One night each year, this house overflows with the spirit of the holidays. Though always a picture of Victorian splendor, on this one night it takes on a warmth and patina usually associated with holidays long past. And, on that one night of this particular year, the house may take on an even deeper gleam, as if somehow it knew the milestone it has reached.

This year, the house, built in 1902 for George M. Wynne  of the “Wynnewood” family, turned 100 years old.

But the home didn’t always have this warm glow, says owner Jim Anderson, a historic preservation planner for the City of Dallas for the past 18 years. Its condition when he found it in 1988?

“Appalling. Derelict,” he deadpans.

The home was originally located on Cole Avenue, near Lemmon. Anderson likens his discovery of it to a scene in Miracle on 34th Street, shouting, “There’s my house!” as he drove by it, he says now.

But the house, he sooned learned, was on the demolition list for CitiPlace. If he wanted to save it, he was told, he’d have to move it.

Still, Anderson was so in love with it that he unflinchingly bought the demolition rights from Southland Corporation. Following that, he had a scant 120 days to remove all traces of the residence.

He eventually found just the spot in a vacant lot on Swiss Avenue next to what some might call a perfect neighbor. “Nuffie” Eidt, born in her own house 80 years prior, soon began plying him with lemonade and sugar cookies whenever he came around.

Though the woodwork and original decorative features were in good condition, virtually every other inch of the house required some restoration effort. With the help of his parents, who came to

Dallas for two five-week periods, he began getting the house moved and pieced back together. He credits their “raw energy” for the successful transformation.

By October of 1988, most of the renovation was complete, and Anderson began planning his first gathering: a holiday housewarming.

Thus began his tradition of a yearly celebration around the holidays.

Recently, Anderson happily began celebrating one more holiday each year. In 1999 he met future wife Sara, who had lived two blocks from him since 1986 when she decided to attend a homeowner’s association meeting. “I finally decided to meet the other characters in the neighborhood,” she remembers.

Today, the lives of the Andersons, who were married in 2001, blend two families, two traditions, two religions.

A close look at the home reveals a towering Victorian-style Christmas tree in the parlor with hand-blown European ornaments and Hanukkah decorations as well. The dining room table is set for Hanukkah, and a Star of David hangs from the authentic oil-burning ceiling fixture over the table.

“We really respect each other’s religions,” Sara explains of their seemingly effortless blending of tradition. “And we love each other’s families.”

They have many other common passions as well, notably antiques, old homes (their first date: the Munger Place home tour), yard sales, travel (they honeymooned in Eastern Europe ) and the arts. Their taste is so similar that, after divesting themselves of the excess, they were able to blend his Victorian furnishings with her Art

Nouveau and Art Deco pieces in a thoroughly charming way. “It’s not a museum house,” Anderson says.

Maybe not, but after 100 years, its sense of past is still intact, blending seamlessly with the lives of its current occupants. This home brings together old traditions, new loves, and perhaps an inspiration to all to get out and meet the neighbors.


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