From Our Homes To Yours,
May All Your Dreams Come True
During This Magical Season
With Profound Gratitude
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our friend, our neighbor, and our most ardent advocate, Virginia Savage McAlester
Virginia dedicated her life to preserving the historic dignity of her native hometown. She was the nation's leading authority on historic architecture; she was instrumental in the founding of our District, the City's first Historic District; and she led efforts throughout our community that have impacted and improved the quality of life for us all.
Her contributions will reverberate for generations to come.
For that, and for so much more, we are profoundly grateful.
Virginia Savage McAlester
May 13, 1943 – April 9, 2020
THE BRILLIANCE OF VIRGINIA SAVAGE McALESTER
In tribute to our dear friend and neighbor, Virginia Savage McAlester, we invite you to view the video below, featuring a lecture on the History of Munger Place presented by Virginia at the Hall of State in Fair Park on May 18, 2017
A BIT About Our District
The Swiss Avenue Historic District, in Old East Dallas, is a diverse neighborhood containing the finest collection of Early 20th Century residential architecture in the entire Southwest. Established in 1905 by real-estate developer, Robert Munger, it was designated in 1973 as the first historic district in the City of Dallas. It is an official Dallas Landmark District and, in 1974, the entire District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The boundaries of The Swiss Avenue Historic District include portions of some of the city's earliest streets:
Beacon Street • Bryan Parkway • Bryan Street
La Vista Drive • Live Oak Street • Swiss Avenue
La Vista Drive
Live Oak Street
THERE WILL BE NO SAHD BOARD MEETING IN DECEMBER
Our Monthly Neighborhood Board Meetings
will resume in January of 2021
STEP BACK TO A SIMPLER TIME
JOIN US ON THE FIRST SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH
FOR LIVING HISTORY TOURS AT ALDREDGE HOUSE
The Aldredge House invites you to travel back with us to a simpler place and time; to a Gilded Age steeped in gentility, refinement, and the finer things in life. Join us on the First Saturday of each month for Living History Tours that will transport you to back to the early days of Swiss Avenue when, in 1917, West Texas Rancher, Will Lewis, commissioned renowned architect Hal Thomson to design and build this magnificent French Eclectic Mansion as a wedding gift for his Debutante Bride, Willie Newberry.
Actors outfitted in period costumes portray individuals who played significant roles in the Aldredge House's illustrious history, including its earliest owners, their maids, their chauffeurs, and even their family physician.
DOORS OPEN AT 10 AM FOR HOUSE TOURS. LIVING HISTORY TOURS BEGIN AT 11 AM
As you walk our scenic neighborhood, you may have noticed bronze plaques installed near the sidewalks in front of some of the homes. Our neighbor, Virginia Dupuy, worked with City Hall to obtain approval for SAHD residents to install these plaques on their properties.
The purpose of the plaques is to identify the year of a home's construction, its architectural style, the architect/builder (if known), and the original owner. If there's room remaining on the plaques, a fact or two about the history of the home or its original owners can be added. Although there are only a handful of these plaques in place today, visitors walking our District frequently stop to read them.
If you are interested in obtaining one of these plaques for your property, the process is relatively simple. A Certificate of Appropriateness is required. City Staff can approve the wording without going before the full Landmark Commission but you will be asked to provide the source of the facts you will be displaying.
Two good, reliable sources of information are the fileson our Historic District located at Preservation Dallas, and a Masters Thesis available at the Dallas Public Library downtown. The 3-volume thesis, titled, "history and Guide to the Swiss Avenue Historic District", was written in the 1970s by three architecture students at UT Arlington: Robert L. Canavan, Patricia T. Canavan, and Judy S. Dooley.
Erie Landmark Company is the manufacturer of the plaques (637 Hempfield Hill Road, Columbia, PA 17512, Telephone: 800-874-7848). The cost of one plaque is approximately $250. Under the agreement with the City, the plaques are to be installed on a flat concrete pad that can be easily fabricated by your handyman.