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Photos from 2008 WH Holiday Home Tour

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On Saturday December 13th, 2008 we hosted our annual Winnetka Heights Holiday Home Tour. There were numerous events at Turner House in addition to the eight homes featured on the tour.

Photos by Sande C and Russ Aikman

About 380 tour-goers attended the 2008 Annual Winnetka Heights Holiday Home Tour, which was held on Saturday, December 13th. This year’s tour featured eight outstanding houses which ran the gamut from large four-square homes to cute bungalows, all of which were decorated for the holidays. As in years past, Turner House served as headquarters for the tour, and as the staging ground for a variety of live, holiday-themed entertainment including performances by the Kessler Park United Methodist Church Youth Choir and dancers from the SOTE studio. New to the tour for 2008 was a display of vintage Model T Fords. Santa Claus was also a new addition to the tour festivities and was seen handing out candy to kids and tour-goers. Additional activities included a silent auction, wine pull, and post-tour party with catering from Kavala Mediterranean Grill.

This year’s tour raised a little over $11,000 – the most ever for this event. The Home Tour Committee would like to thank our sponsors: Diane Sherman, Gloria’s Restaurant, Methodist Health Systems, Shelter Mortgage, Discount Home Warehouse, Dr. Gary Penn, Grand Bank, INCAP Fund, Quaint Home Gallery, Triple J Construction, Southern Living at Home, Aneita Fern, and Shambhala. We would also like to thank the 23 neighbors who were Centennial Sponsors, a new form of sponsorship that allowed residents of Winnetka Heights to support this event. Although corporate sponsorship was down slightly from 2007, the Centennial Sponsors more than made up for the difference.

The Committee would also like to thank the homeowners for all of their hard work (and money!) in making their homes look fantastic for the tour: Elaine Schindler & James Hoff, Crystal & Buddy Hradecky, Donna Rhoads, Veta Redmond & Peter Murgola, Jeff Hastings, Michele Colbert, Ann & Jeff Fahrenholz, and Richard Davis. For those who have participated in the tour in the past, the experience can be stressful but is ultimately very rewarding. Finally, WHNA would like to thank the 2008 Home Tour Committee: Carol Hagler, Marijane Michael, Sandi Adams, Alexa Taylor, Brandy Halsell, Chris Barker, Jeff Jones, and Russ Aikman.

The money raised through the 2008 Home Tour will go into the WHNA Operations Fund. Although the final decision on how this money is to be used has not been made, there have been some initial discussions within the WHNA Board along the lines of increasing security in the neighborhood. One idea under consideration is an increase in hours of coverage by NOCUPP.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the 2009 Home Tour Planning Committee please contact Russ Aikman (raikman@uta.edu). Similarly, you can contact Russ if you know of a house that would be a good candidate for the 2009 Tour.
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WH President’s Home Tour Message

This year’s Holiday Home Tour culminates our year of celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Winnetka Heights. The fact that we can celebrate 100 years as a neighborhood is in itself quite remarkable. Located in the heart of a city that prides itself on tearing down the old and erecting the new, how refreshing it is to find a neighborhood that prides itself on the exact opposite.

A few years ago a previous resident of the 1940’s-era Winnetka Heights was in town and decided to visit her childhood neighborhood. She drove down Rosemont Avenue expecting to see her house torn down, replaced by a newer, modern home. Imagine her amazement when she found the entire neighborhood pretty much the way it was when she was a child. She stopped at her old house and knocked on the door. My wife answered the door and invited her in. She told stories of her childhood and what it was like living in our neighborhood a couple of generations ago. She talked of the neighbors, playing with friends across the street, and what a great house she grew up in.

Two generations later, we still talk about the same things. We are not just the owners of these homes, we are the caretakers of the neighborhood, hopefully preserving our unique heritage for future generations that will call Winnetka Heights their home, too. I hope you enjoy this year’s Home Tour.

WH Residents Work with Police and Fire Department to Stop Fiery Crime Spree

On Monday, November 7th, Between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m., two separate fires were set in two alleyways between Jefferson and Twelfth St. Two more alley fires were started between 3:30 and 4:00 p.m. On Tuesday morning, two additional fires were started, which confirmed suspicions of arson. WH neighbors contacted the fire and police departments, asking how to help catch the perpetrators and stop the fires.

Arson investigators met with several WH residents Tuesday afternoon with updates on the investigation and offered helpful tips to neighbors if they saw anything suspicious. The fire and police also setup discreet observation points while alerted neighbors also kept watch over varous alleyways.

Residents were advised to be the “eyes and ears” for the the police, but were told not to confront any possible suspects. By Wednesday, November 18th, residents were out in full force. Some sat in parked cars near alleys while others walked their dogs near street corners and alley entrances.

Sixteen total fires were set, causing more than $60,000 in property damages. Four Greiner Middle School students were arrested and confessed to setting all the fires.

Arson investigators stated, “The diligence of the neighborhood probably prevented even more fires.”

The fire and police departments worked nonstop to find the arsonists and put an end to the very dangerous situation. We would like to thank them for their hard work and quick action!

Christmas in Oak Cliff

Sounds like eons ago to describe Christmas in Oak Cliff during the 1950s. Like any kid that time of year was a lot of fun. Jefferson Blvd was definitely the place to shop and see Santa. Wynnewood was growing, but made up of a grocery store, a dime store, and a few specialty stores in the very early stages. If there were malls in Dallas, none were over here; and I’m not so sure there were any to be found in Dallas. Northpark was the first mall in Dallas.

Still a small town atmosphere, our Jefferson Blvd. was much different — a real strip consisting of 20 blocks of retail, specialty stores, grocery stores, theaters, new car lots, banks, and places to eat. Even the library and post office were once on Jefferson. The people of Oak Cliff helped to build it when they patronized it.

Read more

Winnetka Heights – The First 100 Years feature in Advocate Cliff Dweller

If you haven’t checked out the latest Cliff Dweller, Winnetka Heights is the featured article!

Carla Boss and Vicki Fitzgerald contributed all images and info for the story. Awesome job!