Tuesday, May 28, 2024 May 28, 2024
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Commercial Real Estate

Swiss Avenue: Where Dallas History Lives

Neighbors are drawn to the beauty of this most traditional of streets.
photography by Josh Martin

Every house along Swiss Avenue has a story. Harry Houdini used to perform tricks in the basement of 5417 Swiss, a home owned at the time by A.J. Langford, an executive with Ford Motor Company. When the TV show Dallas was just a pilot, the dining room at 5020 Swiss was shot as the Ewing dining room. The street was named by a man from Switzerland in 1857, back when it was more dust than high-dollar. In 1905, Collett and R.S. Munger started development of the neighborhood, which originally was part of the 300-acre Munger Place Development. The street’s surface was created to be easy on the horse hooves that carried its residents. It is the city’s first historic district as of 1973 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Population: More than 100 families live on Swiss Avenue, about 220 in the Swiss Avenue Historic District.

Location: The historic district is framed by Gaston Avenue, North Fitzhugh Avenue, Live Oak Street, and La Vista Drive. Swiss Avenue proper runs between North Fitzhugh and La Vista.

Average home price: Thirteen homes have sold in the neighborhood since 2011, some of them foreclosures, bringing the average sales price to $702,000. The highest sale price was $965,000. Prices were hardest hit in the past two years, with a couple of foreclosures getting snapped up for $250,000 to $500,000.

Average lot size: Most of the lots are about half an acre, although some are almost a full acre.

Where to go: This area supports more than its fair share of breakfast options: John’s Cafe, Goldrush Cafe, Taco Joint, The Mecca Restaurant, and Garden Cafe are favorites. Scalini’s Pizza & Pasta, Andrea’s Italian Restaurant, Ali Baba Mediterranean Grill, Mi Cocina, Mai’s Restaurant, and Urbano Cafe are go-to dinner options. When in the mood to imbibe, residents recommend Times Ten Cellars, Balcony Club, and The Wine Therapist.

Why Swiss Avenue: When Michelle and Jerry Baus first visited Swiss, they thought it was the most beautiful street they had ever seen. Two days later, they put an offer on their home. “We especially love the streets and open median, which we use almost every day,” Jerry says. “Overall, the best thing is our neighbors. We have made so many great friends here.” Gaye Jackson, previous president of the Swiss Avenue Homeowners Association and home tour chair, knew nobody when she moved into the neighborhood. But that didn’t last long: “When I had my son, 70 people from the neighborhood came to the baby shower and brought me food for almost a month after he was born. It’s just like you’d expect people to do in a small town.” Sandy Brothers and Mike Holub met in medical school. They decided when they were living in a 1,400-square-foot bungalow on Casa Loma Avenue that one day they would move to Swiss Avenue. They are now in their third house on the street. “The people who live here aren’t your typical millionaires who work downtown,” Brothers says. “The people come from all walks of life and are here for lots of different reasons. It’s a feel I didn’t get anywhere else I’ve lived in Dallas.”

Addresses for Sale:
4938 Swiss Ave.
5622 Swiss Ave.
5750 Swiss Ave.