The Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts has announced the kickoff of its Centennial Celebration: Yesterday Today Tomorrow, a year-long series of cultural and entertainment events to mark the 100th birthday of the society’s home, Turner House, 401 N. Rosemont Ave. Built by East Texas oilman J.P. Blake in 1912 at the then astronomical cost of $50,000, Turner House is a storied landmark in the Winnetka Heights neighborhood of Oak Cliff.
The Centennial Celebration will begin with the first Salon Series of the spring, a performance by Matt Tolentino and His Hot Five Band (Matt is the leader of Singapore Slingers) on Thursday, February 23. The doors of Turner House will open at 7:30 p.m. for an evening of music, wine and heavy hor d’oeuvres. Board Chairman Scott Chase will announce a year-long schedule of special events that will commemorate the 100 years of art, music, architecture and community activities which Turner House has hosted.
The evening will also feature the formation of the Turner House Council of 100, a group of Turner House friends who have pledged donations to Turner House over the next two years for the continued restoration of Turner House and continuation of its arts and culture mission. The levels of giving are:
Founder, $10,000, memorial plaque, media recognition, package of 6 tickets to all Salon Series and Wine and Art events, item to be placed in time capsule
Legacy, $5,000, memorial plaque, media recognition, 4 tickets for all events, item for time capsule
Benefactor, $2,500, memorial plaque, media recognition, 2 tickets to choice of Salon Series or Wine and Art, item for time capsule
Patron, $1,000, memorial plaque, media recognition, 2 tickets to choice of Salon Series
During its first century, Turner House served as the private home of the Blake family, as a boarding house during World War II, and as the home of the Oak Cliff Lutheran Church. The Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts, which is in its 85th year, became the new owner and conservator of the house and grounds in 1957. In addition to music and art events, Turner House is a busy venue for weddings, baptisms, birthdays, receptions, book clubs, Movies on the Lawn and numerous other social and community events.
“We are fortunate to have this beautiful home as a reminder of Oak Cliff’s early 20th Century splendor,” said Chase. “We intend for Turner House to continue as a community asset for another century.”