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Our History


The two-block residential area of Garland's 11th Street between Avenues B and D has remained virtually intact despite encroachments by schools, churches, and commercial development. In 2017 this two-block residential enclave was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is known as the Travis College Hill National Register Historic District, with 11th Street at its heart in this 110-year-old neighborhood. A collection of vintage homes remains as a souvenir of the time in young Garland when Travis College Hill was founded in 1913.


Travis College Hill was developed  in 1913 by Dallas entrepreneur R.O. Travis and the Interurban Land Company at the same time the Texas Eastern Transmission Company was planning an electric rail car that would run down the addition's southern boundary. The Interurban line was designed to connect Dallas to Greenville and all the towns in between. A goal was to create a residential area (situated a few blocks to the southwest of Garland's downtown business district) along the line to increase ridership. R.O. Travis purchased 33 1/3 acres from original pioneer settler Richard C. Wyatt to develop as one of the first new additions in the freshly incorporated community of Garland, formed from two competing villages of Duck Creek and Embree. The lots were sold to some of Garland's most prominent citizens; the street that ran through the addition was originally called "Garland Avenue", before it was renamed 11th Street several decades later. The Interurban line never materialized, because of the rise of the automobile, the advent of World War I, and the bankruptcy of the founding company, but the prominent, thriving residential neighborhood that was created in 1913 remains today as a testimony to that era in Garland's history. 

313 South 11th Street.jpg

Why the Name
"Magic 11th Street"? 

This sprang from the nickname given the street by one of its longest-tenured residents, Mable Wheeler, who with her husband, J.D. Wheeler, lived in three homes on the street including the historic brick dwelling at 412 South 11th Street, one of the Contributing dwellings on the National Register. (The property remains in the family after 73 years.) Mable came to the street as a new bride and often said that 11th Street had become like "magic" for her because of its significance to her family. The nickname stuck and was first widely used in the five-time award-winning documentary "Saving Magic 11th Street".

416 South 11th early days .jpg

Where We Started

A once proud and prominent street is facing the effects of 100 years of change all around. The solution is more than just new paint and polish. "Saving Magic 11th Street" follows the plight of a 2-block neighborhood in Garland, Texas, as its residents begin the battle to reclaim their community. From shutting down "Marijuana Alley" to saving and then relocating a 110 year old home onto the street, this inspiring 24 minute, five-time award-winning documentary shows that residents can make a major impact on their community.

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