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WWII and Boom

WWII and Boom

The 1940's produced only 18 new homes for the now struggling neighborhood. World War II nearly closed down all residential construction throughout the country. When the war ended everything boomed thanks in part to the severe housing shortage created during the war. By 1950 Greenway Parks had begun to develope as never before.

c. 1950 c. 2000

5354 Wenonah was built in 1948 and designed by architect Everett V. Welch The c. 1950 picture was taken from the vacant lot across the street. Note the lack of trees in the greenway behind the house as well as the lack of houses across the greenway. In 1950, Linda Ingraham, who grew up in this house and still lives here, could see all the way to the Inwood theater. Two Hackberry trees were planted in front of every house.

The American involvement in World War II, brought new construction to a dead halt. Raw materials were rationed and man-power was elsewhere occupied - first in the defense of our allies, later in the protection of our own shores. Stephenson and Drane held on to the development they so believed in for 24 years, until December of 1941 when they sold their interests to the Saxet Apartment Co.

On March 2, 1942, by vote of the approximately 70 resident families, the City of Dallas incorporated Greenway Parks into the city giving the struggling neighborhood access to Dallas fire and police protection and other city services. New addresses were assigned, following the reversed numbering system used by Dallas. The blocks were now numbered 5300, 5400 and 5500. For the next six years, the City of Dallas paid tuition for the children of Greenway Parks residents to continue to attend schools in University Park and Highland Park. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Elementary School opened in 1948. In 1954, Thomas J. Rusk Middle School was finished; and in1958, the completion of Thomas Jefferson High School made it possible for the neighborhood children to attend Dallas schools on all levels.

The Saxet Apartment Co. sold their interest in Greenway Parks to the Atlantic Life Insurance Co. in January, 1943, just one year after they purchased it. Atlantic Life in turn sold to the Reserve Loan life Insurance Co. in April of 1944.

On August 14, 1945, the war with Japan ended, and American soldiers returned home. After a seven-year hiatus, new housing was in short supply. The U.S. government promised 2.5 million new residences by 1948. Suddenly all those vacant lots in Greenway Parks were in demand.

James Clark bought the remaining undeveloped lots in October of 1947. Long-time residents recall Clark was often referred to as the "Mayor of Greenway Parks" for his dictatorial manor in the handling of Greenway business. It is also rumored that he repaid gambling debts with Greenway property. Ten years later, with 100% of the lots privately owned, Clark transferred responsibility for maintaining the parkways and easements to the newly-established Greenway Parks Homeowners Association.

5381 Waneta was designed in 1950 by Jon D. Casey
for Fred Prior in the Prairie style of Frank Lloyd Wright.
This home has a definite Japanese influence.

Between 1935 and 1941, the Dines and Kraft company built at least 12 homes in Greenway in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Charles Dilbeck, the popular and prolific Dallas architect who designed very distinctive, eclectic style homes all over the city of Dallas was the architect of several Dines and Kraft houses as well.

Howard Meyer came to Dallas from New York City in 1935 as a young architect bringing modernism with him. Unlike Williams and Ford, who were largely self-taught and observed historic regional architecture for inspiration, Meyer's education was formal and sophisticated. in 1926, while still an undergraduate at Columbia University, Meyer worked with William Lescaze, the pioneer modernist, on a design for the League of Nations competition. After graduation, he traveled to Europe to see firsthand the revolutionary work of Gropius, Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier of the Bauhaus School. Meyer credited Le Corbusier with having convinced him that these "new forms" had great meaning.

Upon his return to New York, he took a job with Thompson and Churchill where Frank Lloyd Wright leased office space when he was in the city. Wright critiqued Meyer's sketches and showed him models of projects he had designed. Wright, too, became a major source of Meyer's architectural inspirations.

5381 Nakoma was designed by Howard Meyer in 1950
for Ben A. Lipshey. The house was restored to its
original character in 1982 by Jim and Carolyn Clark.

E.M. Kahn gave Meyer his first job in Dallas - the remodel of their popular apparel store on Lamar street. the Kahns were so pleased with Meyer's work that in 1948, they retained him to design a Bauhaus style residence at 5318 Drane. In 1980 when Robin and Lanay Hartmann, current owners of the Kahn house, chose to add a second story to the Kahn house, they hired Howard Meyer to design the addition.

Ben A. Lipshey commissioned Meyer to design 5381 Nakoma, completed in 1950. In its original form, the house was appointed with rich natural materials and streamlined modern details. Subsequent owners, ignorant of the special character of the home, altered the interior with appointments totally inappropriate for the architectural style of the residence. Jim and Carolyn Clark became the house's fourth owners in 1982 at which time, with the assistance of Mr. Meyer, they began meticulously restoring the house to its original character. So faithful was Meyer's restoration that he brought a metal worker out of retirement to stamp replacement pieces for the casement windows and insisted that all of the rounded switch plates be replaced with the proper 45 degree beveled original style. Given the D/AIA 25 Year Award in 1996, honoring structures over 25 years of age, the Lipshey house is considered to be one of Howard Meyer's finest.

Both the Lipshey/Clark house and the Kahn/Hartmann house imaginatively compound the Bauhaus movement, Wright's Usonian house and Indigenous Texas architecture. Both make extensive use of indirect light, cork, brick, oak, and redwood. Both have glass doors and steel casement windows that bring nature in. Meyer later designed Temple Emanuel and the 3525 Turtle Creek apartments.

5310 Wateka is a sprawling California style home built by E.P. Lambrethat. It sits at a 45% angle on a corner lot. The house was adapted by Dallas architect George Marble from plans by famous California architect Cliff May for House Beautiful Magazine's 1948 "Pacesetter" home. According to Lambreth's daughter, Markeeta McNatt, Marble "modified the floor plan slightly, but the home remains true to May's combined 50's modernist sensibility with his long-held focus on Mission Style."

 
 
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