Swiss Avenue Historic District


DSC07709Most venerable cities in the USA have a neighborhood close to downtown that is being preserved for posterity.   Many of the dwellings have been lovingly restored and are legally protected.  The daughter of friends in St. Louis used to live in a historic area near what locals call the Central West End.  Across the street for the entire length of Forest Park’s north side near the old Chase Hotel and the new Jeanne Gang high rise named 100 Kingshighway, these mansions were the Beverly Hills of St. Louis.  St. Louis actually has 17 of these historic districts.  In Seattle, it’s the Capitol Hill-Harvard-Belmont area. In Dallas it’s Swiss Avenue, and Ruth & I had a look at it earlier this year.

DSC07701The Swiss Avenue Historic District is just northeast of downtown not too far from Fair Park, home of the Cotton Bowl Stadium and the fantastic Texas Centennial Exposition buildings.  It’s an eight block corridor with a park down its middle containing  many live oak trees between Fitzhugh and La Vista Streets.  The entire neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it’s Dallas’ first preserved residential area.  Like Beverly Hills, it’s definitely worth a look.

A Swiss immigrant named Henri Boll named it.  It was largely developed between 1905 and the 1920s.  A cotton gin manufacturer, R. S. Munger, lived here and influenced community standards.  The Harris-Savage House, home to a former Dallas mayor, has been a major Texas Historic Landmark since 2013.  When Swiss Avenue was being built, there were many requirements.  For example, houses had to be at least 2 stories tall.  However, the architectural style was left to the owner and developers.  By 1970 many had been demolished or converted to apartments but there were about 200 of them left.  Like other such areas, the initial residents tended to be lawyers, bankers, doctors, and rich industrialists.

What is left of Swiss Avenue has a unique character, has been lavished with much affection, is beautifully preserved, and is definitely worth seeing.



About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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