According to city records, the home at 117 S. Montclair Ave. was built in 1925. But that’s not the full story, realtor Evan Downey says—many homes from the early years of the twentieth century were built earlier than what Dallas Central Appraisal District lists. Downey, the Winnetka Heights craftsman’s listing agent, says he looked up the property at the Dallas Public Library.
After some “old-school” research, he believes this home was actually built in 1912 for Nancy and Willard Ballard. The Winnetka Heights neighborhood was just a few years old and bragging about its proximity to Downtown and modern amenities like “artisan water, sewers, telephones, electric lines, paved streets [with curbs],” Downey says. “That was like a big deal back then.”
In the more than a century since then, the house has changed hands many times, acted as apartments for a while, and saw two major expansions, around 60 years apart. Today, the home has a welcoming feel—one that’s seen a lot of life. Shaded by crepe myrtles, the front walk leads to a sweet covered front porch, complete with rockers and a ceiling fan.
“What’s really cool about these old historic homes is you have these cool patios,” Downey says. “These awesome front entrances.”
The back is just as inviting, he says. The covered patio has another fan, a spot for a grill, multiple seating areas, plus a doggy door for any four-legged residents. “They made it real nice with the entertaining space.” Additionally, there’s another uncovered patio and a detached two-car garage. The yard itself is dotted with Japanese maple and sage plants.
Inside, the home pays homage to its earlier days. The refinished hard oak floors throughout the foyer, formal living, dining, and bedrooms are original. “It’s hard to beat” those floors, says Downey.
Much of the window trim and wainscotting details are original, too. “I really liked that the wood beams on top,” he says of the dining room’s coffered ceiling. That, plus the wainscotting in the primary bedroom, gives texture to the home. Some people don’t want simple stucco walls, Downey says. They want added interest in the detailing, and “this house does it well.”
Of course, not everything about the home is old. The bathrooms, including the dreamy primary en-suite, have been updated. Both the informal living room and the kitchen got facelifts in 2020. The kitchen, Downey says, is basically new. There are new quartz counters, contemporary lighting in the cabinetry, slow-close drawers, scratch-resistant floors, Restoration Hardware lights, and more. It has a refreshing, modern feel to it, says Downey, while the rest of the house stays true to its roots. But the spaces still fit together.
“Some people they don’t want that old-timey feel 100 percent of the time but this one has a real nice mix,” he says.
Scroll through the gallery to see more of the home.