Swiss Avenue was first planned in 1907, and was the first deed-restricted community in Texas. It was also the first in Dallas to require utilities to be sent to the back of the house, so the view of the homes wouldn’t be marred by an ugly utility pole.
Deed restrictions included that the minimum cost to build would be at least $10,000 (at a time when the average family spent less than $700 a year) and that the owner must build the home to live in, not for resale.
As was common nationwide at the time, there were also deed restrictions that the homes be owned by whites only. In 1948, the Supreme Court ruled that racial restrictions were unenforceable, but it was not outlawed until 1968 in the Fair Housing Act. There have been some attempts at the state level, notably by California, to get these restrictions struck from the deeds, but there has been little momentum behind it.
There was a trolley that serviced the neighborhood to downtown. A rail spur ran through an alley, for the convenience of those residents who had a private rail car. I think the equivalent today would be a helicopter landing site, like Ross Perot Jr. has on his ranch in the Southlake area.
The area was designated a historical district in the 1970’s, and has a very active neighborhood board. One home is used for events, but the rest remain private homes. A friend was married there some years back, but it looks like there’s been a neighborhood brawl over that issue that has thankfully been resolved.
Some notable early residents included R. C. Stubbs, a concrete contractor with a patent on bonding new concrete to old, and Dr. John Bourland, an obstetrician who invented an incubator for preemie babies. Many prominent lawyers, pastors, and executives (especially the for Magnolia Oil Company and Neiman Marcus store) lived there.
These are more or less what I was envisioning when I described the Eymann house. The home sit back and up from the street (a minimum of 70 feet back) and a grand boulevard of trees separate the two sides of the street.