The 31st Winnetka Heights Holiday Home Tour – December 9, 2017
Residents of the Winnetka Heights Historic District will open their doors to the community as part of the upcoming Winnetka Heights Holiday Home Tour. This year, Winnetka Heights is celebrating its 36th year as a designated historic district and its 31st Holiday Home Tour on Saturday, December 9th, from noon to 6 p.m.
In 1981 the City of Dallas recognized Winnetka Heights as the city’s sixth historic district. The neighborhood was the first such area in Oak Cliff to be designated. Two years later, the National Register of Historic Places also recognized the district, citing its significant contribution to the city’s architecture, community planning and development.
The Winnetka Heights Home Tour is an important event for the entire North Oak Cliff community, as it showcases beautifully how the old and the new cannot only coexist, but can in fact thrive. As our neighborhoods juggle both the growing pains and benefits of development, this tour showcases that it’s the people who live in our historic neighborhoods that truly make them what they are today. We are defined by more than a proximity to the urban center and the amenities that it brings. We choose to be neighbors to one another and to be part of a community that respects the past but looks to the future and works to make it our own.
Advance tickets for the tour are available on this site. Tickets on the day of the tour will be priced slightly higher and may be purchased at Turner House, 401 N. Rosemont Avenue.
All pre-sale tickets will be available at Will Call at Turner House the day of the tour.
Individual and Premier Sponsorships are also now available!
This year’s tour will once again include a silent auction featuring items from local artists, Winnetka Heights neighbors, and businesses. Even if you can’t make it on the tour, stop by Turner House to bid on your favorite items – there’s no entrance fee just to come bid!
After the tour, starting at 7 p.m. at Turner House, Winnetka Heights neighbors are invited to the WHNA Holiday Party which will feature food, drinks, music and more! We’ll keep the silent auction open at the party so neighbors get the last chance to bid on their favorite items.
The party is free but is limited to adults living in the WHNA boundaries.
2017 Home Gallery
Here are the homes showcased for the 2017 Home Tour!
307 S. Rosemont Avenue
The home at 307 South Rosemont Avenue was built in 1922. The design is American Craftsman Bungalow, typical of the popular arts and crafts architecture, having the traditional low-pitched, gabled roof with exposed rafters, its large porch, and square columns supporting the overhangs.
The two bedroom and two bath home features original built-ins on either side of the
fireplace, and partial original cabinets in the kitchen. The water-glass windows have held their place through time to today.
S.A. Beaird is found to be the first owner recorded in 1923, but the home is identified by the residents of Rosemont to be the Lynn’s home. Mr. Claude Lynn, a church of Christ music director and published song writer, spoken of as the most honest man in Dallas, passed away in 1975. Mrs. Lynn continued to call 307 Rosemont home until 2003. The home’s interior was renovated in 2004 with new electrical, HVAC, plumbing, lighting, and some reflooring.
The current owners purchased the home in July 2007, choosing Winnetka Heights because of the originality of the neighborhood and the great mix of houses. They have added their own mix of style with furnishings and antiques belonging to their family and friends.
Projects the current owners have undertaken include: gutting and restoring the detached garage, completely landscaping the backyard, adding a new deck and stone patio, and most recently, the restoration of all rafter tails, porch railings, and painting the exterior and interior.
209 S. Windomere Ave.
This 4 bedroom home built in the 1920s has undergone two major renovations in the the past 12 years. The first renovation was an interior update of the original two bath bungalow. The original floors, windows, and doors were restored during this phase.
In the original footprint of the home, there is a study with the original window, a living room with custom built-ins flanking the fireplace, a small bathroom, a large guest bedroom, and the kitchen. The kitchen was renovated during the second renovation process to include custom cabinets, a walk in pantry, and marble counter tops.
In 2015, the family decided they loved their neighbors too much to move, but needed more space as they were welcoming a 3rd child to their family. They added on a two story addition at the back of the home.
The addition off the back is a sunken slab foundation that ties into the original pier and beam foundation. By sinking the addition lower than the original footprint of the house, they were able to create a second story that follows the original roofline.
The master bedroom was significantly expanded in this second renovation to include a walk-in closet and luxurious master bath. The addition also includes a spacious family room with wet bar and two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.
218 S. Windomere Ave.
This two story home was built previous to 1922. It was at one point home to Madeline Duncan Brown, the infamous mistress of President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The current owners moved from a neighborhood just south of Winnetka Heights in 2017. Their home has been meticulously updated by a local construction company after sitting vacant and neglected for numerous years. The recent renovations include a new foundation, new electric, new plumbing, new roof, and a new garage.
Some of the furniture in the home was built by the owner’s father and painted or stained by the owner’s mother. Keep an eye out for a special piece of art from artist Amado Crotte out of Mexico city. There is also a jimbe drum that was hand-carved in Ghana, Africa, that is very sentimental to the owners.
214 S. Willomet Ave.
The house was built in 1913 by the prominent real estate development firm of Pickney & Chandler and was sold to H.H. Burkes. In 1920, the “6 room bungalow” was advertised for sale in the Dallas Morning News for $2000. Ernst & Ernst accountant William C. Adair and his wife Francis bought the home and owned it until 1970. The house was vacant for some time in the 70’s and went through several owners.
By the time the current owners moved in 2004 most of the original elements of the house were gone, allowing them to update what had been a traditional Arts & Craft bungalow into the contemporary home you see today.
The biggest non-structural projects were the 2010 complete makeover of the large kitchen into stylish entertaining space, the 2016 remodeling of the loft into private office space and the 2017 update to the front living space to include the new fireplace and reception chandelier. The owners were drawn to the home’s large rooms and entertainment space along with the front porch culture of Winnetka Heights (they believe that they use their front porch in the morning and the evening more than anyone else!). The home now displays their collection of contemporary art, mostly created by Dallas and Oak Cliff artists.
417 N. Montclair Ave.
This 1920 craftsman home features 2 bedrooms, 1 offices, 1 garage efficiency apartment, and 3 bathrooms. An extensive renovation by Winnetka Height’s resident Wayne Woods in 2000 added 15 feet to the back of the home. At the same time, A two story garage and apartment was built in the location of the original single car garage.
The flooring in the guest bedroom, hallway, and bathroom is original, and the construction is unique in that the strips of wood are 12 feet long planks. The clawfoot tub in the bath is also original, as is the vanity in the guest bathroom. The vanity is the repurposed original butler’s pantry, which was relocated during renovations. The stairs were also relocated to the opposite direction in order to lessen the steep rise.
The current owners have resided here for over 10 years. They have added their personal touch to the home by replacing most of the lighting with efficient LED source fixtures and decorating with artwork collected locally and on various travels.
200 N. Windomere Ave.
This Sears Kit #162, The Elmwood, was built in 1914. Sears mortgaged the home and shipped it in pieces to be built locally. The home was converted to a duplex and then back to a single family home during its history. When the current owners moved in in fall of 2016, they were fortunate to find the original footprint and many original features were still inside.
The current owners renovations include removing a window on the stair care that was a remnant from when a door for the duplex was installed there to create separate entrances for the home. They also updated the front exterior to include the flower boxes that were originally intended for the Sears Kit. On the inside, the owners created a master closet in a converted sleeping porch, and they created a larger closet in the guest bedroom by closing off the two original small closets in the master bedroom.
The backyard has also seen extensive renovations in 2016 to make a wonderful retreat for the owners. They updated the guest house with heat and air, redesigned the deck, built a pool, and put in a patio.
One very unique aspect of this home is the original basement, a rare feature in this area. While touring the home, look out for an extensive collection of painting, mostly done by the owner’s sister.
Winnetka Heights has over 600 homes within its boundaries, a large percentage which are owner-occupied. Each year selected residents willingly open up their homes to the public, showcasing what a treasure we have in our community.
About Winnetka Heights
Advertised as “Dallas’ Ideal Suburb” by the Russell Realty Company in 1911, Winnetka Heights stands today as Dallas’ best example of preserved, intact tum-of-the-century housing.
Originally included in the Midway Addition to the city of Oak Cliff in 1890, it was replatted as Winnetka Heights in 1908. Four prominent businessmen – L.A. Stemmons, TS. Miller, Jr., J.P. Blake, and R.S. Waldron developed the 50 square-block area as a prestigious suburb. Sales were brisk, with several millionaires building opulent Prairie-style homes in the first wave of construction. All four of the developers built their homes here, but only the J.P. Blake home at 401 North Rosemont (home of the Oak Cliff Society for the Fine Arts), and the TS. Miller home at 101 North Montclair remain today. Wonderful examples of Arts and Crafts/Prairie architecture, they stand as a bye-gone reminder of these first families and their lifestyles. As time went by, lots were subdivided to allow for the construction of bungalows and cottages. Each home, be it two-story Prairie or bungalow, was constructed with the finest materials and craftsmanship throughout. All the houses had distinctive exteriors and rich details inside.
The end of World War II ushered in Winnetka’s decline, as demand for housing forced many of the grand old homes to be cut up into apartments. Urban blight took its toll through the 1960s until young homeowners began buying and restoring these homes. Attracted to the extraordinary old architecture, low prices and in-town convenience, they sought to restore the area while seeking protective zoning as an historic district. The first Oak Cliff neighborhood to be rezoned, the Winnetka Heights Historic District was created by the city of Dallas in 1981. Projects of the Winnetka Heights Neighborhood Association have included park and street beautification, installation of historic street lamps, code enforcement, and Christmas Candlelight home tours.
The association is dedicated to the preservation of this area as an enduring symbol of early 20th century life, while ensuring Winnetka Heights remains the most vibrant historic district in the city.