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The Swiss Avenue Historic District is a neighborhood reminiscent of a gentler, more gracious era. Step back in time to picture the place where many of Dallas' most prominent residents lived.

At the turn of the century, developer R.S. Munger began his dream of creating the most prestigious residential area in the Southwest. The result is Munger Place, a 140 acre community built between 1905 and the mid 1920's. It was to become a showcase for the nation's finest architects - a spectacular neighborhood where the city's affluent could entertain dignitaries from around the world. Here, Mr. Munger succeeded in capturing the magical spirit of this important time.

Towering trees, sloping green lawns, rose-covered trellises, inviting front porches, lushly landscaped gardens and a broad boulevard lit by its original street lamps are just some of the characteristics that distinguish the Swiss Avenue Historic District.

The area is named after Swiss settlers who sought community in Dallas. There is a diverse range of architecture: Tudor, Italian Romanesque, Prairie, Craftsman and many more examples of 20th Century architecture. The Swiss Avenue area was Dallas' first residential historic district.

The Great Depression and World War II had dramatic impact on Munger Place, as the once stately neighborhood was transformed to meet the needs of a new era. Urbanization caused many homes to be abandoned to absentee landlords, who turned mansions into apartment houses, half-way house, brothels and even dog kennels.

In 1973, through the efforts of residents, the Historic Preservation League and the Design Division of the City Planning Department, a portion of Munger Place was designated as the first residential historic district. Bound by portions of LaVista, Swiss, Fitzhugh, Live Oak, Bryan Parkway and Bryan, the Swiss Avenue Historic District was now protected through rezoning and restrictive land-use ordinances. With renewed commitment, the rejuvenation of one of the city's oldest and most innovative real estate developments began.

Major arts, medical, entertainment and downtown Dallas are less than two miles away.

Today, Swiss Avenue Historic District residents share a cherished legacy that is illustrated in the renovation of many fine homes. The legacy is a gift of time binding through commitment and the pursuit of quality, a shared vision for the future from a gracious past.

The Swiss Avenue Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is recognized as a Dallas landmark and a Texas Historical Site.

Swiss Avenue among best neighborhoods in Dallas

Date Published: Feb 27 2013 by Minnie Payne, Angie’s List contributor