Published: 12 October 2010
Glen Oaks is one of the Hidden Treasures of Oak Cliff.
Glen Oaks is one of Oak Cliff’s richest hidden treasures. Claton Wyman developed Glen Oaks over a 15-year period from 1952-1967 on the site of the historic Frank Holland Farm. It is important to outline an understanding of this great and noteworthy community. While the city of Dallas’s population doubles between now and 2030, the combination of idyllic natural beauty and quality workmanship of homes found in Glen Oaks will undoubtedly be recognized by many new home buyers moving to Dallas from all parts of the country. There is “only so much” of this appealing combination of natural beauty and quality available within the confines of the City Limits of Dallas. Many people moving to Dallas when they are ready to buy, still want trees, hills and greenery that looks like where they came from.
The meaning of the Glen Oaks community goes very deep. The land, once the Holland Farm is choice -a rich and rolling land punctuated with some of the most beautiful oak trees to be found in all of Dallas. Quiet serenity in a pastoral setting, so rich an environment is ideal for rearing of children. Seeds long ago planted at the Holland Farm and by owners of these homes continue to bring forth blossom and fruit during this spring season.
Cloistered and Protected Atmosphere
Thirteen entrances provide access to Glen Oaks’ cloistered atmosphere and protect it from traffic volumes of bordering major thoroughfares and highways. The community is internalized inside its boundaries. Major circulation is provided through the community via Oak Park Drive, Glen Oaks Blvd, Rockport Drive, Brook Valley Lane, Oak Trail, Misty Glen, Town Creek, and Fox Hill Lane. Homes that are rich in detail create variety every inch of the way up and down the streets.
People Made the Difference: People Invested their Time, Resources and Creativity to Create a Setting forQuality Living
Starting in 1953, many families coming to Glen Oaks were working with the designers and builders to design the perfect sets of rooms, arrangement of spaces, internal features and the location in the neighborhood to suit their needs and desires as they built their dream homes. People like me who grew up nearby, enjoyed the vast spectacle of the building of the neighborhood and watched the area develop and grow.
Master Planned Community of the 1950’s
A strong guiding hand and the best effort of many minds went into the building of this community. Beauty and nature were placed at the forefront by the developer -before the desire for “maximization of profit” i.e. greed. Religion and nature went hand and hand in the development of Glen Oaks. A large site situated prominently at the entrance to the community was set aside for a community house of worship. Wyman donated this land to the church. The beautiful church and sanctuary of the Glen Oaks Methodist Church was erected on this donated land. Many of Glen Oaks residents became active members at this significant house of worship.
Original installment Homes for Nature Lovers
Nature lovers were drawn to the area because of the trees and natural beauty. Many leading builders built homes in Glen Oaks. Well-known Oak Cliff builder Bill P. Page bought the first set of lots in the original installment in 1953. Homes were built in a traditional style and a number in a contemporary style variation found throughout Dallas in the 1950’s.
Indoor/Outdoor Living Concept Fully Explored
Ernest and Ann Williams bought their contemporary style home in 1978 and are the third owners of this beautiful high-concept house at 708 Misty Glen Lane. A ¾ acre wooded hillside site, at a bend in the winding lane is the location of this stunning home. Designed by L. H. Peterson in 1957 for the J. R. Turbyfill family, the home fully explores the concept of indoor/outdoor living. Design concepts of transparency, inter-penetration of spaces and public/private adjacencies are utilized in this well planned home.
This beauty of this home was showcased on the 1958 Oak Cliff Garden Forum’s Garden Tour and featured in full-page story in the Dallas Morning News.
Picturesque Homes on Picturesque Home-sites
A number of picturesque homes were built on special sites created throughout Glen Oaks. Advertising material published in the Dallas Times Herald in 1957 portrayed a show home from the ‘57 Parade of Homes. A panoramic view of the house at 738 Misty Glen Lane and Oak Trail was enhanced with the Caption: “At every turn, a living picture like this can be seen throughout Glen Oaks”.
Clusters of Homes
Clusters of Homes, -like beautiful fruit-, grace the slopes, hills and dells of the former Holland Farm. Tranquil. Several of these clusters adorn Misty Glen Lane from Polk to Oak Trail and at the bend of the road at Weehaven to Oak Park Drive. Parade of Homes
Architect Designed Homes
Well located along Brook Valley Lane and set over 70 feet back from the street is a beautiful home built in 1959. A side garden enhances the beauty of this contemporary style home. The owner has recently invested in a beautiful new metal seam roof. Gracious and costly the roof is an adornment to the house of great beauty.
Historically Significant Mark Twain School
Mark Twain School with a wonderful heritage and educated many leaders were raised in the beautiful school. Land was set aside for the school by Wyman for a new Dallas School. c. 1955.
A Masterpiece of 1950’s Urban Planning:
Careful Engineering Created Picturesque Building Sites
Glen Oaks was developed from 1953 through 1967 in twelve installments. Deed restrictions insured that the homes were built with masonry veneer exteriors and setback requirements maintained the country-like ambiance of the spacious lots. Lots in Glen Oaks are oversized, ranging from 8,500 to over 20,000 sq. ft. Following the War, young families of the 1950’s wanted larger homes with ample lawn and play areas for their young children. Glen Oaks fulfilled these desires abundantly.
Dallas County Parade of Homes in Glen Oaks: 1955, 1956 and 1957
The Dallas County Parade of Homes was held in Glen Oaks in 1955, 1956, and 1957. High quality “show homes” were constructed by the finest Oak Cliff Builders on Towncreek Drive, Misty Glen Drive, and Whitestone Lane. These state of the art homes set the tone for further development of the Glen Oaks neighborhood. Some show stopping features employed on the interiors of the homes included a built-in aquarium dividing the living and dining rooms at a house on Town Creek Drive and a trophy room and a mahogany paneled den with a built-in movie projector at homes on Misty Glen Lane. Over 200,000 people visited these homes during the shows nine-day run!
Glen Oaks Holiday Decorating
During the early 1960’s residents of Glen Oaks gained more fame for their community by hosting elaborate Christmas decorating displays that blanketed every street throughout the neighborhood. Houses were outlined with lights, spotlights illuminated decorated doorways; murals were created of “holiday scenes” that were set-up in picture windows and spot-lit on the facades of some of the homes; and glass hurricane lanterns lined the streets and walkways to the front doors of every home. The hurricane lanterns were lit each night during the holiday season. On Brook Valley Lane- a proud homeowner that owned an automobile dealership, placed a Volkswagen Beetle on his rooftop and had Santa Clause on hand to pass out candy canes at curbside to passers-by each evening. Every homeowner participated in some way and great community pride was born. People came from all over Dallas to see the majestic display that the residents of Glen Oaks neighborhood produced.