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Old house on Maple Springs

Posted by txdore 
Old house on Maple Springs
June 14, 2012 11:03AM
There is an old brick tudor at 2808 Maple Springs. The 5-bedroom, 2-1/2 story house sits on the NW side of the creek. It's much older looking that the other houses in the neighborhood. The recent story is it was owned by a couple named Hendrix (?) that lived and sold art there. It was bought by a developer (along with the old apartments across the creek). The apartments came down but the neighborhood successfully kept the developer from tearing down the house. The apartment site and house were bought by some investors out of receivership.

Several years ago, my wife and I came across it and noticed the city cited it for being vacant and unsecured. This led to my one and only experience with urban exploration. Hugh living room. The attic looked like it wasn't originally finished out. Dcad says it was built in 1945, but I think that's wrong. The interior finish out looks older and it has a coal cellar under the kitchen.

So, anyone know the history of the house or the area? I read on here some references to the "Maple Springs" area that became Parkland.
Re: Old house on Maple Springs
June 14, 2012 03:44PM
Mr. and Mrs. John N. Harris Sr. bought the house in 1926. It stood on one and one-half city lots. They planted a garden which outgrew the space, so they bought the adjoining lot on the left. Later they needed more garden space, so they bought the lot on the right. Eventually they acquired five lots. A creek ran on a lower level back of the house. Two terraces were built above this, with flights of stone steps leading down to the lower levels. There was a barbeque pit and Mrs. Harris once gave a barbeque party for her husband and invited more than 100 guests.

Mr. Harris was the president of the Praetorians, a fraternal life insurance association. Mrs. Harris was very active socially. All through the 1930s and 1940s she hosted meetings of the PTA, the Research Club, the Women’s Missionary Society of the First Methodist Church, and other organizations in their home. She also frequently gave bridal coffees and teas and other parties. Mr. and Mrs. Harris had two sons: John N. Harris, Jr. and Thomas (Tom) Allen Harris.

In 1930 Mr. Harris was active in the Oak Lawn Heights Improvement League. If you are interested in knowing more about the neighborhood you might see if the Dallas Public Library has any archives from that organization.

The house and grounds were put on the market in February 1953 for $75,000. It was described as having five bedrooms, two and one-half stories, three and one-half baths, partial basement, huge glassed porch, and maid’s quarters. I do not know when it sold. The Harrises were still living there in October 1954 when Mr. Harris died. In 1960 Mr. Jack Edwin Gentry, an attorney, was living at the address.

In 2009 the property was acquired by the Cleveland Street Partners LLC from Charles and Jil Carroll.
Re: Old house on Maple Springs
June 15, 2012 11:19AM
Okay, it's official - I dig that house. Very cool.
Re: Old house on Maple Springs
June 21, 2012 09:42PM
Mrs. J. J. Gentry (Ruby May) was the landlady of the first house I ever rented on my own on the corner of Congress and Shelby right behind Whittle's Music Store about 1974. She had three duplexes in a row and rented me both sides of mine (a brick beauty) out of convenience. Sometimes I would go to Maple Springs to pay rent. Other times, I would come home to find her sitting on my front porch. (Not that I was late, but because she just liked sitting on the big covered porch.) You will note that the beautiful house on Maple Springs has a "stoop", not condusive (sp?) to contemplative rocking. She also speculated about cutting down the trees close to her house (eek!) because the damned squirrels were getting into the attic. I always admired that unique spot.
At this point I think she was widowed. She only mentioned her husband regarding the drive-in "Gentry's" that was still standing then but closed on the corner of Maple and Oaklawn. Also about the two of them running a business at the state fair (corny dogs?).
I wonder if she owned other rentals and perhaps the apartment complex on the other side of the creek mentioned in the earlier post? I never went inside Maple Springs but once visited the girl I shared my darkroom with (at Meisel Photochrome) who lived in that humble complex.
I've mentioned this before on the forum regarding Mrs. Gentry's childhood home in Oakcliff but don't think anyone could help so I'll bring it up again. At the moment I can't think of her maiden name, but the home was ... shoot, I'll have to pull out my map to be more concise. Sorry, I'll continue this later.
Re: Old house on Maple Springs
June 22, 2012 08:10AM
Always thought that house was interesting, and clearly older than the surrounding neighborhood. I first discovered it several years ago while census canvassing in the area. Hoping it will be preserved/restored if a developer builds other homes on the land.
Re: Old house on Maple Springs
June 26, 2012 05:53PM
You mention the DCAD indicates the house was built in 1945. We have the same problem with our house. DCAD records show 1945 but the house was actually built in 1912. I'm guessing there must be some glitch in the city records or they had some disaster (flood, fire) that forced them to re-record documents beginning in '45.
Re: Old house on Maple Springs
June 27, 2012 08:59AM
No, I don't think it is a glitch.

When doing some research for older buildings in Dallas, I found a large spike in houses built in 1945. I don't recall any being listed prior to 1945. It's likely that when the database was but together they did not have data on pre-WWII homes. So they inserted 1945 as a filler.

Perhaps there is a correction form when you get this years appraisal in the mail.
Re: Old house on Maple Springs
June 28, 2012 02:54AM
There's another "filler", at least one. DCAD says my grandparent's old house, in Winnetka Heights, Oak Cliff, was built in 1928. I know they had been living there at least 12 years by 1928.
Re: Old house on Maple Springs
June 28, 2012 11:08AM
ernie5823 Wrote:
> There's another "filler", at least one. DCAD says
> my grandparent's old house, in Winnetka Heights,
> Oak Cliff, was built in 1928. I know they had been
> living there at least 12 years by 1928.

The Collin CAD site is the same way. It lists a lot of older homes as having been built in 1960. There's a beautiful home in Wylie that I know was built in 1901 (it's on the market now), and collincad.org says it's from 1963.
Re: Old house on Maple Springs
July 17, 2016 09:26AM
Here we are 4 years later - have looked at Google Maps and Big Maps at this address and they both seem to show different things; but naturally the satellite photos are taken at different times. Bing seems to show a house, and Google seems to show no house, unless it is under the trees. So I am guessing another one bit the dust?

Native Dallasite, Hillcrest High '65, Texas A&M '71
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