< Last Photo   << Last Chapter                Notes on the Geography of Places: The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas         Next Chapter >>   Next Photo > 
 

Notes on the Geography of The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas

The subdivisions of 1950 look archaic today. Here we survey some more recent additions to the city's landscape.

Make default image size larger

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 1

This topo sheet from about 1900 shows a ring of towns surrounding Dallas: clockwise they include Richardson, Garland, Mesquite, and (up at about 11 o'clock) Carrollton. The city today--forget urban boundaries and look instead at the built-up area--reaches far beyond all of them.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 2

And here's how you get there, in this case via the High Five, a junction that makes the cloverleafs of the 1960s look like Aunt Martha.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 3

Looks like a hundred miles from nowhere, but we're actually at the very northern fringe of metro Dallas. Turn the camera 180 degrees.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 4

Here's the view. The residents can enjoy the wheat fields for now, but not for long. (We're somewhere west of Prosper and north of U.S. 380.)

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 5

Over on the east side of Prosper, there's a big residential development called Gentle Creek, where homeowners enjoy their fantasies.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 6

The city has grown subdivision by subdivision. This map shows that growth nibble by nibble around Garland, on the city's east side.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 7

New development occurs not only at the periphery but on patches of land that were missed in the city's expansion. Here's a good case: the entry gate to Keller Springs, just east of the Dallas North Tollway and south of the Bent Tree Country Club. The gatekeeper will make a copy of your driver's license and forbid you to take pictures of the mansions within.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 8

A mile or so to the south, just off Belt Line Road and across from the Prestonwood Country Club, there's a subdivision that isn't gated but which suggests the kind of houses being built in Dallas near the high end of the market. One simple indicator is siding, which basically starts at fiber cement, jumps up to brick, and with stone emerges above the clouds to inhale the smell of money.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 9

The combinations are endless. We're at Beacon Hill in Frisco, a town whose population jumped from 1,200 in 1960 to 34,000 in 2000 and 98,000 in 2008. The city happily projects over 250,000 by 2024.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 10

A bit like California's Santa Clara Valley in the 1950s: subdividers advertising their handiwork just north of Prosper.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 11

We'll take a closer look at one particular development, Lantana, which is about 15 miles north of DFW and covers about 1,700 acres of unincorporated land. There's room for 4,000 houses, according to the owner, Republic Property Group. Only half had been built by early 2008. The windmill is an especially nice touch, and is perhaps an effective marketing tool. The Little House on the Prairie is still a potent symbol, after all. (The Eclipse wind engine, made from 1867 into the 1920s, was probably the most popular of all windmills on the southern Great Plains.)

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 12

What would Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was born the year that Eclipse windmills were patented, make of this, the main entrance and exit of Lantana? Despite the windmill, Lantana is a bedroom community, not a settlement of farmers.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 13

The developer speaks of Lantana's 22 "communities." A more accurate label might be "price points." Homes of any particular price range are clustered together, so everyone's with their own kind.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 14

Here's the high end, starting at $700,000.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 15

Specimen.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 16

Not the same house, but you're forgiven if you thought it was.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 17

One more, with mortar oozing between every brick.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 18

You get fancy plantings, too.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 19

Here's the starter-kit model, in the "community" called Magnolia.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 20

Not the same house, but you're forgiven if....

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 21

And now for something completely different. It's Tucker Hill, west of McKinney, where the developer (the Southern Land Company) decided to build a neighborhood of new houses that look as though they've been wheeled in from a neighborhood of 1900. The setback is very unusual. In 1900, those would have been front yards; here, that space is kept public, which means the owners don't have the hassle of gardening. They're busy commuting, after all.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 22

More Tucker Hill.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 23

And more.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 24

There's all kinds.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 25

A neighbor, perhaps a descendant of Napoleon III.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 26

Inside, they've stuck to traditional cabinetry.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 27

But not to traditional floorplans.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 28

Tucker Hill is supposed to cover 800 acres, although there were probably 30 houses built by early 2009.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 29

Developers have trouble with street names. They're tired of Third, bored with Washington, reluctant to try Mortgage. Here's one that will amuse passersby for years to come.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 30

Kessler Woods is only a few miles west of downtown, and a lot of it sits on ground formerly occupied by apartment buildings, since demolished.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 31

Here's what's interesting. Where else, at least in the middle of the country, will you find a subdivision where every house is strictly modern, rather than pretending to be French this or Spanish that?

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 32

Another example.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 33

And a third.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 34

Urban Reserve, just inside the LBJ and east of the Central Expressway, picked up the idea.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 35

Fewer than a dozen houses were on the site by early 2009.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 36

One of them had a reedy pond.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 37

Another.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 38

Cor-Ten siding.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 39

Only for the committed modernist.

The Western United States: Recent Subdivisions in Dallas picture 40

You have to love the window box.


www.greatmirror.com Web   
 

* Australia * Austria * Bangladesh * Belgium * Botswana * Brazil * Burma / Myanmar * Cambodia (Angkor) * Canada (B.C.) * China * The Czech Republic * Egypt * Fiji * France * Germany * Ghana * Greece * Hungary * India: Themes * Northern India * Peninsular India * Indonesia * Israel * Italy * Japan * Jerusalem * Jordan * Kenya * Laos * Kosovo * Malawi * Malaysia * Mauritius * Mexico * Morocco * Mozambique * Namibia * The Netherlands * New Zealand * Nigeria * Norway * Oman * Pakistan * The Philippines * Poland * Portugal * Senegal * Singapore * South Africa * Spain * Sri Lanka * Sudan * Syria (Aleppo) * Tanzania * Thailand * Trinidad * Turkey (Istanbul) * Uganda * The U.A.E. (Dubai) * The United Kingdom * The Eastern United States * The Western United States * Oklahoma * Uzbekistan * Vietnam * The West Bank * Yemen * Zambia * Zimbabwe *
go back to previous picture go to next chapter go to next picture go to previous chapter page