Your Expert Guide
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.
Real estate professional Bess Dickson’s greatest passion is helping her clients find the right space “to add beautiful chapters to their story.” Perhaps that’s why she has always been so drawn to Historic East Dallas, as the homes in this neighborhood really do have many tales to tell.
“It’s a magnificent collection of American architectural styles that have been slowly reimagined by the families who have lived within each home’s walls for more than 100 years,” says Bess. But what she loves just as much as the history is the friendly hum of the neighborhood. Front porch “howdies” are a regular occurrence here.
“The eclectic vibe of the historic neighborhoods of East Dallas lends itself to an easy life rhythm,” she adds. “People move here and stay — sometimes for generations — because of the love of neighbor, of home, and of variety.”
Bess, who has also been involved in residential construction in some form since childhood, mixed her first batch of concrete — shovel in hand — when she was 13. “My family watched This Old House, and then we lived the show by rehabbing our own home,” she says. She later volunteered in other countries to build transitional housing.
When she’s not leveraging her unique background and experience to help her clients realize their ideal home, you might find her hitting the trails (she’s an avid runner), volunteering, or cooking (she’s a two-time salsa cook-off champ).
Bess is also a member of Preservation Dallas, a nonprofit that's dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of the city’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, and places.
She offered up a few of her personal favorites about life in and around Historic East Dallas. Here's her guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
Bess recommends Two Doors Down, which is a sister restaurant to next-door's Urbano Café. They serve a full menu along with a selection of beer and wines by the bottle or glass. It’s a friendly neighborhood hangout where you can often catch live music, too.
Another favorite is Garden Café, which Bess says is a “secret garden meets five-star dining, where everyone learns your name.”
Where to play
The Santa Fe Trail, which runs about four miles and change from White Rock Lake to Deep Ellum, is a wonderful ride, walk, or run.
For foodies, Bess says the ultimate neighborhood playground is Burgundy’s Local, a grass-fed meat market that’s owned by the same family that raises the birth-to-table, grass-fed beef.
She also loves Bar & Garden for their plants and organic, biodynamic, and sustainable selection of natural wine, spirits, and craft beer. “These are two true organic, locavore purveyors — rare gems in this world we live in these days!”
Where to live
The bungalow, the Craftsman, and the Prairie are the three dominant styles in this neighborhood, according to Bess.
But there are some quirky twists, too, like Bess' all-time favorite property in the area: The Alamo House at 4525 Junius St.
The unique home is not only an ode to the original Alamo, it’s filled with gracious retreat-style spaces for relaxing and epic settings for entertaining, including a wisteria and jasmine-clad esplanade that’s made for the dinner party of your dreams.
Bess also points out that one of the best ways to experience these homes and learn about the different historic neighborhoods of East Dallas is to attend one of the home tours that occur throughout the year. "If you're interested, reach out and I'll be happy to connect you!" she says.
Bess Dickson works and plays in Historic East Dallas. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email email@example.com, or call 214-736-3921.