Published: 19 September 2008
Development of Hampton Hills began in 1924. The new neighborhood would be accessible to the city of Dallas via the Oak Cliff street car line, making it convenient for tradesmen and middle managers of local companies who wanted to be close to their employers. Billed as “Oak Cliff’s Ideal Home Place,” the neighborhood was developed by Alf W. Sanders, who set up a sales office for his Hampton Hills Realty Company in a small Tudor-style building on Tilton (now Wilton) Street. It still stands today.
Sanders built many of the neighborhood homes in the craftsman and Tudor styles, with small garages standing behind them. The picturesque wood-sided and brick and stone cottages had a charming, storybook quality about them. Even today, fine examples of stained glass can be seen in many windows, as well as unique brick and stone work. Many interiors boast archways, hardwood flooring, cheerful bathrooms and galley kitchens with quaint breakfast rooms and built-in cabinetry sparkling with beveled mirrors and stained glass. Some fireplace mantels display multiple types of wood and are flanked by built-in bookcases, which were favorite gestures of the builder.
Homebuilding was curtailed during World War II because of strict rationing of materials for the war effort. This created a housing shortage for returning soldiers and their families. To help address the crisis, Oak Cliff realtor and builder Wiley Roberts, who also served as executive board chairman of the Dallas Association of Home Builders, announced his intention to finish out the Hampton Hills neighborhood. His son Bill, a Navy veteran, joined his father in completing 40 new homes in the neighborhood.
During the previous decade, home styles had evolved to include minimal traditional, which incorporated Colonial and Tudor forms with a modern preference for as little ornamentation as possible. Consequently, Wiley Roberts and Sons built finely crafted cottages with shallow- to medium-pitched gabled or hipped roofs (usually with no eaves), small covered porches with simple pillars or columns, simple floor plans and occasionally corner-wrapped windows. These post-war cottages are mostly asymmetrical with the front entrance off center, and with either attached or detached garages. And, because they were the last homes to be built in Hampton Hills, they tend to occupy the corner lots.
Because of its easy access to major thoroughfares, mass transit, downtown Dallas and the Bishop Arts District, Hampton Hills is the neighborhood of choice for a diverse group of residents who take pride in their homes and eagerly welcome newcomers. The Hampton Hills Neighborhood Association was formed in 1990 to safeguard the neighborhood’s architectural integrity and enhance the quality of life for every resident.