Elm Thicket, Dallas

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Elm Thicket/North Park
Elm Thicket
North Park
Country United States
State Texas
County Dallas
City Dallas
AreaNorth Dallas
 • Land2 km2 (0.8 sq mi)
Highest elevation166 m (544 ft)
Lowest elevation151 m (497 ft)
 • Estimate 
 (est. 2014)[4]
 • Hispanic42.53%
 • Black31.96%
 • White19.50%
 • Asian/Pacific Islander2.68%
 • Other3.34%
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (Central)
ZIP Code
Area codes214, 469, 972

Elm Thicket/North Park is a primarily residential neighborhood in north Dallas, Texas near Love Field airport and the neighborhoods of Love Field, Bluffview, and Greenway Parks.

From its foundation as a freedmen's town in the early 20th century, to a small country town without water or infrastructure, to the large displacement by the Love Field airport expansion, Elm Thicket/North Park has seen many changes in the history of a neighborhood rich in culture that prides itself in its churches, school, and organizations. For most of its history, Elm Thicket/North Park, has been an almost entirely (90+%) African American community. As of 2014, it is an overwhelming majority Hispanic and African American community.[1]


Often referred to by residents as North Park, Elm Thicket/North Park refers to the area bounded by Lovers Lane to the north, Lemmon Avenue to the west, Mockingbird Lane to the south, and Inwood Rd. to the east. It is one of the few minority areas of North Dallas. It is adjacent to the east side of Love Field airport. Portions of Elm Thicket were lost due to Love Field airport and roadway expansion.

A southeastern subsection of Elm Thicket/North Park is also known as Shannon Estates. This area is bounded by Inwood Road on the east, Mockingbird Lane on the south, Kenwell Street on the west, and West University Boulevard on the north.



Elm Thicket/North Park has undergone extensive social and physical change from 2000-14. The African American population has dropped by half from 62% of the neighborhood’s population in 2000 to 32% in 2014. In the same time, the Hispanic population has risen dramatically, from 26% to 42.5%. The white population has doubled from 11% to 19.5% of the neighborhood’s population.[1]

Population by Race
Race 2000[1] 2010[1] 2014[1][4]
Black 61.6% 39.8% 31.96%
Hispanic 26.0% 35.7% 42.53%
White 10.9% 20.5% 19.50%


  • Housing Type
    • Predominantly single family with a cluster of duplexes. Some apartments and condominiums.
  • Housing Tenure/Occupancy
    • Even split of renter and owner occupancy.
    • Concentrations of single family renters on the western side.
    • 7.3% Vacancy rate
  • Housing Conditions
    • Most housing is in average condition.
    • Pockets of poorer condition duplexes in the northwestern section.
  • Property Value
    • Rising property values on the eastern portions, slower growth on the western side.
  • New Construction/Improvement Activity
    • A dozen new single-family homes constructed 2012-2014.
    • High amount of home improvement activity throughout, especially in southeastern section.


Elm Thicket/North Park is home to several religious houses of worship:

  • Bethany Missionary Baptist Church
  • Church of the Living God CWFF
  • Greater Zion Baptist Church
  • Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church
  • New Jerusalem AME Church
  • North Park Church of God in Christ
  • North Park CME Church
  • North Park Missionary Baptist Church
  • Whitlow Missionary Baptist Church
  • St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church
  • St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church

For Catholic residents, Elm Thicket/North Park is within the parish boundaries for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (Iglesia Católica de Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro).[5]


Early years[edit]

Originally a freedmen's town, Elm Thicket/North Park became, in the early 20th century, home to black working- and middle-class families. From the 1920s through the 1950s many modest and larger frame and brick single-family houses were built.

Elm Thicket Park and Hilliard golf course[edit]

In 1944, construction of Elm Thicket Park began on land owned by neighboring Love Field airport, but temporarily loaned to the Dallas Parks Department until needed for airport expansion. In 1950 a 9-hole golf course was constructed also on land owned by the airport. The Hilliard golf course, was dedicated in the 1950 by the Dallas Negro Golf Association as the nation’s first Negro golf course.[6] In 1954, the land upon which the 9-hole golf course and adjoining Elm Thicket Park were situated, was repossessed by the City of Dallas as part of the airport expansion and rerouting of roads to serve the expanding city.[7]

1960s and 1970s[edit]

In the early 1960's it was a racially tense neighborhood that was divided by poor whites and well to do blacks.[8]

Through the early 70's many blacks flocked to Elm Thicket/North Park and it became a close knit community creating many businesses and revenue for the area.


In the 80's there was a downfall in the area and it fell victim to a sharp increase in crime. "The area suffers a plague of dope-house crime: dealers, hookers, robbers, plain punks out in the street acting like they own the ground."[9]


With support of the neighborhood's Crime Watch group and residents, the Dallas Police Department, in 2004, began to apply the "broken windows" police concept to address the blight afflicting the neighborhood.[9]


In the Spring of 2016, Elm Thicket/North Park was included in Dallas' Neighborhood Plus Plan. Adopted in 2015, Neighborhood Plus is a citywide neighborhood revitalization plan for the City of Dallas to alleviate poverty, fight blight, attract and retain the middle class, increase homeownership and enhance rental options.[1]

In 2017, as part of the Neighborhood Plus program, residents of Elm Thicket/North Park were given an opportunity to share their stories, gather historical photos and archive information to help the neighborhood tell the story of this historic and dynamic part of the city. Interviews were recorded and combined into videos and published on YouTube.[10]


Last updated: January 5, 2019; 4 months ago (2019-01-05)


There are two schools located within the boundaries of Elm Thicket/North Park:

Public schools[edit]

The neighborhood is served by Dallas Independent School District public schools:

Sudie L. Williams Talented and Gifted Academy (located next door in the Bluffview neighborhood) serves academically talented and gifted students in grades four through six (expanding to eighth grade by 2020). Admission to Williams is based on academic achievement and an application is required.

Henry W. Longfellow Career Exploration Academy (located next door in the Greenway Parks neighborhood) serves students in grades 6-8 selected through the magnet process. The students receive the same basic middle school program offered in all Dallas Independent School District middle schools. However, special focus is placed on the exploration and development of each student's interests and abilities.

Private schools[edit]

Colleges and universities[edit]

Elm Thicket is in the Dallas County Community College District, which offers academic, continuing education, and adult education programs through seven community colleges and 14 campuses in Dallas County.

Parks and recreation[edit]

K.B. Polk Park

K.B Polk is a 2.2 acre community park, established in 1969.


  • Benches
  • Grill
  • Outdoor Basketball Court
  • Parking
  • Picnic Tables
  • Recreation Center
  • Soccer Field
K.B. Polk Recreation Center[11]

Originally dedicated in 1969 as Polk Park, KB Polk Recreation Center offers a variety of senior, adult, teen, and youth programs for all interest levels.


  1. Baseball Field
  2. Computer Lab
  3. Fitness Center with Showers
  4. Gymnasium
  5. Kitchen
  6. Large Meeting Room
  7. Parking
  8. Playground
  9. Small Meeting Room
Other facilities
  • Community Garden
  • Sprayground (future)[12]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Elm Thicket Neighborhood Plus Neighborhood Action Plan" (PDF). City of Dallas. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  2. ^ Max in the northeast corner of the neighborhood near the intersection of W. Lovers Ln. and Caillet St.
  3. ^ Min in the northwest corner of the neighborhood near the intersection of Taos Rd. and Hopkins St.
  4. ^ a b c Medrano, Adam (20 July 2018). "Elm Thicket Neighborhood Data" (PDF). City of Dallas. p. 4. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Parish Locator Map". Catholic Diocese of Dallas. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Timeline A CONCISE HISTORY". D Magazine. D Magazine Partners, Inc. June 1998. Retrieved 16 December 2018. Dallas Negro Golf Association dedicates nation’s first Negro Golf Course at Elm Thicket, located at the present site of Love Field.
  7. ^ "Race and the Control of Public Parks". buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  8. ^ Farwell, Scott (1 April 2008). "Hedge once divided races in Dallas neighborhood". Dallas News. Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 2 April 2008.
  9. ^ a b Schutze, Jim (14 October 2004). "Weird City". Dallas Observer. Dallas Observer, LP. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Elm Thicket NorthPark". City of Dallas. Retrieved 16 December 2018. View the Neighborhood Stories: Elm Thicket produced by bcWorkshop.
  11. ^ "K.B. Polk Recreation Center". Dallas Parks, TX - Official Website. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  12. ^ "KB Polk Sprayground". Elm Thicket/Northpark Neighborhood Association. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2018.

External links[edit]