businessmen whom settled in 1859 on adjoining properties along White Rock Road, which they renamed Swiss Avenue in deference to their native country.
Today, the Swiss Avenue Historic District includes 200 houses located on portions of Swiss Avenue, Bryan Parkway, Bryan Street, La Vista Avenue, and Live Oak Street. With sweeping lawns, oak-lined streets, historical architecture, and large setbacks, Swiss Avenue Historic District reflects the prestige and graciousness of a by-gone era.
With the introduction of the streetcar in the late 1800s, the city of Dallas began to spread outward. Farms and cotton fields became prime real estate and neighborhoods were quickly developed to serve Dallas’ ever growing population.
One of the earliest such suburbs was called Vickery Place. Vickery Place neighborhood is significant for its cohesive collection of early 20th century houses and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Dallas, filled with Prairie, Craftsman and Tudor bungalows, and old growth pecan trees. The Vickery Place subdivision was created out of the survey of three farms in August, 1911. Only a small number of Dallas neighborhoods possess houses from the early 1900s, and of those, very few retain the high degree of architectural and historic integrity seen in Vickery Place.