B o o k R e v i e w
Neighbors Great American Suburbs installment vividly details multi-dimensional histories of Dallas’ Park Cities by Stephen Fox
Architectural historian Virginia McAlester; architect and historian Willis Winters, FAIA; journalist Prudence Mackintosh; and photographer Steve Clicque have produced an extraordinary work on the history and architecture of Dallas’ two best-known twentieth-century residential communities, Highland Park and University Park. This sumptuously illustrated book contains a text that is lively and informative, documenting real estate development, demographic shifts, and changing architectural trends of the past 100 years in Dallas. Published late last year, The Homes of the Park Cities, Dallas is the latest installment of the Abbeville Press’ Great American Suburbs series. It seems inadequate to state that McAlester merely places the development of this pair of suburban communities, located adjacent to each other three miles north of downtown Dallas, in their historical context. What she does is recapitulate in admirably concise detail a history of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American suburban community development and a narrative of Dallas’ urban expansion and economic evolution, explaining how these trends merged to affect the configurations of Highland Park and University Park. McAlester emphasizes that the historical trajectories of the adjoining communities are different: Highland Park was comprehensively developed by brothers-in-law E.L. Continued on page 78
(top left) A latter-day example of Highland Park architecture is 3929 Potomac Avenue, completed in 2003 and designed by Lawrence W. Speck, FAIA, of Page Southerland Page. (bottom left) The Vernette B. and Betty Aldredge Slater home at 4219 Stanhope Avenue, built in 1935, combines English and French features.
7 / 8
2 0 0 9
t e x a s
a r c h i t e c t