Published: 19 September 2008
What began as farmland and a natural spring...
In the 1870s, Colonel James W Kidd, Sr. purchased 250 acres of farmland adjacent to the current Kidd Springs Lake. This natural spring is now the site of the beautiful Kidd Springs Park and Recreation Center, featuring a small lake, oriental gardens, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a baseball diamond.
Development began after the annexing of Oak Cliff by the city of Dallas in 1903. Leslie A. Sternmons and Thomas S. Miller, Jr. developed what became the Miller-Stemmons Addition, now on the National Register of Historic Neighborhoods. Located at the center of Kidd Springs, it contains more than 200 historically significant structures built from 1910 onward.
John F Zang - the furniture czar and entrepreneur, who along with Charles Mangold, built Lake Cliff into an entertainment complex in 1906 - began his own addition in 1905. Called Crystal Hill, it was located in the eastern part of Kidd Springs. The name was derived from the deposits of silica sand found in the area. Meant to be an affluent development, sales were slow, forcing Zang to sub-divide the land and sell to other builders during WWI. While not immune to the deterioration that affected many old neighborhoods after WW II, this neighborhood has saved a majority of its housing stock.
...became beautiful architectural diversity
From large Neoclassical, Prairie, Craftsman and Colonial Revival to one-story late Victorian, bungalow, Tudor and shingle structures, Kidd Springs offers architectural diversity. Some of the antique apartment complexes have been beautifully restored, attracting young professionals who enjoy the convenient location close to downtown, good public transportation, and retail establishments such as those within the Bishop Arts District.
The neighborhood association is one of the oldest and most organized in Old Oak Cliff. Their priorities include monitoring of future development, enforcing city codes, and maintaining the primarily single-family character of the area.