Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 14, Number 2, Fall, 2002 Page: 36
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THE PERFECT HOME
A Marketing Tool in Pasadena
BY SAM CHILDERS
B y the mid-1920s Dallas had begun to
show tremendous signs of growth in
both population and geography.
Downtown Dallas was bustling with streetcars,
automobile traffic, consumers patronizing an
endless number of shops, theater patrons and
businessmen. One could go to the top of the
recently completed Magnolia Petroleum
Building (the tallest building in the city, the state
and the South) and from the twenty-nine-story
vantage point, survey not only the urban street
scene below, but the ever-dwindling countryside
as well. Dallas was spreading out, long before the
terms "suburb" and "urban sprawl" entered the
At the time, most of the area surrounding
what is now White Rock Lake and Lakewood
Country Club was developed farmland, mainly
cotton patches and corn fields, but green with
small rolling hills and valleys. The newly developed
White Rock Lake, four and a half miles
east of the city, was being touted as the "greatest
playground in this part of the country and one of
the residential showplaces of the Southwest."1 By
1925, Dallas real estate developers had begun to
eye the land as prime property for new housing
developments. Several well-known Dallas
additions were constructed at this time, including
the Country Club Estates, Lakewood,
Hollywood Heights, Gastonwood, and Santa
Monica neighborhoods. The area soon became
known as New East Dallas, and was easily
accessible by paved roads as well as bus and
streetcar lines. The population had begun to
increase to the point that a new high school was
set to be completed in 1928, and interests controlling
a dozen new subdivisions joined together
to organize the Sewer-Reservoir Protective
League and constructed the longest sewer line in
the Southwest at a cost of $200,000.2
The Enterprise Development Company,
headed by G.S. McGhee, purchased forty acres
of land east of Gaston Road in 1925 and
contracted with the engineering firm of Myers &
Noyes to divide the land into 130 lots in a wide
range of sizes. The development was named
Pasadena, fitting in perfectly with its other
California-named neighbors Hollywood
Heights and Santa Monica. Three streetsPasadena,
Wildgrove, and Shook-were bisected
by West Side and bracketed by Auburn
and White Rock, creating a small, cohesive
McGhee came up with a unique marketing
plan to attract attention to the new development
when he announced plans to construct "The
Perfect Home." Actually Enterprise was to
construct two "Perfect Homes" and advertise the
construction process of each home in local newspapers
and on billboards across Dallas, creating
an interest that grew as the homes took shape.
Dallas architect Arthur E. Thomas, a Crockett,
Texas, native who was known primarily as
the architect of larger projects such as
Baylor Hospital and later, Children's Medical
Center, was retained as the architect for these
Thomas settled on two cottage styles for the
homes, yet each would have very distinctive
looks. One was dubbed "The Colonial Cottage,"
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Dallas Historical Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 14, Number 2, Fall, 2002, periodical, 2002; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35097/m1/38/: accessed November 30, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.