The year was 1973, and for the first time, Swiss Avenue residents threw open their doors for a home tour to raise money for a historic district zoning ordinance.

Channel 8 covered the tour and gave viewers a peek inside one of the elegant mansions on the famous avenue.

For $5, Dallas neighbors could look inside six of the big beauties. Money raised was used to fight for the historic designation to keep commercial development from encroaching on the neighborhood.

The area surrounding Swiss Avenue had deteriorated in previous years, and the preservation fight centered around a vacant lot at the corner of Collett and Swiss avenues, where a developer wanted to build a high-rise apartment building.

The homeowners succeeded, and later that year, Swiss Avenue became Dallas’ first historic district. The home tour has continued almost every year since on Mother’s Day weekend. This year, what would have been the 47th iteration was canceled because of the coronavirus.

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