In a heavily wooded area of Oak Cliff lined with pecan, oak, and cedar trees is the historic neighborhood Beverly Hills. It is bounded by Jefferson Boulevard on the south, by West Moreland on the west, by Davis Street on the north and by Hartsdale on the east. Early developments in the 1920s, followed by a slow-down during the Great Depression, and then a post-war revival have resulted in a diverse neighborhood with varying lot sizes and architectural styles.
The land for Beverly Hills, originally part of the McCracken and Coombs survey, was purchased by and platted for developer F.G. Jester in 1914. It included 90 acres of land with a stream that runs southwest to northeast through the entire acreage. This high limestone bank stream attracted new housing construction in the 1960s, and now, ranch-style houses can be found along Coombs Creek. The influence of the 1920s is apparent by the construction of Craftsman and Tudor Revival bungalows. The Great Depression of 1929 was the same year Beverly Hills was annexed from Dallas. Houses constructed during the 1930s had hipped roofs with front facing gables and usually were Prairie, Craftsman, and Cape Cod cottages or Spanish Eclectic. During the 1940s the postwar shortage of housing and the economic prosperity Dallas was enjoying allowed a new addition to be platted and named Ravina Terrace III. Tudor, Craftsman and Ranch remained the most popular styles during its construction. Beverly Hills remains diverse with its irregular lot sizes and the representation of architectural styles from several decades.
Beverly Hills in its early development had been a segregated working class neighborhood. Now, it is diverse in age, race, religion and profession. An active neighborhood in the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League and a non-profit neighborhood association, Beverly Hills is making efforts to improve both its houses and surrounding environment that includes a reforestation program to pay for parkways. In 1991 Beverly Hills developed a plan to pave every major street in the neighborhood by utilizing city grants and money from scrap metal to pay for the improvements. This historic neighborhood is an example of dedication to preserving the identity of its community.
Seale, Katherine D. Persistence Paves in Beverly Hills Neighborhood. Dallas: Preservation Dallas, Inc. 2006. The Beverly Hills Neighborhood Association. History of the Beverly Hills Neighborhood. Preservation Dallas survey references.
Author: Laura Flores
Editor: Michael Hazel
Photographs: Leslie T. Carey