Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 14, Number 2, Fall, 2002 Page: 39
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A4 Tonic to the Shelter-hungry Nation"
BY RON EMRICH
he result of showman, fine art collector,
war hero, and visionary entrepreneur
Angus Wynne Jr.'s "ahead of his time"
imagination, the 820-acre planned community of
Wynnewood was lyrically described in its initial
promotional materials in 1946 as perched
"on crested highland at the Southern Gateway
where Dallas meets the Gulf breeze." With
ultimate development costs expected to reach
$25 million, Wynnewood was predicted in five
years to house 10,000 people in more than 2,200
houses and 1,000 apartment units and was considered
"the country's largest privately owned
Never before had a Dallas land development
been this large or comprehensive, but Wynne's
community, located southwest of"old" Oak Cliff,
was planned to dramatically and quickly alleviate
the severe housing shortage that had plagued the
city-and the nation-as returning war veterans
by the thousands sought homes. Not only was
Wynnewood to be big, but it was also to be
unique. A nationally prominent landscape architecture
firm from Kansas City planned the 820
acres following the most modern of community
planning precepts. A distinguished Dallas architect
and his colleague were responsible for the
design of hundreds of homes and buildings in the
development. The result of their work would be
an unconventional layout of winding streets with
only limited connections to major thoroughfares.
Features would include wide building lots, a central
shopping center integral to the community,
an apartment complex located in a lush garden
setting, and distinctive, contemporary architec
tural design for both individual houses and public
buildings. All these features were peerless
among conservative postwar Dallas housing
A year later, on February 16, 1947, Wynne's
development company, American Home Realty,
advertised that homes were finally available for
inspection and purchase in "Dallas' largest and
most modern development."2 For veterans of
World War II, Wynnewood home purchases
could be financed without a down payment, and
with monthly payments beginning at $54.00
including taxes and insurance. During the same
week, President Harry Truman announced the
lifting of most postwar price controls; the
Cunard White Star Line advertised the first
postwar sailing of the Queen Elizabeth from
New York to Liverpool; Van Winkle Pontiac on
Oak Lawn Avenue in Dallas asked car buyers to
be patient while waiting for production to
resume on automobiles; and at the Polaroid
headquarters in New York Edwin Land unveiled
the first camera to produce a finished print oneminute
after the picture was snapped.3
Advertising materials described the new
Wynnewood neighborhood as a "nationally recognized,
long-range, well-planned development
offering a sound investment in good living. Each
home incorporates the best in architectural
conception and quality workmanship."4
Wynnewood houses, designed by prominent
Dallas architect Roscoe DeWitt, were available
with eighteen different floor plans and three to
four alternate elevations in traditional, ranch, or
modern designs built in brick or stone veneer.
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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; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35097/m1/41/: accessed March 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.