Daisy Polk Inn

The historic bed and breakfast in the heart of Dallas' Oaklawn neighborhood

Daisy Polk Inn - The historic bed and breakfast in the heart of Dallas' Oaklawn neighborhood.

Let us tell you the tale about how Miss Daisy's house became an inn.

 

It all started in the up and coming Dallas neighborhood of Oaklawn in the late summer of 1909. Mr. Lynn P. Talley, a young local banker, purchased an undeveloped lot at the corner of Reagan and Dickason streets and applied for a permit to build a house for his growing family. The house, designed by local architects in the High Arts & Crafts style, was completed in early 1910 and looked almost exactly as it does today. The Talley family moved in and lived happily in their new house until the spring of 1912 when Mr. Talley, in pursuit of upward mobility, moved the entire brood to Houston to manage a larger bank. Ironically the entire Talley family would move back to Dallas within 5 years of leaving in order for Mr. Talley to take a position at the Dallas regional branch of the newly formed Federal Reserve banking system. It turned out to be a good move because in 1926 he was appointed the fourth President of the Dallas Fed. From it's beginning the Daisy had ties to local fame and fortune it would seem.

 The house was bought and sold three times from 1912 through the 1930's.

 Finally, in the early summer of 1944, Miss Daisy Polk decided that she needed a house with a bit more space in which to conduct business for her growing vocal studio. So, she purchased the unique little house for $8500 and moved in September of the same year. Now, Daisy was a woman ahead of her time in many ways. She moved to the thriving city of Dallas in 1922 as a single woman at the age of 32. She came to town as a classically trained professional opera soprano and this is how she would make her living, both as performer and teacher, for the next several decades. In the early 1920's Daisy spent a summer studying music in Fontainebleau, France and was so heartbroken at the plight of one particular village that had been all but destroyed by the war that she took it upon herself to raise funds and rebuild the village. To draw attention to her cause she wrote a series of articles during her travels for the Dallas Morning News. We have them today and you're welcome to read them when you visit. When a visiting Dallas reporter tracked her down in the small village he found Daisy pouring over blueprints at a small kitchen table getting ready to pick up her tools and get to work on some carpentry HERSELF!

 Back in Dallas Daisy would go on to create quite a reputation. She would tour the U.S. and Europe periodically throughout the 20's. She also estabished and ran the vocal program at the local Hockaday private girl's school as well as teaching at a local women's university and running 2 vocal studios in Dallas, one in the downtown business district and an elite instruction program at her house. She even found the time to manage a local music club and conduct as well as perform in the annual Neiman-Marcus Christmas choir at their flagship store downtown. That's a full schedule no matter what age you're living in. Daisy lived in the house until she passed at the ripe age of 91. In 1976 she was interviewed by the Morning News at the beginning of July for a bicentennial story due to her direct relation to not only President James K. Polk but to General Lucius Quintus Polk as well. Always a bit of a spitfire, when the reporter asked her about aging gracefully, Daisy replied, "I am growing old rebelliously, not gracefully." A truly amazing woman, to be sure.

 After Daisy passed, her family, outside of San Antonio, inherited the house and allowed Daisy's caretakers to live in it for several years as a show of gratitude for their years of service to her. In 2003 Wayne Falcone a local Dallas pharmacist who had been looking at the house for years with longing finally persuaded Daisy's heirs to sell. He quickly decided that he had to share with others this dusty gem that he'd found. Despite all the years that had passed the bones of the house were in almost pristine condition. Due in no small part to the excellent caretaking provided by Miss Polk over the years. After some consideration Mr. Falcone secured the services of noted decorator Gerald Tomlin of Dallas & New York. Over a period of 3 years Mr. Tomlin found period appropriate furnishings, draperies and decor around Europe and the East Coast of the U.S. to fill the house and breathe life back into it. During the same period the house was granted status as an historic landmark and given special dispensation to become a bed & breakfast. As 2006 approached Mr. Falcone realized that he needed a name for his new B&B and after a fair amount of deliberation the answer appeared and was as obvious as the charm of the structure itself. Daisy Polk Inn was the only name that would do for such a wonderful and unique house that had weathered the ebb and flow of time and changing surroundings as rebelliously as the woman who resided there.

 --We hope that you come to love Daisy, past and present, just as much as we do.

Photography by Michael Napier.
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