News About At-Risk Buildings and Neighborhoods

8. N. Bishop Ave. and the Miller-Stemmons National Register Historic District c.1910 - 1930's

The Miller Stemmons Historic District is roughly bounded by Neches to the north, Woodlawn to the west, Elsbeth to the east and Davis to the south. The area today is part of Kidd Springs. It is compromised largely of 1 and 2 story single family homes constructed between 1910 to the late 1930’s and multi-family apartments constructed in the 1920’s.  It encompasses approximately 124 acres. At the time of designation on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, the district had 381 properties; 243 were Contributing and 138 were Noncontributing. 


The area is unique in the sheer abundance of various forms of architecture it offers.  Because it developed slowly, one can find Classic Revival, Prairie, Craftsman and Four-square of various sizes and characteristics. During the district’s period of significance from 1910 – the early 30’s, economic forces dictated that the area shift from grand homes for doctors and lawyers to more modest homes for middle class residents

Read more: 8. N. Bishop Ave. and the Miller-Stemmons National Register Historic District c.1910 - 1930's

9. Kovandovitch Concrete House - 523 Eads c.1914

At the edge of "The Bottom" neighborhood, near Townview Center and the Trinity River, and visible from the I-35 Horseshoe construction site, sits a 100-year old concrete ruin and Dallas Landmark. This Villa with Greek and Italian architectural details was designed and built in 1914 by a Czech immigrant, Joseph Kovandovitch who arrived in the U.S. when he was fifteen. He chose the bluff overlooking downtown long before 1959 construction of R.L. Thornton Freeway, because it allowed views of the growing Dallas skyline. The site was also located near stops for the Dallas Consolidated Street Railway and a suburban line of the Southern Traction Company, providing Kovandovitch with commuting opportunities to a downtown café he owned and operated.

This was the second concrete home built by and lived in by Mr. Kovandovitch and his family. Self-educated and intrigued with cast-in-place concrete construction, he built the first solid-concrete house in Dallas. The prototype structure on Ross Avenue, between Field and Akard, was a 2-story addition to a frame house; said to have been inspired by buildings of Pompeii. Kovandovitch began construction in 1907 with concrete purchased from the brand new Southwestern States Portland Cement Company in West Dallas. The front of the house was partly demolished in 1930 for the widening of Ross, and completely demolished in 1972.

Read more: 9. Kovandovitch Concrete House - 523 Eads c.1914