In Wynnewood North, it’s all about the people. Set amid gently rolling land and large lush oak trees tucked between the Wynnewood Village shopping center and Vernon Avenue, and bounded by a greenbelt, this area of Oak Cliff is comprised of 285 mostly ranch-style homes owned by those who epitomize the meaning of neighborly.
The homes, with their large living areas and spacious kitchens, are perfect for entertaining and the residents of Wynnewood North are no slouches in that department. The Wynnewood Wander, a biannual progressive dinner, is just one of the many popular events hosted by folks who consider themselves family. Proceeds go toward neighborhood beautification, a common theme throughout many Oak Cliff communities.
Janice Coffee, whose family built their home here a half century ago, “couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.” This sentiment is echoed by many residents who grew up here, left for awhile for college or other jobs, and returned to the place they originally called home. Newcomers Vicki Patsdaughter and Lynn Sulander had friends here and chose to relocate. “It was a quality of life move for us,” Patsdaughter explains. After years in Arlington, they only knew two neighbors. Here, they were still unpacking and six neighbors showed up to take them to a party.
Wynnewood’s the kind of place where people come out to welcome prospective buyers who are “just looking,” says resident Joseph Hernandez, adding, “The neighbors sold us.” Large lots and space between homes atypical of new residential development add to the appeal of Wynnewood North.
Board President Melanie Loe and Activities Director John Ridgley keep the fun going with an annual garage sale, yard of the month and Christmas lighting contests, and other fundraisers and neighbor appreciation events. As a neighborhood organization with a 501(c)3 charitable designation, the association contributes to the Genesis Women’s Shelter. There is also a program to support senior neighbors of Wynnewood by running errands, preparing food, and aiding elderly citizens who don’t have family nearby to help them.
Oilman Angus Wynn developed the shopping center in 1948 when it was hailed as one of the most complete shopping centers in the country; it included a theater as well as banks and major department stores. Silver Poteete remembers walking by the theater during the premiere of “South Pacific,” with her husband Bill. The block was lined with limousines and glamorous people in formal attire. The center has changed dramatically since its beginning and Angus Wynn, Jr. has expressed his interest in being a key player in its redevelopment. Wynnewood North residents are actively involved in expressing their views to make sure new businesses support the communities that surround it.
Janice Coffee sums up how Wynnewood residents feel about their community: “If we won the lottery, we wouldn’t move.” In a neighborhood where everyone knows your name and downtown Dallas is less than five minutes away without the headache of getting on the freeway, Silver Poteete asks, “Why go anywhere else?”
To learn more about Wynnewood North, visit www.wynnewoodnorth.org.
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