When John Moser moved out of Oak Lawn 20 years ago, he was certain he would miss the sense of community that defined the area. His downtown-based company covered his costs for using public transportation, and on weekends he could walk to clubs and restaurants. “I loved living in Oak Lawn when I first moved to Dallas,” Moser said. “Buying a house in North Dallas was a difficult decision, but you know what? They couldn’t pay me to live in Oak Lawn today. And where would I live? The house I lived in was torn down.”
It wasn’t the only one. During the past several decades, developers have razed hundreds of the single-family homes built in the early 20th century to make room for structures that could house more people on the same amount of land.
“Single-family homes gave way to duplexes. Duplexes were torn down to make room for fourplexes, and then those were torn down, so developers could build multi-storied condos and apartment buildings,” Herschel Weisfeld said. Weisfeld owns the former Dallas County Mental Health/Mental Retardation Building on Routh Street. He converted it into the SOTA (State of the Art) building which houses executive office suites and a private art gallery.
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