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Douglas Newby
Architecturally Significant Homes
Horse & Trolly

Neighborhoods Evolve

During Preservation Month in May, I would like to share two photographs I received from correspondence with Laura Stevens Chadwick 35 years ago about neighborhoods. As a result of my work as a real estate broker and my interest in Dallas neighborhoods and history, I occasionally received little treasures like the original architectural plans for the Bianchi house on Reiger designed by architects Lang & Witchell or in this case the photograph of 3013 Swiss. The picture is of Laura Chadwick’s grandmother’s house on her mother’s side where Laura was born. It is one block down from the Wilson block of Victorian houses assembled and renovated by the Meadows Foundation for nonprofit offices, including the 1902 Preservation Dallas office. By 1905, Prairie influence was transitioning away from Victorian style, and by 1910 all new homes had Prairie elements. While the Meadows Foundation renovated Victorian houses for offices, Munger Place homeowner Jim Aiken moved two Victorian houses to Munger Place and renovated them along with several Prairie style homes in Munger Place that he sold to homeowners. Jim did on Reiger what Don Criswell and his neighbors did on their block. They purchased divided-up rent houses and renovated them so that families would buy them for single family homes. Fred Longmore did the same thing on Tremont and Victor. All these Munger Place homeowner preservation efforts were before Virginia and Lee McAlester and I created the Revolving Fund to do much the same thing but with the profits going to the Historic Preservation League so they could hire their first Executive Director, Susan Mead. Earlier this year, a 1990 Victorian style home on Gilbert in Oak Lawn sold. It was one of the rare Victorian style homes to be built in the last 100 years. Virtually every other 20th century style has been successfully revived. For this reason, architecturally significant homes in these popular styles should be easier to preserve, not harder. In addition, new homes in these classic styles should continue to contribute to the rich architectural landscape. *Neighborhoods Evolve

#WilsonBlock #PreservationDallas #MungerPlace #MeadowsFoundation

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