Kennedy sites, Dallas'restored historic buildings, the three new parks on Main Street, the Klyde Warren deck park, the new Margaret Hunt Bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava and the Arts District. Driving tour only:(must furnish vehicle/driver) Victory Park, Uptown, Deep Ellum, Swiss Avenue and Fair Park are all available for a first hand visit.
Because my tour schedule fills up quickly please contact me before booking a tour.
I retired from a successful 26 year career as a City of Dallas Urban Planner and their Historic Preservation Officer and often conducted tours for the Dallas City Council and visiting foreign dignitaries.
The projects during my tenure with the City that are on my tours include:
The conversion of over 30 downtown historic structures into loft apartments, condominiums and hotels. Tours include discussion on this very successful program and how it acted as a catalyst in the renaissance of downtown. Restored buildings are highlighted:
the cantilever pool at the Joule Hotel, The Art Deco Mercantile clock tower that tells the time and forecasts the weather, the fabulous downtown Neiman Marcus store and the Old Municipal Building basement parking garage where Jack Ruby killed Oswald are all part of the tour.
Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum. With my City career, I have become an expert on this must see area and recommends a walking stop at Dealey Plaza to fully explore all aspects of this fateful day that changed the world forever. Dealey Plaza is one of three National Historic Landmarks in Dallas and must retain its architectural integrity. I was invited to view the reenactment of the assassination for Oliver Stone's movie JFK from the sixth floor sniper's perch window and most of the sixth floor's November 23rd anniversary lectures including a visit and discussion with Nellie Connally. Because a sixth floor museum tour is 2 1/2 hours and suggest visiting the museum during other free time during your Dallas visit.
Dallas Arts District. Since the 1980's Dallas has created the largest urban arts district in the United States. The City of Dallas has built The Dallas Museum of Art, The Myerson Symphony Center, Three performance centers, the Winspear Opera House, the Wiley, and the City of Dallas Performance Hall. The Nasher Sculpture Center is the home to one of the best contemporary sculpture collections in the world. These structures were all designed by the leading contemporary architects in the world and the 5 block district boasts four Pritzker Prize winner architects. This 68 acre district is unprecedented for its collection of contemporary architecture.
Driving tour only: You must furnish a vehicle and driver
Fair Park (also available to visit with light rail service) Explore the restoration of the Art Deco exhibition buildings, murals and sculpture for the 1936 Texas Centennial. I recommend a walking tour stop at Fair Park where I can fully explain how the importance of the Centennial. With an expert guide the group will view the structures and artwork that are unique to Dallas as the greatest collection of Art Deco exhibition architecture in the world. This Dallas treasure is also listed as a National Historic Landmark.
5 East Dallas Historic Districts. I reviewed applications for all the architectural changes to these historic homes. My 112 year old Victorian cottage is located on lower Swiss Avenue is featured along with the history and architecture of these four very different East Dallas historic districts. We view the 1910 Catholic Church converted to the home of my eccentric friend Ronnie Clair Edwards, who played Cora Beth Godsey on the Walton's television show. Swiss Avenue mansions, Prairie 4 squares and Craftsman and Victorian cottages will be explored.
My tours are a blend of the finest that Dallas has to offer delivered in a friendly, informative and entertaining program. As a self-professed foodie I can find just the right restaurant for a tour stop
A Recent Review of this guide
Jim knows every corner of Dallas. You will discover architecture, art, parks, history, and so on. Learned more than I expected. Great explanation about history of buildings, when they were built, which architects, and the untold stories you can't find anywhere. I wanted to move by the public transportation, which is very easy, and cheap. Also there's the Trolley which is free. Many museums and plazas, cafes, restaurants to discover. Dallas is very diverse, so many things to do and see. Thanks Jim!
I am am a member of the Dallas Fort Worth Area Tour Guide Association where I am an Accredited Hospitality Professional.
My art and design interests led to a Bachelor's Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Masters courses in Historic Preservation rounded out the foundation for his future.
I came to Dallas in 1984 where he served as an urban planner in historic preservation and the Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Dallas for twenty six years.
Awards include Dallas Realtors Award for the for renovation of my 1901 Victorian Cottage, a Black Dallas Remembered Award for his work on the landmark designation that saved the Freedman Cemetery, an award from the City of Dallas for 26 years of dedicated service as the Historic Preservation Officer, an acknowledgment from the Swiss Avenue Historic District for the many years of assistance and Preservation Dallas' coveted Stewardship Award for significant contributions to Dallas historic preservation effort.