The AIA Dallas Tour of Homes is the most important and beneficial home tour in Dallas. This AIA Tour of Homes combines the best of the other home tours in Dallas. The other tours of homes in Dallas have served many purposes for nearly 50 years.
Legacy of Dallas Home Tours
The Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour reintroduced an iconic street and architect-designed homes that had long been forgotten. Munger Place was the sponsoring neighborhood of the Old East Dallas Tour of Homes that showed the mosaic of neighborhoods and homes from Greenland Hills to Deep Ellum. Dallas home tours help define restoration, neighborhoods, styles—Prairie, Craftsman, Mid-Century, Tudor, green homes—and promote history and a sense of Dallas.
AIA Tour of Homes Keeps Increasing Its Relevance
There is only one tour in Dallas that keeps increasing its relevance and that is the AIA Dallas Tour of Homes. Celebrating its 15th year, this AIA tour is still relatively young in relationship to the other tours in Dallas, but its importance continues to grow. This year, a visit to the homes introduces us or makes us more familiar with neighborhoods, architects, architecture, preservation, renovation and homes of different ages, sizes and styles, from Oak Cliff to Denton.
Understand Its Architecture and You Will Understand a City
The architecture of a city explains a city—its pattern of development, its evolution and the way it thinks about itself. The AIA Dallas Tour of Homes on October 23rd and 24th will give you a greater understanding and appreciation of Dallas and its architecture.
Architect Cliff Welch, FAIA, is Featured on Dallas Tour of Homes
The AIA Tour in 2021 has homes designed by many talented Dallas architects where their work can be seen. I am particularly pleased that the Dallas Chapter of AIA is featuring two homes designed by architect Cliff Welch. The home on Kessler Parkway you will be able to see in person. The high-rise residence originally designed by George Dahl and renovated by Cliff Welch may be visited virtually.
Early in his career, Cliff Welch invited me to be on his “50s Cool” Dallas Tour of Homes. This AIA tour was the first tour in Dallas to feature Midcentury Modern homes. As a result, I will always associate Cliff Welch with Midcentury homes along with the fact he lives in a fabulous Glenn Allen Galaway Midcentury Modern design home. Cliff also began his career at the Oglesby Group , surrounded by award-winning architects including Joe McCall and Max Levy. In the last two years, Cliff Welch has been elevated to be a national AIA Fellow in recognition of his excellent design work and contribution to architecture.
Smart Homeowner Hired Modern Architect to Preserve Historic Home
One of the reasons I am so excited about this home being on the AIA Dallas Tour of Homes is that it will give you a chance to see in person a home that is not one of the large modern homes he designed in Preston Hollow or White Rock Lake, but a small historic home in a conservation district in Oak Cliff, along Coombs Creek.
This home is a perfect example of a sophisticated client understanding the benefit of hiring an architect regardless of the size or the style of the home. This project shows how a thoughtful modern architectural sensitivity can preserve a historic home. Ultimately, it is the homeowner, the architect’s client, who determines if a home is saved or torn down. It is always easier to tear down a home and start fresh, but the results seen at this home shows how a thoughtful client and talented architect can create an inspired design and fabulous home.
Restoration House of the Year Award
When restoration of historic homes was just getting started in Dallas, I initiated and sponsored the Restoration House of the Year Award. It was presented by the mayor of Dallas and selected by a committee that included the president of Dallas AIA, ASID, a bank president, National Trust representative, and the D Magazine editor, each looking through the lens of their particular discipline. When I saw this home with the renovation designed by Cliff Welch, I thought if the award were in existence today, this Cliff Welch-designed home would win.
Dallas Tour of Homes Architectural Notes
Here are some of the things you might enjoy noting at this home on this year’s AIA Dallas Tour of Homes. This home was originally only 1,400 square feet, sited at the edge of Coombs Creek and its trail. It was covered with aluminum siding and was still resting on Bois d’Arc posts with framing of bowed 2x4s. Only an enlightened homeowner would have saved this home.
Dallas Tour of Homes – Colonial Revival Homes Lend Themselves to Modern Design
The original Colonial Revival style was extremely popular in the first half of the 20th century. These small simple homes with roof pitches in one direction were built by craftsmen, not artisans, who had been doing the elaborate and intricate work on high Victorian homes. Just as David Williams created Texas Modern homes to be drawn from indigenous Texas homes that he considered as modern as the modern homes built in 1920s Europe, Colonial Revival homes have a simplicity that lends itself to the clean lines of modernism.
Architect Cliff Welch adds Subtle Modern Detail that Transforms House
You will see on this AIA Dallas Tour of Homes that Cliff Welch kept the footprint of a house as well as the spirit of the original house. The aluminum siding was replaced with vertical board and batten siding that is both a period and current touch. The original carvings and cartouches by the front door are replaced by vertical address numerals, a round sconce and modern mailbox. Vertical slats engage the stand-alone column with the side of the house. They also provide sunlight and shadows on the façade and provide privacy from those on the Coombs Creek Trail.
Housing Shortage Disappears If Small Worn Out Houses Are Reused
There is a great clamor in Dallas that there is a housing shortage. Yes, the housing market is tight, but we still have an abundance of small worn out homes that are residential stepping stones to larger nicer homes. Here is a great example of a small home that was considered not to have any value. The 1400 square foot footprint was preserved and the 800 square foot attic was renovated to the total square footage. Architect Cliff Welch also designed the renovation to be a two step process. As the family grows, a new master bedroom may be added without disrupting the design.
Award-Winning Architects Love Small Homes
While architects’ bread-and-butter are designing large expensive homes, I have seen many talented architects, including Cliff Welch, who for the right client, site and home take great joy in designing or renovating small homes. Architects are a great value and add great value to a project.
Other Architectural Achievements Range from Rustic to Green
It is easy to forget how many wonderful approaches there are to architecture depending on the site, the architect and client. You will have a chance to see on this AIA Dallas Tour of Homes a rustic modern pool casita located in Denton, Texas, by M. Gooden Design; a modern home in a wooded setting outside of Tyler by Fitzpatrick Architects; a Gold Crest high-rise residence on Turtle Creek Boulevard originally designed by Dallas architect George Dahl and renovated by Cliff Welch; a Lakewood modern home designed by Architect James E. Manning; an energy-positive ranch-style home producing five times more energy than it consumesthat is located in Bluffview and designed by architect PM-AD; on Strait Lane a Douglas Guiling architect-designed modern home; and a modern townhome on the high ground west of the Trinity River designed by DSGN Associates.
You will be able to buy tour tickets for $45.00 for the in-person tour, or $75.00 for a combined ticket of in-person tours and virtual tours of all 10 homes at www.hometourdallas.com.