Peak’s Suburban Addition – Dallas, Texas

Peak’s Suburban Addition is a historic residential neighborhood and City of Dallas Historic District in east Dallas, Texas (USA). The district’s boundaries are, roughly, N. Fitzhugh Street to the northeast, Sycamore to the northwest, Peak Street and Haskell Street toward the southwest, and Worth Street along the southeast. Peak’s Suburban is East Dallas’ oldest subdivision and oldest residential neighborhood.

The Peak’s Suburban Addition historic district is unusual in that it developed over the years with three distinct architectural styles. Examples of the Victorian and Prairie eras are very abundant. In addition, examples of streetcar apartments from the 1920s and ’30s are also present. This is Dallas’ fourteenth historic district and was adopted in 1995. This neighborhood has one of the highest concentrations of Victorian homes in Dallas.

The architectural styles of the neighborhood’s homes span several decades and include Craftsman, Prairie, Classical Revival, Queen Anne, and other Victorian styles.

Peak’s Addition is near many Dallas parks and recreation destinations, like Buckner Park, Klyde Warren ParkDallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, White Rock Lake Park, and Santa Fe Trail.

History

The land that encompasses much of the district now was formerly a plantation settled by Jefferson Peak. Peak was a veteran of the Mexican War. Peak was an early Dallas real estate developer.[1] Peak purchased land and built a home in 1855 at the corner of Worth and Peak Streets, and it was the first brick house in Dallas.

Peak, like many early settlers, was a beneficiary of large land grants. He reportedly traveled through East Dallas on his way to fight in the Mexican War in 1846[3] and never forgot the territory, eventually making it his home. Peak, sometimes referred to as the “father of East Dallas,” initially relocated to Dallas in 1855.

Some claim the area is, in fact, older than the city of Dallas itself, as Dallas was chartered in February 1856.

After the Civil War, Peak was joined by other large landowners purchasing in the area, including William H. Gaston, a former Confederate Army Captain. He purchased 400 acres along White Rock Road (now Swiss Avenue). Gaston was instrumental in bringing railroads and other industries to East Dallas, which resulted in a housing shortage. The housing shortage helped encourage Jefferson Peak and others to begin subdividing their lands.

Before being incorporated as the city of East Dallas in 1882, the majority of the settlement in the area had been agriculture-related.

Jefferson Peak platted the first of his family’s subdivisions along Ross Avenue in 1874.

Peak and his son, Junius Peak, divided the family plantation into a section of 16 blocks, which were sold as the Peak’s Suburban Addition starting in 1879. Streets were named after the Peak family children: Worth, Carroll, Junius, Victor, and Flora. Many of these streets today cross between the Junius Heights Historic District, Munger Place Historic District, and Peak’s Suburban Historic District. Peak initially owned all the land from Elm Street to Capital Street and Carroll and Haskell Avenues.

After Jefferson Peak died in 1885, his son, Junius, began the larger-scale division and selloff of the family’s extensive land holdings. The land around the Old Peak Homestead at Worth and Peak Streets was originally sold as Peak’s Addition in 1897. Its development spurred many housing starts in East Dallas.

Jefferson Peak’s son-in-law, Thomas Field, was also an active real estate developer in East Dallas during the 1880s and 1890s. His firm, Field and Field Real Estate and Financial Agents, managed to control or influence the sale of very large parcels of East Dallas land. He located his home on Peak Avenue between Gaston and Junius Streets.

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