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Architectural Legacy Ends

4511 Highland Drive, Dallas, Highland Park, Texas

A home an architect designed for himself and his family is always one of my favorites. This architecturally significant and historically significant home at 4511 Highland Drive in Old Highland Park is even more special because it was designed by the iconic Highland Park and Dallas architect, Herbert M. Greene, who also designed the Cox/Beal Beaux Arts style estate home on Beverly and Preston. Adding to the legacy of this home overlooking Hackberry Creek and backing up to Lakeside Drive estate properties, is a home that was passed down successfully to family members over three generations. Until only recently when he died at 97, John Greene Taylor owned and lived in the home. I first met John Greene Taylor 20 years ago when he gave me a call and asked if I would like to see his home that his grandfather designed. I was thrilled to see this 1920s home with very high ceilings and graciously proportioned formal and informal rooms. The architectural detail and woodwork were still intact. Apparently, the beneficiary of the estate had no real interest in preserving the home, which does not bode well for its future. I don’t know if Preservation Park Cities has this historic home on their list of 100 Architecturally Significant Historic Homes? I do know that the high-profile real estate firms thought the home only had land value as a lot. Here is a perfect example of how an early proactive preservation effort might have made a difference. I will remember John Taylor Greene with admiration and appreciation for saving this architecturally significant historic home for as long as he did – his entire life. *Architectural Legacy Ends

#ArchitecturallySignificantHome #HistoricallySignificantHome #ArchitecturallySignificantHistoricHome #OldHighlandPark #HighlandPark #HighlandParkHome #HackberryCreek #4511HighlandDrive #HerbertMGreene #Architect #Architecture #HistoricHome #Preservation #Teardown #ArchitectHome

City Manager Ward System

I have always been a huge advocate of the City Manager form of government until now -- I realized it exacerbates and feeds off of a ward system that needs reform. You can see my latest blog article, "City Manager Ward System Form of Government Needs Reform" on DouglasNewby.com. The current City Manager Ward System takes away the voters' control, hinders the progress of Dallas priorities, and the Mayor's initiatives. My conversion on this topic over the last two months has come from the Dallas Mayor's good initiatives being thwarted, and the City Manager's public and private disrespect for the Mayor and now many on the City Council. I wrote "City Manager Ward System Form of Government Needs Reform" before the Dallas Morning News broke the story that the City Manager's future will be reviewed by the City Council when they meet on Wednesday. The reason this called meeting has been so long coming is because a majority of the City Council cannot fire the City Manager. The City Manager only needs to keep six City Council members happy to keep his job. It will be interesting if the Mayor and the four City Council members that are on record for wanting to fire the City Manager will have a super-majority of the City Council to do so. I have tried in my blog article to give a fresh perspective of the history of the City Manager form of government and single member districts, and what has been brewing at City Hall between the Mayor and City Manager. The current City Manager ward system form of government needs reform if Dallas is going to continue to flourish. *City Manager Ward System

#DallasCityManager #DallasMayor #DallasCityCouncil #CityManagerFormOfGovernment #CityManagerWardSystem #Dallas #DallasCharter #DallasGovernment #DallasCityHall #MayorEricJohnson

Cocktail Orchid @RosewoodTheCarlyle

What is one going to do when one becomes fond of the orchid that comes floating in a pre-dinner cocktail, the Serrano, ordered in the gallery from Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle overseen by Manager Dimitrios Michalopoulos? When the drink is finished, rinse the orchid off in chilled water and place it in one’s lapel buttonhole for the evening’s dinner at Antonucci’s. Seated outside close by was a prominent hedge fund partner that I casually know from TED. I went by to say hello to him and his grown family dining with him. After a brief fun exchange, he complimented me on my orchid. This allowed me to explain the origin story of the orchid to him and his family’s amusement, which inspired this post. I did not mention that I now have an inclination where John Reoch sources his buttonhole flowers he wears when he knows paparazzi will be close by. *Cocktail Orchid

@RosewoodTheCarlyle #TheCarlyle #CarlyleGallery #BemelmansBar @BemelmansBar #Cocktail #Orchid #NYC #Manhattan #UpperEastSide #Design #ButtonholeFlower #CocktailOrchid

Three Bathers @MuseumofModernArt

Urban planners and architects often create digitized renderings to show how a plaza becomes a human space – a reflection pool, a piece of sculpture, spotted trees, and three people placed in the hardscape between buildings. And when I see these renderings, I say to myself, “Yeah, like that is ever going to happen.” And yet in real life at the MoMA, when I turned and looked at what seemed to be a large computer rendering, it was really a MoMA sculpture garden with a pool, a sculpture, spotted trees, and three sunbathers with their feet dangling towards the pool, with chairs strewn about inviting more to join them. Before long, as I often do when I am visiting the MoMA, I found my way to a chair under a tree with dappled light to relax and enjoy the day. The musing I have written across the photograph maybe should have been – “When life mimics renderings.” *Three Bathers

@MuseumofModernArt #MoMASculptureGarden #UrbanLandscape #SculptureGarden #ArtMuseum #Architecture #NewYorkArchitecture #LandscapeArchitect #UrbanPlanner #Renderings #SunBathers #Manhattan #MuseumofModernArt

Studio Index @MuseumofModernArt

An exhibition in a museum with an enjoyable scale, mask optional, beautiful paintings, presented in a way one learns more about the artist, the artistic period, and the history of its time. It is my favorite way to view art. The MoMA exhibition, “Matisse: The Red Studio,” captures all these positive components. Sometimes looking at a series of paintings in a museum can make one a bit weary. This “Matisse: The Red Studio” exhibit exhilarates and energizes the viewer. It also propels one to see the other floors of the permanent collection with a fresh eye and a deeper insight on how to look at and think about art. “The Red Studio” becomes a studio index for the other paintings on the walls surrounding the 6 foot x 7 foot Red Studio panel. MoMA was successful in assembling and displaying all the paintings pictured in “The Red Studio.” This commissioned painting of a studio was originally painted in the natural colors of the studio’s blue and green walls and wood floors. Matisse then did a reset of not just this painting but of his art. He rapidly repainted all the walls, ceilings and floor in red. His patron who commissioned the piece, upon seeing it, rejected it as did the art critics when the piece was exhibited in Paris, the Armory in New York, and at the Art Institute of Chicago. Matisse, who is a favorite fauve painter, was ridiculed for this piece that went unsold for years. Hidden from view for years and only some 20 years later, found a buyer who placed it in his fashionable nightclub. Matisse did not include any of his earlier fauve paintings in “The Red Studio” but instead included his more recent calmer and more decorative paintings that he hung on his studio wall, some shown as you scroll through. Creativity is ideas that come in many forms. Sometimes it takes months, sometimes years, and sometimes generations for an expression of creativity to resonate with the public at large. “The Red Studio” resonates with us now. Congratulations to MoMA for another great show. *Studio Index

@MuseumofModernArt #TheRedStudio #MuseumofModernArt #Matisse #ArtExhibition #ModernArt

Doors Open

Doors will open and the new owners, a delightful young couple, will be embraced by a warm, sun-filled home, designed by architect Max Levy, that will provide them generational happiness. The front five-foot wide frosted pivot door opens to an entertainment gallery that links the glass-walled wings of the home—the open kitchen, dining and living areas, and the two-story wing of bedrooms. From almost every room there is a visual connection to every other room, the garden, and at least one of the five mature live oak trees framed by a window. Across the gallery from the front door, is a wide, sliding glass door, framed in white oak, that opens to a room surrounded by windows on three sides that protrudes into the garden. Above the center room is a screened room only accessible to the garden, making these two stacked rooms the center of this residence and the center of the property, so one can fully enjoy nature and the trees that inspired the design of this modern home in Greenway Parks. No wonder many consider this the finest home sited on less than .5 acres in Dallas. *Doors Open

#Modern Home #GreenwayParks #DallasNeighborhood #HomesThatMakeUsHappy #ArchitecturallySignificantHome #ArchitecturallySignificant #ModernHome #Dallas #Architect #Architecture #MaxLevy #ModernDesign #DallasContemporary #DallasModernHome #DallasModern

Black Tie Afternoon

The Dallas Museum of Art opened the Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity exhibit with a 5:30 to 8:00 black tie reception. New York Met Gala, Art Exhibitions, and Social Events are flourishing after a social sabbatical. Has there been a fashion reset? Does a mid-spring 90° afternoon influence one’s sartorial decisions? Liberties taken with black tie are often evident at the Oscars defining the too-cool-for-black-tie movement—no ties, long ties, and the latest fashion cliché, untied or loosely draped ties. Black tie and boots have long been a popular approach. My interpretation of a black tie afternoon Dallas Art Museum opening was black tie and slides. I was inspired by black tie and boots because of the long accepted blue jeans. White jeans (Loro Piana) seemed perfect for spring. Being a traditionalist, I thought it important to wear a proper black dinner jacket (my Savile Row tailor made my “tux” jacket and also organized my Emanuel Berg German-made pique shirt). The long Hermes gray tie wasn’t to eschew the black bow tie, but to tonally connect the black jacket and white jeans. The casually placed pocket square from Brooks Brothers also places me as a man of the people. The soft white eyeglass frames are from Barton Perreira. The foundation of the look is the black Hermes slides (Chypre). A nod to Cartier was the silver and black panther cufflinks. The only black tie convention that it hurt me to break was wearing a watch. However, a tribute to Cartier and their loaning such fabulous pieces from their permanent collection, I wore a black and silver Cartier S-watch. My pain was eased by the invitation showing an end time. For this black tie event, time did matter. Oh, and it occurred to me afterwards, maybe I am doing my part for gender progression by wearing open-toe shoes usually only acceptable for women at black tie parties. *Black Tie Afternoon

#DallasMuseumOfArt #BlackTieAndSlides #DinnerJacket #SavileRow #HermesChypre #LoroPiana #CartierAndIslamicArt #BartonPerreira #BrooksBrothers #HermesTie #Cartier #HermesSandals #Dallas #Fashion

Wired Ball

What a great name, Wired Ball, shown on the hand lettered sign, for a croquet party at the home of the Stevens family on the corner of Swiss Avenue and Haskell. Laura Stevens Chadwick, whom I discussed in my previous post, sent me this photograph of her grandmother’s house with her father measuring the distance of the ball to the wire wicket, along with several young ladies in fashionable croquet dresses. This picture arrived in my mailbox not long after I participated in a Multiple Sclerosis Society fundraising Bachelor Bid Auction, in which I participated along with several of my supportive friends on Swiss Avenue. They hosted a progressive dinner with each course at a different home on Swiss Avenue making up my bid package. In the Bachelor Bid book, I was photographed holding a croquet mallet, as I thought this conveyed the gilded age of Swiss Avenue. It was so fun to receive this photograph validating my impression of Swiss Avenue. The winning bid was $5,500, a meaningful contribution to the cause. Kenny Novorr’s home at 5303 Swiss Avenue was the first home built on the street in 1905 and it was featured on the progressive dinner. It is probably close to the age of the home on Swiss and Haskell. Both homes had elements of Victorian architecture but had made the transition to a more nuanced Prairie style. When Laura Stevens’ grandfather moved to Dallas in 1870, she said the streets were mud with wood planks. When her grandfather suddenly died, her mother moved from the Stevens Park area to the home on Swiss and Haskell. She said the house in the photograph further down the street was the Chilton home. May is a month of preserving homes, preserving memories, and creating new homes worth preserving in the future. *Wired Ball

#SwissAvenue #DallasNeighborhood #Dallas #Croquet #LawnParty #HistoricHome #PeakSuburbanDistrict #MungerPlace #OldEastDallas
#HistoricPreservation #PreservationMonth

Neighborhoods Evolve

During Preservation Month in May, I would like to share two photographs I received from correspondence with Laura Stevens Chadwick 35 years ago about neighborhoods. As a result of my work as a real estate broker and my interest in Dallas neighborhoods and history, I occasionally received little treasures like the original architectural plans for the Bianchi house on Reiger designed by architects Lang & Witchell or in this case the photograph of 3013 Swiss. The picture is of Laura Chadwick’s grandmother’s house on her mother’s side where Laura was born. It is one block down from the Wilson block of Victorian houses assembled and renovated by the Meadows Foundation for nonprofit offices, including the 1902 Preservation Dallas office. By 1905, Prairie influence was transitioning away from Victorian style, and by 1910 all new homes had Prairie elements. While the Meadows Foundation renovated Victorian houses for offices, Munger Place homeowner Jim Aiken moved two Victorian houses to Munger Place and renovated them along with several Prairie style homes in Munger Place that he sold to homeowners. Jim did on Reiger what Don Criswell and his neighbors did on their block. They purchased divided-up rent houses and renovated them so that families would buy them for single family homes. Fred Longmore did the same thing on Tremont and Victor. All these Munger Place homeowner preservation efforts were before Virginia and Lee McAlester and I created the Revolving Fund to do much the same thing but with the profits going to the Historic Preservation League so they could hire their first Executive Director, Susan Mead. Earlier this year, a 1990 Victorian style home on Gilbert in Oak Lawn sold. It was one of the rare Victorian style homes to be built in the last 100 years. Virtually every other 20th century style has been successfully revived. For this reason, architecturally significant homes in these popular styles should be easier to preserve, not harder. In addition, new homes in these classic styles should continue to contribute to the rich architectural landscape. *Neighborhoods Evolve

#WilsonBlock #PreservationDallas #MungerPlace #MeadowsFoundation

May Day

May Day is always one of my favorite days–associated with wildflowers, May baskets, and a festive mood halfway into spring. What better way to celebrate May Day than with vibrant friends who celebrate Dallas all year with their accomplishments. What better place to celebrate May Day than dinner on the garden patio of Cafe Pacific on a beautiful evening. Notre Dame was also celebrated, which is fitting since the day has tributes made to Virgin Mary. The former Notre Dame student council president, now owner and Chief Wagoneer of Radio Flyer, upon hearing that fellow transportation titan from Notre Dame was celebrating May Day along with progeny of a Notre Dame All-American football player, sent miniature Radio Flyer wagons as May basket table favors. May Day also is the first day of Preservation Month. Who better to celebrate Preservation Month with than Amy and Les Ware who have accomplished the most important home restoration of the century in Highland Park and Dallas. On a massive lot this English-style architecturally significant home designed by C.D. Hill was doomed for destruction. In the good hands and aesthetic sophistication of the Wares, the 100-year-old home on Beverly was restored and seen at the Patron Party of the Park Cities Preservation Tour. May Day also has a more ominous meaning, one of warning. A splendid celebration at Cafe Pacific reminds one of the fragility of time-honored places and institutions deeply engraved in our lives that need to be preserved. Is there anywhere in Dallas that embodies the grace, elegance, sense of perfection and fun that Highland Park homeowner Jack Knox has created at Cafe Pacific–a restaurant as relevant today as 30 years ago? Also in the house on May Day, were the 3 best chefs in Dallas: Dean Fearing and Stephan Pyles as guests and Chef Terry Cook in the kitchen, along with dignitaries, Highland Park families, young couples, all treated like royalty and longtime friends. As we think about Preservation in May, may we devote time to think about preserving the magic of Cafe Pacific and its contributions to Highland Park for years to come. *May Day

#CafePacific #JackKnox #HighlandParkVillage #HighlandPark

Welch Pavilion at Lake

A house concert with a chamber music intimacy at the spectacular guest pavilion designed by architect Cliff Welch was a perfect way to kick off spring, celebrate the elevation of Cliff Welch to an AIA Fellow, and the re-emergence of Welch architecture as Cliff again concentrates his practice on what he loves most and does best, designing architecturally significant modern homes. At this beautiful and serene setting, we were able to hear the music of the talented Jackson Emmer, a singer and songwriter, and converse with many Cliff Welch clients who exchanged their reflections on how much they enjoy the modern home Cliff Welch designed for them. The modern home of Katherine and Bruce Winson on West Lake Highlands Drive is a home imbedded in every cyclist’s mind as it is always a treat to see it from the lake and is a reward for climbing the hill to see it up close. Thank you to all those who have retained Cliff Welch to design their homes so the rest of us can enjoy his work. Thank you to Joe McCall, FAIA, a brilliant modern architect and leader in his profession, for nominating and sponsoring Cliff to become an AIA Fellow, and to Cliff for his continued good work and contribution to the community. *Welch Pavilion at Lake

#ModernHome #DallasNeighborhood #WhiteRockLake #Pavilion #Dallas #JacksonEmmer @CliffWelchAIA @JoeMcCallFAIA @JacksonEmmer #Architect #DallasArchitecture #ArchitecturallySignificant #ModernDesign #HouseConcert #DallasContemporaryDesign

Disappearing Details

Iconic street, iconic home, iconic architect. Facing the last few moments of the life of a home, one reflects on the home’s impact and why it made such an impact. It is the composition and articulation of Hal Thomson’s architectural detail at 4908 Lakeside that made this home the most iconic and admired home on Lakeside Drive. I have even come to the conclusion that the reason Highland Parks’ Lakeside Drive has been thought of as one of the five iconic streets in Dallas is because of this Hal Thomson-designed home and its flourishes of restrained romantic details perfectly proportioned and distributed. When one thinks of Lakeside Drive, one thinks of this Old Highland Park home. It is these details that have sustained Henry B. Thomson as the iconic Dallas architect of the early 20th Century. Hal Thomson is the one Dallas architect admired by all current architects of Dallas and revered by historicist architects who are inspired by his work. I recall the late Ted Pillsbury, the former director of the Kimball Art Museum remarking on the perfect composition and details of his favorite Dallas home—one by Hal Thomson. I continually find myself visually stopping at each Hal Thomson house when I ride my bike on Swiss Ave. These homes are familiar as I have ridden by them thousands of times. The Hal Thomson houses seemingly blend into the landscape of other architecturally significant homes on the street that are of a similar size and setback, yet the Hal Thomson houses catch my attention every time. I look closer and wonder why the home has such profound effect on me. I come to the conclusion it is the details. The details are romantic, elegant and refined, but are subtle, the last thing you notice. Slide through to see images of details hopefully imprinted in our minds and of architects. Great community sentiment came for the home to be saved. Beyond contacting the owners, what efforts were made over the last year, 5 years, 25 years to save the home. Additional strategies are needed. We need to start saving homes. *Disappearing Details

#HighlandPark #HistoricPreservation #HighlandParkPreservation #HomesTornDown #CurbAppeal #HalThomson #HistoricHomes #Architect

Start Saving Homes

Over 25 years ago, the AIA Dallas Chapter selected this Hal Thomson designed home pictured here at 4908 Lakeside in Highland Park as a Dallas 50 Significant Home for their 50th Anniversary. For 75 years before that, this Highland Park home had been considered the iconic home on Lakeside. The question should not be — when are people going to stop tearing down historic homes? – but when are proactive steps going to be taken to save historic and architecturally significant homes? Officially, for 25 years, we all have known that this Hal Thomson designed Highland Park home was historically and architecturally significant and needed to be preserved. Have any preservation steps been taken to show how the home could be renovated or expanded, maintaining its architectural facade and integrity while making the home more economically compatible with the value of the lot? In my recent DouglasNewby.com blog series, Five Preservation Steps to Save Homes, I discussed in Preservation Steps Three and Four how architects, interior designers, contractors, and appraisers can create a vision and validate the value of a renovated home of this elegance and importance to make it easier to save. It is hard to stop a home from being torn down when bulldozers are in place. Historic and architecturally significant homes can be saved if proactive preservation steps are taken. When are we going to start saving homes? *Start Saving Homes

#HalThomsonArchitect #HistoricHome #Preservation #HighlandPark #LakesideDriveHighlandPark #HalThomson #Architecture #Architect #NeoclassicalArchitecture #ArchitecturallySignificant #ArchitecturallySignificantHomes #HistoricHomes #OldHighlandPark #AIADallas #PreservationParkCities #Dallas #SavingHomes #curbappeal #DallasHistoricHomes #HomesTornDown

Dallas Salon

I consider the Harlan Crow Library the epicenter of history, political and economic discussions. This architect-designed, architecturally significant library, located in the middle of Dallas and Highland Park, with a serious collection of books and letters that Harlan Crow is intimately familiar with, is a perfect spot for those in Dallas, across the country, and from around the world to convene and exchange ideas. Recently, Douglas Bradburn, the President and CEO of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, came here to interview Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Atkinson and discuss his recent book, The British Are Coming, Volume One of the Revolution Trilogy. Hearing how George Washington was not a brilliant general but was a brilliant leader, and the overarching themes of the war and minute details of the participants, from two of our country’s foremost historians, was enthralling. Making it even more invigorating, was standing and listening by chance next to library shelves of early first edition books on George Washington. The Mount Vernon estate has been a historic and cultural symbol of the United States for over 200 years. It is also an architectural icon and we see many homes that are inspired by Mount Vernon in Dallas. The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, who sponsored the event, organized by incredible Gloria Snead, purchased the Mount Vernon estate from the Washington family in 1858 and has welcomed 96 million guests to George Washington’s home. My family is descended from William Ball I, who was George Washington’s grandfather. William Ball V’s daughter, Elizabeth Ball, married William Newby, from which the Newby/Ball line descended, including William G. Newby, who donated William G. Newby Memorial Building to the Women’s Club of Fort Worth, founded in 1923. This is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The William and Elizabeth Ball Newby 500-acre farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley was deed restricted so it could not be divided up. When I visit Forth Worth or Virginia, I am tempted to go by my first name–William. *Dallas Salon

#mount_vernon #HarlanCrowLibrary #HighlandPark #Dallas #DallasArchitecture #ArchitecturallySignificant #Library

Farewell to Lights @SBLongInteriors @jbrlong3

A vintage 1979 Mercedes 450 SL, the color, vicuna with a chocolate brown top, in Highland Park always makes one either sentimental or envious of such a cool car. But what car would you expect of a nationally celebrated interior designer, Susan Bednar Long and her husband John, to drive to the village for dinner? I always love driving by their beautifully restored historic home on Beverly Drive and enjoy the look even more now when I see this car in the motor court. Also, one gets sentimental about the Highland Park lights. This image was taken on the last night of the Highland Park lights shining before they get turned off and then turned on next fall. As we say farewell to the lights, we know spring is on the way. *Farewell to Lights

@SBLongInteriors @jbrlong3 #Mercedes450SL #HighlandParkVillage #CafePacific #HighlandParkTX #DallasNeighborhood #HighlandParkNeighborhood #Design #InteriorDesigner #SusanBednarLong #JohnBRLong3

Contemporary Contrast

This home best illustrates the point I made in my TEDx talk, Homes That Make Us Happy, that it is not a particular style of home that makes one happy but the design of a home that makes one happy. Good design is good design. This Victorian style home might be the only new Victorian style home built in Dallas in the last 25 years. Its style is a severe contrast to the prevailing popularity of Modern and Transitional Modern. A new Victorian style home might even be considered architectural sacrilege by the professional intelligentsia. However, this home has good design and attracted many buyers, including those that have previously owned architect-designed Modern homes and others that live in Transitional Modern homes. These modern home lovers were all attracted to the wide front porch elevated high off the street, the rear porch, and the many windows. Mid-century Modern homes of this size generally have 8 ft. ceilings. Historic homes of this size have 8 ft. to 9 ft. ceilings. This Victorian style home built in 1996 has 10 ft. ceilings and wide double passageways with pocket doors opening to other large rooms. It also has a very wide gallery that runs the length of the home—perfect for entertaining. The floorplan programmatically feels modern. The home also attracted multiple buyers from New Orleans, which should not be a surprise. Many coming from New Orleans bought homes in Munger Place and Swiss Avenue, as they were attracted to the wide front porches and the balcony porches that they were raised with. D Magazine called this one of the “ten most charming houses in Dallas” in 2019. In 2022, modern home aficionados just called this a cool house with great spaces. *Contemporary Contrast

#Victorian #OakLawn #CurbAppeal #DallasNeighborhood #Dallas #Architecture #VictorianStyleHouse #Dallas Home #HomesThatMakeUsHappy

Modern Muse @ErinCluleyGallery

The concept of a muse has always fascinated me—fashion designers often have their muse floating in and out of a studio and historically artists were known to paint their paramours as their subject. What I love about this modern muse is she is the wife of the very talented artist, Will Murchison. At a recent show, Will said, when I asked, that he was not trying to paint his wife when he was composing and painting this layered piece of organic shapes on an asymmetrical grid, but he agreed that there did seem to be a similarity between the female in the painting and his wife. Will Murchison’s work is both intellectually thought out and spontaneously painted. It is a delight to know that when Will goes into his deepest subconscious for inspiration, his beautiful wife appears. *Modern Muse

@ErinCluleyGallery #DallasArtist #DallasArt #WillMurchison #DallasArtGallery #Muse #modernartists

Preservation Step Five

Preservation Step Five discusses implementing architectural deed restrictions in my final article of my blog series, Five Preservation Steps to Saving Homes. This final step is the most powerful step and a way to guarantee the extended life of a historic home. The pictured Mark Lemmon architect-designed home in Highland Park is well decorated with historic markers and plaques from Preservation Park Cities, Texas Historic Commission, and the National Register. And yet what ultimately saved the home were architectural deed restrictions agreed to by a smart and concerned buyer and seller who were passionate about architecture, history and Dallas. Architectural deed restrictions save historic and architecturally significant homes from being torn down. *Preservation Step Five

#HistoricHomes #ArchitecturallySignificantHomes #DallasHistoricHomes #HighlandPark #PreservationParkCities #Preservation #SavingHomes #Architect #Architecture #MarkLemmon #Dallas #Neighborhood #ArchitecturalDeedRestrictions

Preservation Step Four

Interior designer Michael Lee recently mentioned to me that he always tries to find an old photograph, preferably black and white, of a historic home to show the original essence of the home when he meets with a client to discuss saving and renovating it. The reason for this is the original design, unencumbered by decades of modifications or landscaping grown out or proportion, provides a more compelling appreciation of the home. In my blog series, Preservation Five Steps for Saving Homes, I discuss in Preservation Step Three that at the beginning of my career my first transaction was negotiating 22 options on divided-up rent houses for the Historic Dallas Fund, which included the home pictured. The fund would re-sell these homes to homeowners who would return them to single-family. It was thought impossible to sell these divided-up rent houses, with 30 bad weekly tenants in a bad Dallas neighborhood, to a homebuyer. My solution was to retain an architect to draw a floorplan of the home reflecting the home when it was originally single-family, before it had four kitchens and bathrooms in the living room. This prompted me to continue to create floorplans even a decade later when I began selling some of the most beautiful homes in Highland Park and other parts of Dallas. I was the first Dallas realtor to create floorplans for listings, now it is standard practice for realtors. Also, I had an architect create a pen-and-ink drawing of the home, stripping away the deterioration, the three front doors, and adding back the original porch that might have been eliminated or closed in.

In Preservation Step Four of the blog series, I discussed how for the home pictured—one of the original Historic Dallas Fund houses—I had a contractor provide a bid to renovate the home back to single-family. It was subsequently renovated and actually resold eight years later for the same price as a larger brick Swiss Avenue home. A family has enjoyed raising their children in this Munger Place home originally destined for demolition. *Preservation Step Four

#SavingHomes #Preservation #InteriorDesigner #Architect #Architecture #Dallas #Neighborhood #HistoricHomes #mungerplace

Preservation Step Three

Preservation Step Two—contacting and cultivating owners of historic and architecturally significant homes will save homes from being torn down. The home pictured is owned by sophisticated homeowners that are professional and amateur historians. They have a great affection and appreciation for the architecture and history of this home designed by architect David Williams. For many years they have had in place a plan to sell the home with architectural deed restrictions that will protect the home from being torn down.

Preservation Step Three of saving homes is having architects and interior designers create a vision for a home like this renovation that captures the original architect’s intent as if he were designing the home today. I recently posted on my blog all five preservation steps of saving homes. * Preservation Step Three

#SavingHomes #Preservation #DavidWilliams #Architect #Architecture #InteriorDesigner #OldEastDallas #Dallas #DallasNeighborhoods #HistoricHome #WhilshireHeights #Renovation

Preservation Step Two

After identifying historic and architecturally significant homes, the next step is contacting the owners and working with them to develop a preservation strategy for their home. In 1995, very few people were aware of the Crespi Estate–out of sight, out of mind. Virtually no one, including Dallas architectural historians, knew that the architect was Maurice Fatio of Treanor & Fatio, one of the most important architects in the country in the 1920s and 1930s. Since this historic and architecturally significant home was on 20 acres in Mayflower Estates hidden from the street, it was destined to be torn down for a housing development. I was introduced to Mr. Robert Wigley, the son of Florence Crespi and trustee of the family holdings. Bob Wigley had been Vice Chairman of E.F. Hutton and continued to be an accomplished money manager for many prominent families. Mr. Wigley was very receptive to a plan to preserve the Crespi Estate after his mother’s death. We put in place a plan to find the right buyer to preserve the home and even the eventual sales contract had deed restrictions that prevented the property from being divided for some period of time. I will be eternally grateful for my opportunity to work with Robert Wigley, an incredibly smart and honorable man. I will also always be grateful that Mr. Wigley saved the home with the preservation plans we put in place. While some of the property has now been divided, the Crespi Estate survives. My work with the late Mr. Wigley on this very complex transaction is my favorite collaboration. You can read more about preservation Step Two in my blog article, Five Steps of Saving Homes. *Preservation Step Two

#RobertWigley #FlorenceCrespi #HistoricHome #CrespiEstate #SavingHomes #Preservation #ArchitecturallySignificantHome #MauriceFatio #Dallas #DallasNeighborhood #CurbAppeal #Architect #Architecture #MayflowerEstates

First Preservation Step

Swiss Avenue

Cities that have a tremendous influx of homebuyers moving in from other states are the most apt to suffer from an acceleration of historic and architecturally significant homes torn down. However, any village, town or city can take proactive steps to preserve their layered architectural lineage that gives depth, history and forward momentum to their community. My recent blog article, Five Preservation Steps to Saving Historic and Architecturally Significant Homes, provides proactive ways to save homes. The Hal Thomson architect-designed home pictured is on Swiss Avenue where Dallas took its first step in saving homes. *First Preservation Step

#Preservation #SavingHomes #HistoricHome #HalThomsonArchitect #HighlandPark #SwissAvenue #DallasNeighborhood #ArchitecturallySignificantHome #HistoricDistrict #mungerplace

Triple Crown

Here is a historic home that is a Triple Crown winner of Dallas historic and architecturally significant home recognition. In 1997, the Dallas Chapter of AIA selected this 1915 historic home built for the first SMU Bishop as a 50 Significant Home. In 2008, Willis Winters, Virginia McAlester, and Prudence Mackintosh selected this historic home as one of the homes they featured in Great American Suburbs: The Homes of the Park Cities, Dallas. And now Preservation Park Cities has selected this historic home at 3444 University Boulevard as one of the Top Ten homes to save in the Park Cities. Maybe the greatest distinction this University Park home has received is that it is part of SMU English Professor Bonnie Wheeler’s book she wrote, The Block Book: HISTORY AND RECOLLECTIONS OF THE 3400 BLOCK OF UNIVERSITY BOULEVARD. In this book, the home at 3444 University Boulevard and its history is recounted as is the history of every home on the block. The late Gloria Wise, the former Executive Director of the Dallas Chapter of AIA first brought my attention to this home as she and her husband had restored it and wanted to preserve it in the future. They found the perfect buyer, their son! Their son Philip Wise has done a beautiful job further restoring and preserving the home. This is another preservation success story. *Triple Crown
#Preservation #ParkCities #UniversityPark #Dallas #SMU #Historic #DallasNeighborhood #UniversityParkNeighborhood #HistoricHome #TheBlockBook #UniversityBoulevard

Fresh Look

This image of the C.D. Hill architect-designed Dallas Municipal Building gives us a fresh look at Dallas—past and present. Here is an architecturally significant downtown Dallas building that we have all been to but seldom see. The current side entrance distracts us from seeing this fabulous building which exemplifies the architectural chops of architect C.D. Hill. Downtown buildings like this one built in 1914 mark the establishment of Dallas as an important city. It also marks the revitalization of downtown and the architectural talent Dallas had in the early 1900s. Architect C.D. Hill also designed many other important downtown buildings and some of the most important homes in Munger Place and Highland Park. Many great architects like C.D. Hill are responsible for both architecturally significant buildings downtown and in our neighborhoods. When we recognize and appreciate one of these architect’s works, we can better appreciate their other architectural contributions. It is fun to take a fresh look at the glorious downtown buildings and neighborhood homes architect C.D. Hill designed. *Fresh Look
#Historic #Dallas #DowntownDallas #OldCityHall #DallasMunicipalBuilding #Architect #Architecture #CDHill #DallasNeighborhood #HistoricDesign #ArchitecturallySignificant #NeoclassicalArchitecture

Sorority Home Save

It never occurred to me that a sorority house is also a home and the Gamma Phi Beta house at SMU is an architecturally significant home designed by architect Mark Lemmon. This Mark Lemmon-designed home will be further preserved because of the leadership of Rebecca Melde, a Gamma Phi SMU graduate. She discovered that her sorority home was designed by Mark Lemmon and is raising money with other Gamma Phi’s to preserve the history and architecture of their sorority house. What is additionally exciting is the possibility of a national movement to research and discover the individual architects who designed sorority houses across the country. My guess is that many of them are designed by prominent architects like Mark Lemmon who did very little residential work. My experience has been that many homebuyers looking to purchase a historic home grew up in a historic home. It is fun to think about the impact that this SMU Gamma Phi Beta Sorority House had on the historic home interest of thousands of SMU girls. There are millions of sorority girls, now women across the country, who have been influenced by the history and architecture of their sorority houses. Further research, discovery, and preservation of sorority houses across the country will heighten the preservation interests across our national communities. It would be wonderful if every sorority house in the country researched the architect that designed their collegiate home. This collective research project would illuminate important architects and architecture across the country. See blog article for more information on the Mark Lemmon architect-designed Gamma Phi Beta Sorority House at SMU. https://douglasnewby.com/2021/11/sorority-home-saved-at-smu/
*Sorority Home Save
#SororityHouse #SororityHome #GammaPhiBeta #AlphaXiHouse #Preservation #DallasArchitecture #MarkLemmon #DallasArchitect #Dallas #SMU #Historic

Douglas Newby is the Nation's #1 Realtor for Architecturally Significant Homes.
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