Hinsdale Central High School

Douglas Newby

Membership level: Hall of Fame

Douglas Newby

Inductee Year 2022
Douglas Newby
The aesthetics of Hinsdale shaped Douglas Newby’s sense of style and place. It was at Hinsdale High School where his passion for community involvement originated. His Hinsdale classmates, friends and mentors instilled confidence and vision to venture into uncharted territory and promote new ideas and initiatives. Doug Newby’s early home at 18 South Park and the surrounding neighborhood (now Robbins Park Historic District) and Oak School were where his interest in sports began. Burns Field was the site of Doug Newby’s first public athletic triumphs. Here, he won three successive age group Hinsdale speedskating championships, and as a fourth grader started as a receiver and defensive back on the championship team in the Hinsdale/Clarendon Hills fourth- and fifth-grade Junior Chamber of Commerce six-man touch football league. After subsequent years as the last man on teams, Doug Newby lettered in tennis and basketball his junior year and received conference honors in basketball his senior year, setting the stage for becoming an intramural all-star at SMU. Delivering newspapers on his father’s childhood 1936 Elgin bicycle to the historic homes adjacent to downtown Hinsdale gave Doug a sense of the architectural cadence of a neighborhood, as did riding his three-speed English racer to Oak School under the arching trees and walking to the triangle on Park to play kickball. At Oak School, watching the ongoing success of older Hinsdale students instilled a sense of possibilities and expectations. Mowing yards, shoveling snow or just interacting with neighbors who were CEOs or business leaders inspired confidence going forward. While he can recall details of nearly all of his high school games and matches, Doug’s greatest thrill came from writing for the Hinsdale Courier, founding the upperclassmen cheering squad, Sons of Satan, and his role as Varsity Club social chair, overseeing homecoming assemblies and serving as pep rally chairman. These high school activities propelled his participation at SMU where he was elected head cheerleader by the student body while still a freshman, contributed to the campus newspaper, served on an academic council, founded the SMU Frisbee Foundation, and was one of the 12 from his class tapped for the men’s honorary society for leadership, Knights of Cycen Fjodr. Writing op-eds, articles, books, serving on nonprofit boards, committees and commissions, and cheering on others’ projects continued.

The Hinsdale village experience drove every meaningful civic and career decision for Doug Newby, from obtaining a master’s degree in public administration (a city manager’s degree), to buying a Dallas home just out of college. This home, in what was Dallas’ finest neighborhood in 1905, had fallen into severe disrepair. Doug’s vision for revitalizing the neighborhood lead him to become a real estate broker specializing in houses needing renovation and architecturally significant homes. Doug Newby recognized that jumping in front of bulldozers and arguing for the historic merits of a house was not effective. Instead, he was the first in the country to promote the greater economic value of the home and a critical number of other homes in the neighborhood were preserved. In Munger Place and the surrounding 100-blocks (2,000 structures), Doug Newby initiated the largest rezoning in Dallas and the largest multifamily zoning to single-family zoning in the country. This single-family rezoning effort became the platform for Fannie Mae’s first inner city loans in the nation. Munger Place was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and became Dallas’ first historic district. Forty-five years later, after additional Doug Newby initiatives, all 2,000 homes in the 100-block rezoned area, now known as the Peak Suburban, Munger Place, and Junius Heights Historic Districts, have been preserved. One billion dollars has been invested into the renovation of this historic neighborhood. Munger Place and the area became a little bit of Hinsdale and a whole lot of Dallas.

Doug Newby has supported and underwritten his interests in preservation, architecture and neighborhoods as a real estate broker by establishing Douglas Newby and Associates, Specializing in Architecturally Significant Homes. He understands a neglected residential area desperately needs a real estate broker to put a buyer and seller together and, in expensive neighborhoods, a real estate broker must articulate a compelling aesthetic and economic reason to preserve a home.

Other Douglas Newby projects of interest include creating the Dallas Restoration House of the Year Award, the first in the country, and organizing the first Dallas architectural survey of significant homes. Doug Newby has also written two books, numerous articles and several op-eds, and created YouTube videos (including a TEDx Talk) to promote preservation, neighborhoods, good architecture, and homes that make us happy. Currently, Douglas Newby is writing another book: Organic Urbanism: Nurturing the Evolution of a City with Vibrancy and Nature.
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