The Wilson House at 2922 Swiss Avenue is both the namesake and centerpiece of the Wilson Historic District. Completed in 1899, this house was the home of Frederick and Henrietta Wilson, and was occupied by the family for over 75 years. The house is an excellent example of the Queen Anne Victorian style, which dominated American house design from about 1880 until 1910. Queen Anne houses typically have irregular steeply pitched roofs, asymmetrical facades, and one-story front porches that wrap around one or both sidewalls. Areas of patterned wooden shingles are almost always found as decoration in gables and on walls. Queen Anne houses constructed before 1895 often have turned porch supports and spindlework ornamentation. Those built after 1895, as exemplified in the Wilson Block, generally have simple classical columns and other classical details, such as decorative dentils and garlands. Many high-style examples of Queen Anne houses, such as the Wilson House, also feature turrets. The carriage house and servants’ quarters at the rear are original to the house. The carriage house has been adapted for use as meeting rooms for nonprofits in the district.
In 1977, the Wilson House was sold to a development company — which could have resulted in its demolition. The Foundation intervened and, in 1981, purchased not only the Wilson House but all of the rapidly deteriorating houses in the block. The Foundation restored each of the houses on the block and moved its offices into the Wilson House. Since the completion of The Foundation’s new headquarters at Swiss Avenue and Oak Street in 1993, Preservation Dallas has occupied the Wilson House—offering tours, research assistance, and other preservation services to the public.
Information courtesy of Preservation Dallas.