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Wilson Block of Swiss Avenue

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1898–1901. 2900 block of Swiss Ave.

The land in this area was first acquired in 1838 by John Grigsby of Illinois, who sold it c. 1859 to Jacob Nussbaumer, a settler with the La Réunion group who remained in Dallas when that experiment failed. The land was sold in 1898 to his niece Henrietta Frichot Wilson and her husband, cattleman Frederick P. Wilson, who built their house c. 1898 at 2922 Swiss Avenue, along with six other houses for rental. The house illustrates classical elements applied to the basic Queen Anne of pyramidal roof, cross-gables, a tall round corner tower, and a two-sided porch with entrance pediments on each side. Historian Margaret Culbertson has identified the two rentals at 2902 and 2906 Swiss Avenue as based upon designs by architect E. H. Silven published in Farm and Ranch 20 (November 16, 1901), a Dallas-based magazine of pattern book houses. The magazine did not sell plans, as was the norm, but referred interested parties to the architect, which allowed modifications to the basic scheme. Several houses built by the Wilsons display subtle variations of a basic design. The Arnold House (1901; 2902 Swiss) has a central pyramidal roof with offset cross-gables and a pair of small, hipped dormers. Classical features include Tuscan colonnettes and a shallow pediment above the entrance. The Wilson Block houses were restored in 1981 by Keith Downing for the Meadows Foundation, whose building (1992, Keith Downing) at 3003 Swiss emulates the scale and details of the neighboring historic houses.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Wilson Block of Swiss Avenue", [Dallas, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 175-175.

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