Saturday, May 7, 2011

Swiss Avenue

Every Mother's Day weekend, the Swiss Avenue Historic District of Dallas hosts a home tour.  This year is the its 38th, and the first time I've visited.  The entire area is a step back in time.  You can imagine what it was like to sit on a front porch, sipping iced tea or lemonade, while idly fanning oneself.  Swiss Avenue was actually the first paved street in Dallas!  Part of the first deed-restricted neighborhood in Texas, the homes on Swiss Avenue stand as the finest examples in the Southwest of an early 20th century neighborhood.

The original deed restriction stated that Swiss Avenue homes had to be at least two stories tall, and constructed or brick or masonry.  Each home had to cost at least $10,000 (a fortune back then!), and no homes could be sold on spec...they had to be built and occupied by the intended residents.

A trolly line was built to provide homeowners with a quick way to the downtown Dallas business and shopping areas.  The first Neiman-Marcus store was built downtown; I envision women riding the trolley back to their homes, with Neiman-Marcus shopping bags draped over their arms. Originally, a railroad spur was laid in the alleyway between Swiss and Gaston, giving the rich residents who owned private rail cars the option to board at the rear of their homes, and then go anywhere the rails could take them.  Such a different way of life back then! 

 The magnolia trees had large blossoms in bloom.

 This little powder room was done in black and white, with a mirrored ceiling and Clark Gable photographs on the window panes!
 The potting shed of this home is probably larger than many New York City apartments.

As the day got hotter, my friend Jeanie and I wandered back to her vehicle and headed west. In only seconds, the skyscrapers of downtown Dallas appeared on the horizon...I blinked, and Swiss Avenue was gone.


  1. Diana The GayleMay 7, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    Loved the tour. Have a Happy Mothers Day.

  2. You are amazing, in all you do, and photography is no exception! Wonderful pictures!