Many informed observers of the Dallas real estate scene believe that North Oak Cliff is “the next big thing.” For many years it has been thought of as a sleeping giant. Located on the south and west sides of the Trinity River, Oak Cliff was originally its own city and was incorporated into Dallas over 100 years ago. Unlike most of the flat topography of North Dallas, Oak Cliff is hilly; it’s actually on the northern end of the Texas Hill Country escarpment.
The premiere neighborhoods of Oak Cliff are Kessler Park and Stevens Park. Originally laid out in the 1920’s by nationally known land planner George Kessler, the area is unlike any other in Dallas with its hills, creeks and spectacular settings. The older part of Kessler is west of Sylvan; east of Sylvan, East Kessler has the same hilly terrain but is known for its ranch and mid-century modern homes.
The eastern end of Kessler is bounded by Methodist Hospital and the western end by the Stevens Park golf course. Like Highland Park and Lakewood, the neighborhood is a very short commute to downtown. Colorado Boulevard runs the length of Kessler and Stevens Park, and Hampton Road forms the western boundary of these neighborhoods. The Kessler School, a private academy on Colorado, offers kindergarten and grade-school education. Homes range from the $400’s to over $1.5 million.
Developers are taking note of the area. One of the most successful and talked-about new developments in Dallas is Kessler Woods. This new subdivision takes its cue from the cul-de-sacs and circles of Kessler’s original planning, but updates the vision with the architectural restriction that all homes must be modernist in design. Single-family homes range from $700,000 to $2 million.
The Bishop Arts District at Davis and Bishop is another example of the renaissance of North Oak Cliff. This charming storefront commercial district is now the home of numerous popular restaurants and shops and is a destination spot for entertainment and dining.
Also along Davis is the northern boundary to the Winnetka Heights Historic District, the 2nd largest historic district in Dallas. The district abounds in prairie style architecture. Most of the homes in the area have now been renovated and are enjoyed by their residents for their wrap-around porches, tall ceilings and airy interiors. Remodeled homes typically run in the $300’s and $400’s.
Oak Cliff encompasses such a large area and has so many intriguing neighborhoods that it’s probably best to refer readers to the Preservation Dallas website www.preservationdallas.org for further descriptions and more information. Among Oak Cliff neighborhoods are Wynnewood, known for its large collection of mid-century designs, and Elmwood, known for its sturdy brick cottages. Many homes are available in these neighborhoods in the $150,000 to $300,000 price range.