Your Expert Guide
Old Highland Park: Excellent schools and Rodeo Drive-worthy shopping
There are so many great places to live in Dallas that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
Few know Highland Park, especially the area east of Preston Road that's locally known as Old Highland Park, better than real estate agent Ann Henry. Not only did she grow up there, but she also raised her children in the neighborhood and now helps buyers and sellers navigate the area's highly competitive market.
"I have been working in Highland Park all of my career," she says. "It's home to me. I went all the way through Highland Park schools and know the neighborhood like only a native could."
Those schools are within the Highland Park Independent School District and are a major draw for residents. Henry says they offer "beautiful campuses that include a planetarium, a natatorium, an academic program that produces National Merit Scholars who attend the most prestigious schools in the nation, and championship sports programs."
The neighborhood is also minutes from downtown Dallas, Uptown, SMU, NorthPark Center, and Highland Park Village.
Henry is part of a three-generation Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty family, with her mother, Kathleen Douglas, having worked for the company, and her daughter, Kathryn, currently in the ranks as well.
Henry offered up a few of her personal favorites about life in Old Highland Park. Here’s her guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
"The Macho salad at The Honor Bar is the best," says Henry. “Cafe Pacific is a little slice of New York, and Bistro 31 is great for lunch and dinner."
Of course, she agrees, "You can't forget Mi Cocina for great Tex-Mex and the famous Mambo Taxi margaritas."
Where to play
There are eight public parks in Old Highland Park alone, Henry says, "along with 10 tennis/pickleball courts and a public pool that rivals any private club."
Henry also names Lakeside Park as a beautiful spot for strolling along Turtle Creek and feeding the ducks.
"The fashion boutiques in Highland Park Village are Dallas' answer to Rodeo Drive, with all the finest designers," Henry says. "It is absolutely the best people-watching in Dallas and the best place to get a tour of Highland Park's Christmas lights in a horse-drawn carriage."
What to see
For a cultural outing, the Meadows Museum on SMU's campus has one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain.
Where to live
"People are moving to Dallas from all over the country because there is something for everyone," Henry says. "We have traditional cottages built at the turn of the 20th century, large, contemporary new-builds, and everything in between."
One of Henry's most significant sales in the area is 3709 Lexington Ave., believed to be the last home designed by famed Dallas architect Bud Oglesby.
The magnificent, two-story, contemporary residence in Old Highland Park was built to showcase beauty, both inside and out. The home's exterior glass walls afford spectacular, so-close-you-can touch-them views of the grounds' lush greenery, while its museum-quality interior walls are perfect for displaying world-class art.
The four-bedroom, four-bath, 6,200-square-foot residence also boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen, an elevator, Lutron lighting, a beautiful pool with a spa and waterfall, and an attached air-conditioned garage that can accommodate eight cars. The home has been beautifully reimagined by Architectural Digest AD100 designer Michael Lee.
Another is 4009 Gillon Ave. with its clean lines, high ceilings, large rooms, and lush views from every window.
Set on nearly half an acre in a premier location that's just steps from Lakeside Drive, Highland Park Village, and Dallas Country Club, it offers two primary suites, lovely formals, and a backyard with a spectacular pool and yard decked out with Pennsylvanian stone, two dining areas, a fountain, and a commercial pizza oven.
The kitchen boasts two Sub-Zero side-by-side refrigerator-freezers, two dishwashers, two convection ovens, a large stainless island, and vaulted, beamed ceilings and marble floors.
Ann Henry works and plays in Old Highland Park. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 214-546-6712.