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.
Glen Oaks is a Dallas treasure because it is a well-appointed naturally cloistered community that is just seven miles south of Downtown and the new Trinity River Esplanade Sports-Entertainment Showcase, two miles from the new University of North Texas at Dallas Campus and is convenient to all areas of Dallas.
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.
Many great and well-known families chose to build their homes in Glen Oaks. Imagine the pleasure that buyers and their families enjoyed in designing and occupying homes that were custom designed and tailored to their needs -in a setting of quiet pastoral splendor. Many also chose to reside here until their last days of life. “Families made Glen Oaks a triumphant success and families and individuals will ensure its preservation and adapt it through changes of coming years.”
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.
As a part of the 15-year master plan for the Glen Oaks community, a 65-acre tract of land was set-aside by Wyman for a Shopping Center to serve the residents of the Glen Oaks. The Center would have been similar to Wynnewood Shopping Village. It was to include a three-story department store, supermarket, retail stores, a medical and professional building, an exclusive motor hotel, and a child care center to care for children while parents shopped. A major boulevard lined with majestic oak trees provided access to the planned development and a park, community swimming pool and tennis courts rounded out the planned amenities to be shared by the residents of Glen Oaks.
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.
Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Waite came to Glen Oaks and built their home at 4707 Clear Creek Road at the corner of Oak Park Drive in 1954. Due to the hillside site, the Waite’s were able to capture space beneath their home for a basement, family room and garage. The charming home has vertical steel casement windows and an attic fan designed to draw in the gentle prevailing breezes. The Waite’s continue to reside in this pleasant home they built in Glen Oaks almost 50 years ago.
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.
The gently sloping gable roof extends across the length of the house and carport and was originally adorned with white crushed marble. Inside, a poured terrazzo floor extends throughout the main living areas of the home including foyer, living, dining, and family rooms and kitchen. Clerstory windows and skylights bring daylight into the interior of this spacious home. A fireplace wall of roman brick extends across one wall of the living room up to the high-ridge of the roof.
An enormous sliding glass door opens from the living areas onto the outdoor patio. A brick bar-b-que grill is built-in to the fireplace for outdoor cooking. A system of outdoor walkways surrounds the home and connects with the exterior spaces that extend up the hillside. Curved brick retailing walls terrace up the steeply slopping backyard creating terraces and a hilltop overlook of Misty Glen Lane. From the top of the hill the beauty of the wooded hillside of Weehaven Drive across the street to the north can be enjoyed.
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”.
Across the street at 811 Misty Glen Lane, builder Bill P. Page erected a home for his family in 1958. Architect designed, this beautiful home has an attractive courtyard that is visible through a screen wall of lattice-patterned brick along Oak Trail. An attached carport extending beyond has been enclosed. A massive brick retaining wall runs the length of the west property line bordering a hillside.
During construction, surveyors on the project sighted a line to the top of the Republic Bank Building that was visible at the time from the building site. They discovered the structure of the house to be at the same elevation as the rooftop of the 40-story building. The Sanders bought the home from the Page when he moved to a new home in his Elderwood Addition along the fairways of the Oak Cliff Country Club in the late 1960’s.
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
Greencove Lane, Towncreek Lane Parade of Homes
Brook Valley Lane
Glen Oaks Blvd.
Wood River Lane.
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.
Dwayne Jones Residence at 4816 Moss Point Road is a lovely classic contemporary home built in 1954. The roof of the home appears to float above the clean lines and crisp detailing of the body of the house.
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 Development Created A Neighborhood of Fine Homes
Custom-built into the Natural Landform among Native Trees
In 1953 the developer Claton Wyman began work on the pastoral community of Glen Oaks. The neighborhood is located seven miles south of downtown Dallas via S. R. L. Thornton Freeway/Hwy 67 South at the West Ledbetter and South Polk Street Exits.
A rustic and rolling tract of land along South Polk Street between West Ledbetter Drive and West Redbird Lane is the site of this beautiful neighborhood. West Ledbetter Drive borders the neighborhood on the north, West Redbird Lane on the south, South Polk Street on the west and Rockport Drive and Glen Oaks Blvd. defines the eastern boundary. The neighborhood is located on a natural promontory high above Dallas, in the heart of the Golden Triangle. The elevation of the land is 600 feet above sea level providing beautiful views to Downtown Dallas and the surrounding areas. Gentle prevailing breezes flow readily through the area from the southwest. Clusters of mature Oak and Elm trees many over a hundred years old were preserved throughout the neighborhood by the developer.
Principal streets of Glen Oaks resemble country lanes that wind gently through the neighborhood. There is a pastoral look and tranquil feeling evoked when driving through the area that speaks of gracious hospitality.
Glen -a valley, usually wooded and with a stream.
Oak -a familiar forest tree yielding a hard, durable timber and acorns as fruit.
The land occupied by Glen Oaks neighborhood of today was formerly the 467-acre Glen Oaks Farm owned by Frank Holland -publisher of renown “Holland Magazine”. Holland used the land as an experimental farm for 1000 goats of exceptional breed and fine dairy stock. Large trees were left in the pastures to provide shade for the goat and cattle herds. Holland’s magazine was considered the “finest magazine of the South” and was the “Southern Living” of its day. Many of the photographs displayed in the magazine were made at the Glen Oaks Farm.
Glen Oaks is clearly the perfect name for this distinctive community of twelve- hundred custom-built homes. Glen Oaks is Oak Cliff’s largest neighborhood of brick homes. Claton Wyman and his father W. L. Wyman were important Oak Cliff developers of the period. Their major developments include Cedar Crest Village Shopping Center, Cedar Crest Village Addition, and South Oak Cliff Shopping Center along Lancaster Road in east Oak Cliff and “Green Hills” and the Dallas Nature Center in Duncanville. The Wymans had a great appreciation for nature and worked hard to preserve old growth trees and the natural terrain in each of their developments. In Glen Oaks, engineering of the streets and utilities was designed to preserve most of the many beautiful trees.
“We spent innumerable hours engineering these home sites to make best use of natural beauty, save trees and fit the terrain into effective building of a house in every instance”.
-Claton Wyman. Dallas Morning News, Sept 14, 1956.
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.
Lots were sold to individuals or “approved” custom homebuilders that “built-to-suit” for the buyers. Homes in Glen Oaks are unique, and no two homes are alike. They were custom-built one by one for the original owners. Many are built in a traditional ranch style seen in Oak Cliff neighborhoods of the same period like Cedar Crest Country Club Estates, West Kessler and Angus Wynne’s Wynnewood North and in his Wynnewood Hills neighborhood bordering the Oak Cliff Country Club. Features include wide roof overhangs for shade and sun protection and facades that incorporate broad banks of windows to receive the prevailing breezes.
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.
Information provided by Heritage Oak Cliff