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1950's 1960's

The 1950's and 1960's

A whole new style shaped Greenway Parks during the boom period after World War II. Sharp angles, straight lines, low overhanging roofs, and minimalist detail defined the ranch houses of the 50's and the 60's. Atrium plans literally brought the outdoors in bringing gardens and trees right into the house.

Dallas may have come of age with the automobile, but as in most southwestern cities, real maturity came only after World War II. Between 1940 and 1959, the Dallas population increased by 135%, while land area incorporated into the city increased from 114 sq. mi. to nearly 300. New expressways, beltlines and loops enabled the population to move around the city easily.

5519 Wenonah was designed by Robert Perry

Atrium plans were stylish and new in the late 1950's. George and Mary Seay hired the architectural firm of Paige, Sutherland and Paige in 1957 to design their house at 5353 Montrose surrounding an atrium. Robert Perry designed an atrium plan for Alma and W.A. Morel at 5519 Wenonah in 1960. Marshall and Dee Ann Payne artfully remolded the Perry house in 1993 with architectural help from Mil Bodron. Other architects of note at that time were Enslie "Bud" Oglesby, who designed houses at 5342 Wateka and 5344 Nakoma. John Astin Perkins designed 5403 Drane, but the house was extensively remodeled several years ago and substantially changed both inside and out. Perkins also remodeled 5514 Wenonah, repositioning the front entrance and installing sliding glass doors at the back.

5373 Wenonah, a third Fooshee and Cheek built in 1955

Architects who were able to survive the lean years as well as new comers to the field, saw business boom in the 50's bringing new styles in residential design. The long-established firm of Fooshee and Cheek who designed two of the first Greenway Parks homes, designed a more traditional style home at 5373 Wenonah. Though very different from the Arts and Crafts Tudor and Mission styles the firm executed in the late 20's, this house has their signature details - the repeated grouping of windows and the wide porch across the front. Their mastery of proportion and style spanned several decades. It is interesting that in 1954, Marion Fooshee, who was also one of the founding members of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, designed their first sanctuary at the corner of Douglas and Colgate. He brought in existing structures that had been used either as military mess halls or barracks and built the church around them. Inadequately proportioned, the existing structures used are too narrow for side aisles and have only one tight center aisle. Making use of an existing structure in the construction of a new one was not limited to public buildings. Ward Mayborn, who grew up in Bluff View, says he observed Charles Dilbeck move two chicken coops on to a neighboring lot and place them at right angles as the infrastructure for a new house he was building.

Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church c. 1955

The Great Depression had made the postwar generation frugal and resourceful. Harris Kemp, who worked with I.M. Pei on the design of the Dallas City Hall, designed his own family residence at 5328 Waneta around a walled courtyard. The house backs up to a private parkway, but Kemp chose not to view the greenway from the house except in glimpses through a lattice-like brick device covering a stair window. New owners have since opened the house to views of the greenway. Luther Sadler,considered one of the city's most progressive designers in 1930, is responsible for several important modern-style buildings. For his wife Ruth and himself, Sadler chose to build a very traditional home at 5560 Waneta. While externally, the Sadler house retains much of its original character, it has been enlarged considerably since the Sadler's lived there.

 
 
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