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2016 Swiss Avenue Mother's Day Home Tour

43rd Annual Tour
Mother's Day Weekend, May 7 & 8, 2016
Saturday 10AM-6PM, Sunday NOON-6PM, Mother's Day Brunch on Sunday 11AM-2PM

Come join us as we celebrate one of Dallas’ most time-honored Springtime events, The Annual Swiss Avenue Historic District Mother’s Day Home Tour. Happening Mother's Day weekend, Saturday, and Sunday, May 7th and 8th. This weekend-long tribute to Dallas' historic past will feature six of the city's most fabulous Early 20th Century homes -- plus tours of Munger Place Church, an art fair, a vintage auto display, a children’s play area, live entertainment, free horse-drawn carriage rides, complimentary air-conditioned mini-coaches travelling between homes, freshly prepared food, ice-cold beverages, and much more.

Purchase tickets at area retailers starting April 1st, or by using the BuyNow button below. To make your reservations for the Mother's Day Brunch in Savage Park, call 214-564-7348.

2016 Event Coordinator: Meredith Manak

ONLINE TICKET SALES HAVE ENDED – Purchase tickets on site at the tour

About The 2016 Home Tour

The homes on tour this year represent several of the Early 20th Century's most popular architectural styles. There will be not one, but three fantastic iterations of the Classic Prairie Foursquare, a style that is distinctly American in origin, but each with its own individual look and feel, inside and out. There will also be a storybook-style Tudor Revival, a charming Dutch Colonial, and an exquisite Spanish Mission Revival, affectionately known in the neighborhhood as "The Alamo House" (though it actually bears scant resemblance to its namesake). Also on tour this year is Munger Place Church, an excellent example of English Gothic architecture built by noted architect, C.C. Hill. Guests can travel between all tour stops on air-conditioned mini coaches staffed by neighborhood tour guides who’ll share interesting facts, stories and details about The District. Those interested in a more-vintage mode of transportation can amble down the avenue in horse-drawn carriages. Both the mini-coaches and carriages are provided at no charge, with our compliments.

When it’s time for a break, relax and refresh in Savage Park with freshly prepared food and beverages. On the main stage in Savage Park, there will be live entertainment throughout the weekend, performed by area talent. Along the median in front of the park, guests can browse the displays of local artisans who will be showcasing their wares, everything from artwork and custom candles to handmade jewelry, pottery, and handicrafts. And directly across the street, at The Aldredge House, guests are invited to sit in on our interesting and informative Speakers' Series. 


Home Tour Tickets: $20 in advance and $25 the weekend of the event. Children 12 years of age or younger are admitted FREE. Buy your tickets at Whole Foods Market in Lakewood or Talulah & HESS in Lakewood beginning April 1st, or by using the BuyNow button below. Tickets can be purchased through PayPal or charged to your VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover Card. Advance ticket sales end at 6PM on Friday, May 6th. During the weekend of the Home Tour, tickets can be purchased at Savage Park or at any of the tour homes. Both cash and credit-card purchases are accepted at each of the tour homes as well as at the ticket table at Savage Park. For terms and conditions, see below*.

Savage Park is at the midpoint on Swiss Avenue at the intersections of Swiss, Parkmount and Bryan. The ticket table is under the white tent at the front of the park. 

Online Sales Have Ended

During the weekend of the tour, purchase your tickets at any of the tour homes or at the Ticket Table under the white tents in Savage Park

Mother’s Day Brunch 

A Mother's Day Brunch in Savage Park will be presented by Amazing Caterers & Events on Sunday from 11AM to 2PM.

Brunch tickets are $25 per person for adults and -- new this year -- just $12.50 per person for children UNDER 12 years of age. 

For reservations, call 214-564-7348.

Below is the MENU for this year's Mother's Day Brunch in Savage Park.

Tour Parking

Curbside parking is available on Swiss Avenue and Bryan Parkway except where "No Parking" signs are posted. "No Parking" signs are posted in front of the tour homes, at Savage Park and at other select areas to allow access for the mini coaches to pick up and drop off tour guests. Overflow parking is available in the parking lot at Munger Place Church, which is located at the intersections of Munger Boulevard, Live Oak, and Bryan Streets (see blue triangle on map below). From there, just walk one scenic block along Bryan Street to reach the tour epicenter at Savage Park. Home tour mini busses will not be shuttling to or from the church. Parking at the church is available during tour hours on Saturday, from 10AM to 6PM, and after 1PM on Sunday, when church services have concluded.

The Aldredge House Speaker Series

5500 Swiss Avenue

Admission Is FREE To The Public – Home Tour Tickets Not Required To Attend

Introduced to the Home Tour in 2014, The Aldredge House Speaker Series proved to be so popular with tour guests that we have continued it in the years since. This year, we present an exciting, enlightening, and informative roster of speakers. Join us all throughout Mother's Day Weekend for this special series of events at The Aldredge House, 5500 Swiss Avenue, just across the street from Savage Park. Speakers will be covering a variety of topics ranging from Preservation and Architecture to Horticulture and Gardening Tips. Below is the list of speakers and a description of their topics:

Schedule of Speakers

(The Aldredge House will be open for the Speakers Series only, NOT open for tours)

Saturday, May 7th:

11 AM – Alan Rister, Garden Master: Perennial Plants for Shade Gardening”

Like many of his favorite plants, Alan Rister is a fourth-generation Texas native, born into a family dedicated to gardening and "yard work."  His particular love of gardening was inspired in his childhood by his grandparents' fabulous (or at least so it seemed to a six-year-old!) flower and vegetable garden, and he has been gardening more or less ever since.

Post-retirement from his career as a buyer for Neiman Marcus, he became a member of Dallas County Master Gardener Association, for which he has designed several community project gardens.  He volunteers regularly at Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, and in 2014 he became a charter member of Garden Masters, Inc.

12 PM – John Conte: “Everything You Wanted to Know About the History of Fashion**But Were Afraid to Ask” 

The fashion industry as we know it has it earliest ties to a French monarch or two, an early law passed in France, and several waves of industrial revolution that modernized what we wear and how it’s made. Through social movements, political actions, technological revolutions and economic ups and downs, fashion has always been a product of its times. Join John Conte, Executive Vice President at Wade College, for an informative and fun lecture that will trace fashion back through its most important movements, with a special focus on fashion evolution in the twentieth century.

Working on “both sides’ of Seventh Avenue, John has gained expertise in the retail and wholesale industries at some of the most prestigious brands in the United States. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to the fashion industry and to fashion education.  Since relocating to Dallas John has been very active in philanthropic causes sponsored by Fashion Group International.

1 PM – Roseann Ferguson, Master Gardener: “Year Round Color/Interest in Your Garden”

Come be introduced to the plants that can make a garden inviting and interesting throughout the year by a person who knows them well.  Roseann has been volunteering at Texas Discovery Gardens since 2007 and has spent countless hours in the greenhouse propagating plants and teaching others to propagate and care for plants that are used on the grounds, in neighborhood gardens and sold at the TDG spring and fall plant sales.

After retiring from a career in education Roseann began training as a Master Gardener and has been very active on the Board and in the Speaker’s Bureau.  She is also a Landscape for Life Trainer, avid gardener and lover of travel and photography.        

2 PM – Irene Sandel, Author: “When Dallas was Young – Dallas and Swiss Avenue at the Turn of the Century”

The thriving city we know today was just as busy 100 years ago.

Irene Sandell is a fifth generation Texan.  Born in West Texas on the Salt Fork of the Brazos and raised in the Central Texas town of Hamilton, she developed a love for the unique history of the Lone Star State and its people.

She is a former school teacher, and for most of her years in the history classroom she “got paid to talk about the place she loves most, Texas.”  Over the years Irene found thousands of interesting hidden stories tucked away in history to inspire her writing.  Her award winning novels weave tales of the people of Texas into a backdrop of our state‘s story.

Irene also has written, filmed and produced nineteen documentaries on Texas for the history classroom.

3 PM – Jeri Arubckle and Melanie Vanlandingham: “Love Your Neighborhood”

How did a handful of neighbors transform what had turned into a collection of dilapidated homes into the majesty of Swiss Avenue that we enjoy today?  Like the neighbors on Swiss Avenue - you can make a difference in your neighborhood!   Explore tools to identify unique qualities, turn problems into assets, and enhance the sense of community in your neighborhood.

Jeri Arbuckle and Melanie Vanlandingham are Dallas neighborhood enthusiasts and former presidents of Dallas Homeowners League and their neighborhood associations.

4 PM – Carolyn Brown and Students: “Historic Dallas Through Photography, Aldredge House Exhibition”

Architecture is a language available to all human kind. It lies all around us. It veils intriguing secret tales to be grasped by the observant. Interweaving architecture, preservation, and fine art photography, the Historic Dallas Through Photography exhibition is a call to bring home in your heart how various historic buildings must survive time before they disappear.

In collaboration with Preservation Dallas and St. Matthews Cathedral, a group of photographers joined to document historically significant buildings and neighborhoods of Dallas. As they explored aspects of two-dimensional design and composition in an effort to document various sites, they became more aware of their own personal style within the context of the work. The class included three field trips, including one to the Aldredge House. The photographs in this exhibit include work accomplished on February 27, 2016.

Join photographers Rob Adams, Lyndall Dyer, Frank Richards, Robert Sherman, Gary Skotnicki, Nelson Spencer and Alan Whiteside for a discussion led by Carolyn Brown. The students come to this project with varied backgrounds in publishing, architecture, banking, music, real estate, education and theology—as well as photography.

Sunday, May 8th:

1 PM – Judy Cogan, Linens & Lace:  "Botanicals in Lace - The Origins of the Lace Making Industry and its Spread through Europe”

New to Dallas from Boston, Judy has spent the past 15 years buying, restoring and selling fine linens, handmade lace and Edwardian clothes.  Judy will share with guests her museum quality collection of handmade European laces.  Featured will be lace collars, cuffs, berthas, shawls and lace yardage.   A variety of designs and techniques will be shared, as well as how these laces were applied in period fashion and antique textiles.  A truly beautiful program!

Come early and have a look at how lace was and is made. Members of the Dallas Lace Society will be demonstrating the making of bobbin lace before and after the talk.

2 PM –  Virginia Savage McAlester: “Old East Dallas - Development, Decay and Rescue”

Virginia is not only a lifelong resident of Swiss Avenue, as were her parents and grandparents before her, she is also a successful author, architectural historian, preservationist and political activist. Her award winning book “A Field Guide to American Architecture” is widely accepted as the world’s leading reference work on historic American homes.

Since the early seventies Virginia has been in the forefront of preserving the architectural history and structures of Dallas and encouraging others to get involved.  Her many award winning books provide understanding, inspiration, and a source for architectural research.  Evidenced by the many honors Virginia has received it is clear that many of our architectural gems would not be here today if it weren’t for Virginia and her like-minded friends.

3 PM – Janet D. Smith, Dallas County Master Gardener: “Meet Our Local Hummingbirds” 

Come be amazed by the beautiful photos Janet uses to punctuate her story of the amazing Hummingbirds.

Janet D Smith is a Texas Master Gardener, North Texas Master Naturalist, Winner on the WaterWise Landscape Tour, rain water harvester and avid pollinator gardener.  She is also a frequent speaker on garden and nature-related topics.

Janet has loved butterflies her whole life and fell in love with hummingbirds when she held one in her hand about 10 years ago.  Since then she has studied up on them and finds that others enjoy learning about them too.

 4 PM – Carol Roark"How to Research the History of a House"

“Older buildings are the living history we drive by every day.”

Carol will focus on Internet sources that people can use to find out basic information about their house and detail resources that are available at the Dallas Public Library and County of Dallas to flesh out research.

Carol Roark retired as the manager of the Dallas Public Library’s Special Collections Division in 2011, where she honed a passion for historical research and helping people find needles in haystacks. She is an archivist and historian with a special interest in architectural and photographic history. Carol holds a master’s degree in American Studies from Texas Christian University and a masters in Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas. 

Between 1988 and 1991, Carol coordinated research for and publication of the Tarrant County Historic Resources Survey, which cataloged 2,200 architecturally and historically significant buildings in Tarrant County.  She is the author of Fort Worth’s Legendary Landmarks, Fort Worth Then & Now, and Fort Worth & Tarrant County: A Historical Guide, all published by TCU Press.

Carol also serves on the board of Preservation Dallas where she teaches a historic building research class and has given architectural tours for many groups. She and her husband live in Fairmount, a National Register Historic District in Fort Worth.

2016 Tour Sites

4912 Swiss Avenue

4937 Swiss Avenue

5611 Swiss Avenue

5501 Bryan Street

6016 Bryan Parkway

6200 Bryan Parkway

Munger Place Church

2016 Tour Sponsors



  1. Refund and Exchange Policy. There are NO REFUNDS and NO EXCHANGES. All ticket sales are final.
  2. Lost Tickets. Lost tickets will be replaced provided you have your proof of payment available. 
  3. Terms of Use.   Use of a ticket constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions set forth herein. The person using a ticket grants the Swiss Avenue Historic District Association ("SAHDA") permission to use his or her image, or that of his/her children, in advertising, publicity and other promotions without payment or compensation to holder. By using this ticket, the person using it voluntarily assumes all risk of personal injury (including but not limited to death) and loss of property, by accident or otherwise, directly related or otherwise incidental to attending the annual SAHDA Mother's Day Weekend Tour of Homes (the "Home Tour"), and utilizing SAHDA's other attractions, facilities, and events, and agrees that SAHDA, its directors, officers, employees, contractors, and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for any such injuries or losses, no matter how caused.  A ticket evidences a revocable license to attend the Home Tour, and this license may be revoked (and the holder ejected from the Home Tour) at the sole discretion of SAHDA, without refund, if misused or if the holder fails to abide by the policies, rules or regulations of SAHDA.  Home Tour hours, prices, policies, and programs are all subject to change without notice. 
  4. Cancellation Policy. If the Home Tour is cancelled due to adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, civil strife or  for any other reason outside of its control , SAHDA does not guarantee a refund or exchange on tickets purchased for the Home Tour.  In the event of a cancellation, SAHDA will post information on its website as to the availability of refunds.  Any refund will require proof of purchase.
  5. Reselling Policy. Tickets may not be resold or offered for resale. Tickets may not be used for advertising, promotion, or other commercial purposes except with the express written consent of SAHDA. SAHDA reserves the right to refuse entry to any customer who has purchased tickets and resold them, or to any person attempting to attend the event with such tickets.
  6. Reproduction Policy. It is unlawful to reproduce any tickets in any form. In the event of reproduction, SAHDA reserves the right to refuse entry to the original purchaser as well as any person attempting to attend a performance with reproduced tickets.