Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 21, Ed. 1 Friday, October 7, 2011 Page: 15 of 68
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Oak Cliff home tour features mostly gay-owned houses
OOCCL returns funds raised at the
weekend event to neighborhoods
for safety and beautification projects
)AVID TAFFET I Staff Writer
Of this weekend's 14 houses on the annual
Old Oak Cliff Conservation League's Fall Home
Tour, eight and a half of them have gay owners.
With 14 homes on the tour, this will be the
largest home tour OOCCL has staged, OOCCL
President Michael Amonett said, and the largest
and most profitable in the city.
"We started taking applications in the
spring," Amonett said, adding that deciding
which houses to include was difficult because
there were so many good choices.
A committee spent months deciding which
homes to include.
"We made appointments and looked at peo-
ple's homes/' Amonett said. "We had a grade
sheet and rated them for drive-up appeal, art
work, historic interest."
They also were looking for variety, spread
across the area's: different neighborhoods. The
committee met in June and selected the winners
that wepe not announced until September.
"Two of the houses are in Oak Park Estates,"
Amonett said. "We've never had any in that
area. People will see a part of Oak Cliff they've
Oak Park Estates, which lies south of Kiest
Park between Hampton Road and Highway 67,
is one of Oak Cliff's .southernmost neighbor-
"One of them is very Brady Bunch," he said.
That house, with its two-story arched roof,
was built in 1964 and is the newest of the
The oldest, built as a convent in 1900 in the
Elmwood neighborhood, has been a railroad
storage depot, part of an amusement park and
a gambling casino and speakeasy that was one
of Bonnie and Clyde's old haunts, according to
The largest house has been expanded to 7,000
square feet and faces Stevens Park Golf Course.
One house was built for the 1936 Texas Cen-
tennial as a companion piece to the Magnolia
Lounge. The Bauhaus-designed East Kessjer
Park home Was dubbed "The Electric House"
because of the four and a half miles of wire laid
to power the then state-of-the-art General Elec-
tric kitchen and outdoor living areas around the
At the time it was built, similar homes were
selling in West Hollywood, Calif., for $4,000.
This one had a price tag of i|5,000.
Another sits adjacent to the Bishop Arts Dis-
trict that was renovated last year and is now a
law office. Amonett wanted that house in-
cluded to show that older houses can be reno-
vated and repurposed rather than just torn
down and replaced.
Good Space, the company that bought and
renovated the Bishop Arts house and rented it
to Remington Law, is now working on two
other properties in the area.
Two bonus stops are included in the Oak
Cliff tour — the newly renovated Stevens Park
Golf Course and the new Twelve Hills Nature
Center, a five-acre urban preserve in the 800
block of Mar)' Cliff Road.
"The home tour has been instrumental over
the years in profiling what Oak Cliff has to
offer/' Steve Habgood of Hewitt & Habgood
Realty Group, a lead sponsor of the event, said.
He said that the tour includes everything
from, small boutique cottages to mid-sized
homes to old estates.
"It's a cross-section of what Oak Cliff is all
about," Habgood said. "The diversity that runs
the gamut — that's one reason this tour is as
popular as it is/'
He said that the money raised funds a vari-
ety of projects throughout the 30 Oak Cliff
homeowner associations. Last year $22,000
funded projects such as solar lighting for alleys
in the Hampton Heights neighborhood and
neighborhood patrols. Other grants funded
websites and neighborhood signage.
OOCCL donated $5^000 to the Bishop Arts
Theater Center for half the cost of a new mar-
quis on the restored building. They also con-
tributed to replacing the roof on Turner House,,
a landmark in Winnetka Heights that is home
to the Oak Cliff Society Of Fine Arts.
And the eight and a half gay owners? Amon-
ett explained that he thought one house is.
owned by a "Will & Grace couple," ■
Old Oak Cliff Tour of Homes, Oct. 8 and 9 from
noon to 6 p.m. $25 for adults over 10, $15 for sen-*
iors available at any of the homes on the tour or
under the service Station canopy at 8th Street and
Bishop Avenue in the Bishop Arts District. More
information at OOCCL.org,
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 21, Ed. 1 Friday, October 7, 2011, newspaper, October 7, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239188/m1/15/: accessed February 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.