Oak Lawn Dallas neighborhood | Old Parkland Hospital

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Oak Lawn Dallas neighborhood history around Old Parkland Hospital

Oak Lawn Dallas neighborhood history around Old Parkland Hospital video was commissioned by Crow Holdings. Interviews were conducted with Old Parkland Hospital alumni doctors, nurses, nursing students and faculty.

Martha Bledsoe Sanford | Old Parkland Hospital 1953-1956

This whole area between Oak Lawn and Maple and Harry Hines and Cedar Springs, it’s just a very historic area. And we--when you look at the old pictures when Parkland was first built, there was nothing around here.

Craig Holcomb | Former Dallas City Council Member

It is important that we see Old Parkland to understand how this all got started. If we don’t understand how it got started, we can mess up the future pretty easily. Also, Old Parkland is important because it helps us understand what Oak Lawn was like.

What is really bad for a neighborhood or for a city is if we--our neighborhoods lose their character because in a big city, as an individual, I need to have some kind of thought, an identity, a relationship to where I will live and work. Old Parkland Hospital is that for this area.

Laverne Holman Foster | Parkland Nursing School 1950 - 1954

Well, it was a nice little neighborhood here, and we felt safe going out at night. You know, if we want to go for a walk or something, and we’d always go it was a drugstore across the street. I didn’t notice whether it was still here or not when we drove by today, but in the lawn they had beautiful old trees on the lawn and you’d go out there and see it.

Craig Holcomb

Part of what has always made Oak Lawn special and important to Dallas is that it is a green space that is very close to downtown Dallas. You’ve got Turtle Creek and you’ve got Reverchon Park and you’ve got the Katy Trail now, and preserving this piece of land so that it is part of that green space is important.

If it had become filling station or retail or even office towers where the land and the trees all went away and it was concrete, it really would have hurt not just Oak Lawn but downtown Dallas because you need this as an amenity for downtown.

Helen C. Dunkin | Parkland Hospital 1943 - 1962

I get vague pictures of different things over here of meadows where it was and, but, and the laundry is still down the street here. Sunshine or whatever it is, been there for all of these years.

Dr. John Denman | Old Parkland Hospital 1955 – 1956

It was on chief land that was far removed from the city and of course that was in the days of horse and buggy and horseback travel, so it took a while to get out here, but then the city needed an emergency hospital, and that was when Parkland was organized.

Craig Holcomb

I think Oak Lawn is the first really urban neighborhood in Dallas. It is the first neighborhood where the residents, the neighborhood associations realized that because of the existing zoning that was next to their neighborhood, they had to work with the developers to come up with a plan for how to preserve the neighborhood but also create good development. Part of that really was just early ordinances about where trees would be and how dumpsters would be screened and when you could pick up the trash. But I think Oak Lawn is--continues to bec