A new home tour made its debut on Preston Hollow’s doorstep on Oct. 3. Modern Mile Dallas hosted its inaugural event by featuring six homes in a compact area bordered by Royal Lane, Midway Road, Walnut Hill Lane, and Marsh Lane.
With the consultation of local architects, the group was able to whittle down a potential 40 sites to a select six.
Rather than having attendees hop in their car to jump from home to home, Modern Mile Dallas selected homes within walking distance of each other, thus the name.
Some of the homes on the tour were part of a nationwide Parade of Homes in 1954, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year. When Modern Mile Dallas first discussed the idea, in 2014, the group wanted to host it during that anniversary. However, there was not enough time to plan, and the tour was postponed to this year.
Modern Mile Dallas president Kathy Adcock-Smith described some of the homes like little time capsules.
“Some kept [the home] as it was originally,” said Smith. “You can easily add on to a home and still capture that great feeling.”
Five of the homes were mid-century modern, built no later than the 1960s. One home stood out from the group when the organization added a modern home built this year.
Marla Hartsell, vice president of Modern Mile Dallas and charitable donation chair for the home tour, was familiar with Walnut Hill Elementary School, especially since it is located within the same square mile as the featured houses.
“I really thought, ‘I want something everyone can get behind,’” Hartsell said.
The Modern Mile Dallas named Walnut Hill Elementary as the beneficiary of the tour’s proceeds. The school intends to use the donation to renovate its indoor courtyard into a butterfly and century garden.
“The courtyard over the years has become overgrown,” Walnut Hill Elementary principal Chase McLaurin said. “It’s not being used, but it’s a great space.”
With these renovations, the garden will become outdoor classroom space. This space will be perfect for the kids in the school’s autism program, said McLaurin.
“We’re just excited to have our community involved in the school,” McLaurin said.
Despite being the organization’s first home tour, the event exceeded expectations.
“When we started out, we had of an estimate of selling 300 tickets, and we sold over 1,000,” Smith said. “We’re going to be able to give a big check to Walnut Hill Elementary.”
Regardless, Modern Mile Dallas intends to return for a second tour next year.
“We definitely plan to do the Modern Mile Home Tour next year,” said Smith. “And this time, we’re not starting from ground zero.”