The recent teardowns in Highland Park have left a trail of tears across the Highland Park neighborhoods. Maybe this architecturally significant Beaux-Arts style mansion designed by Herbert M. Greene will not be torn down. There are 5 reasons why the home might not be torn down. As I discussed with Dallas Morning News reporter Steve Brown: 1) This 1912 Herbert Greene architect-designed home is the most iconic home in Highland Park. Andy Beal did tear down a historic but relatively insignificant home on 6 acres on Preston Road, but he did not tear down the iconic Crespi Estate on 25 acres when he owned it. 2) The Beaux-Arts style seen here is the most prominent example of this architectural style in Dallas. 3) Located at the corner of Beverly and Preston, it is at the epicenter of Highland Park. 4) The home has a rich historical heritage even before prominent business leader and philanthropist Ed Cox owned the home for over 40 years. 5) 4101 Beverly has an elevation more impressive and a greater height than presumably Highland Park would allow for a new home. Most homes that get torn down are to accommodate a more impressive and larger new home. Here architect Herbert Greene designed a home on 7 acres that is already perfectly sited and magnificent.
Here is my favorite Mary Vernon painting. A still life that explodes with nature. A precarious balance held in place by a composition filled with blocks of color and layers of detail added to and subtracted from the canvas. Thinking about why I am so captivated by this piece, I realize it is because it exudes nature. Just as a vignette of a home looking out a window can often convey nature more poignantly than an image of an outside landscape in its entirety, this painting, just like a home, embraces the interaction of nature and the materials nature provides for the built environment. Just as a home can be programmatically modern but not rigid, this painting can be modern and yield to the subtle influence of deliberate spontaneity from the hand of whomever yields it.
Anyone with the love of art, history, or Dallas, already owns or should own a painting by Mary Vernon. Mary is foremost a brilliant artist. She has also mentored scores of successful artists as a friend or as the former Chair of the SMU Art Department. Mary has also helped shape SMU in leadership roles including serving as the President of the Faculty Senate. Mary Vernon has embraced Dallas and Dallas continues to embrace her. Currently, you can see an exhibition of Mary Vernon’s recent work at Cheryl and Kevin Vogel’s Valley House Gallery. Mary Vernon’s paintings bring both joy and a better understanding of art.
@Cheryl_Vogel_Valley_House @ValleyHouseGallery #ValleyHouseGallery#MaryVernon @m_vernon1953 #Art#Design#Modern#Dallas#DallasArt#DallasArtist#DallasModernArt
An enthralling estate home is more than an elegant facade. It needs to be beautifully sited, as this Lang & Witchell home is on Swiss Avenue boulevard. An estate home also needs to be balanced with the proper amount of land around the home to accommodate gardens and the subsequent structures, adding to both the architecture of the home and the enjoyment the family will have living in the home. Pictured is the summer house placed in the garden at 5112 Swiss Avenue, as the conservatory, pool, and library over the garage are also found in the garden. The main house has formal rooms larger than many new homes that are twice its size, and this home has more intimate spaces in the garden for oneself, friends and family. Gracious homes allow gracious living.
*Summer House #HomesThatMakeUsHappy#SwissAvenue#HistoricSwissAvenue#Garden#Dallas#DallasHome#HistoricDesign#OldEastDallas#MungerPlace
It is always fun to sell one of the most architecturally significant homes on Swiss Avenue. I consider this home an architectural exclamation point on the boulevard. It is even more fun when a fabulous home completes an entire block face of homes that I have sold on the street. Since my real estate career started exclusively in Munger Place, I have sold a majority of homes on Swiss Avenue and the rest of the Munger Place historic districts at least once. However, there are still many blocks on Swiss Avenue where I have not previously sold every home. This block of Swiss Avenue I consider the finest and most prominent on the boulevard. There are only five houses on this side of the 5000-5100 block of Swiss Avenue, because the lots are wide and large—between a half acre and one acre of land with a clear view to downtown Dallas. The homes that I have previously sold on this block include the Higginbotham’s first home designed by Charles Erwin Barglebaugh of Lang & Witchell Architects. Barglebaugh had previously worked for Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie style design is evident in this home. I also sold the home next door at 5020 Swiss Avenue, also designed by architects Lang & Witchell. This home the Higginbothams built for their daughter for a wedding present. The home I just sold is the third house Lang & Witchell designed on Swiss Avenue. Since all three of these Lang & Witchell designed homes are located in the two blocks of Swiss Avenue that are in the original Munger Place Addition, the ceilings are higher—11 feet tall—and the formal rooms are larger than those we are now finding in 12,000 s.f. Highland Park homes. The original Munger Place Addition deed restrictions and the current Swiss Avenue Historic District restrictions protect the setbacks and architectural continuity that perpetuates Swiss Avenue as one of the five iconic streets in Dallas. Go to the blog article https://douglasnewby.com/2021/11/swiss-avenue-architectural-exclamation-mark/ and see the five Swiss Avenue homes that make up this block face. *Exclamation Mark #SwissAvenue#Preservation#SwissAvenueHistoricDistrict#MungerPlace#OldEastDallas#DallasHistoricHome#DallasNeighborhood
Greenlining, designating a neighborhood solely for new and renovated homes, serves as an affordable housing tool and as a neighborhood revitalization tool. For 35 years, since Eric Moye chaired Mayor Starke Taylor’s Southern Dallas Task Force, the city of Dallas has called for the tax base and desirability of Southern Dallas to become closer to that of Northern Dallas.
Greenlining specific Southern Dallas neighborhoods would propel the desirability and economic development of Southern Dallas. At a time when transit lines and stops are billed as renovation tools but fail to bring economic development on their own, and new mixed income apartments are touted to help a neighborhood, single-family neighborhoods increase the desirability of the property and all the uses around them.
Greenlining neighborhoods in Southern Dallas also increases the number of affordable homes and opportunities for low- and moderate-income families to become homeowners. The timing for greenlining, protecting and promoting single-family home neighborhoods in Southern Dallas is even more fortuitous when Oregon, California, Minnesota and other parts of the country are in the process of eliminating single-family zoning, promoting apartment development in existing single-family home neighborhoods.
Greenlining designated areas of Southern Dallas for new and renovated single-family homes would give that neighborhood a positive direction, an economic thrust, homeowner confidence that propels a neighborhood and a certainty of success. See blog article on how Southern Dallas could be 21st century demonstration greenlined area for revitalization of a neighborhood and increased homeownership creating generational wealth. https://douglasnewby.com/2021/11/greenlining-is-remedy-for-redlining-and-bluelining/
*Greenlining As Remedy #Greenlining#SouthernDallas#Redlining#Bluelining#Revitalization#AffordableHousing#Homeownership#Dallas#DallasNeighborhoods
I just sold one of the most important architecturally significant and historically significant homes in Highland Park, Dallas, and North Texas. This Mark Lemmon architect-designed home will be saved, preserved, and further renovated, accentuating the historic architecture and significance. This preservation success can be attributed primarily to preservationist and community leader Anthony McClure who developed a strategy to perpetuate the preservation of his home and land around it for over 20 years. Preservation starts with the homeowner of an architecturally significant home. The buyer is the next most important participant of a historic and architecturally significant home. The buyer is from a several generation Dallas family, is passionate about Dallas history, and is a graduate of SMU across the street from this Highland Park home. The third component of this preservation triumph is the architectural deed restrictions placed on the property that I helped with as the listing agent. This is an incredibly important Highland Park home that Mark Lemmon designed for his own family. The late Ted Pillsbury, the former director of the Kimbell Art Museum and Meadows Museum, wrote in the forward of the book on Mark Lemmon, authored by Rick Brettell and Willis Winters, that Mark Lemmon was the most important historicist architect of the 20th century in Dallas. This small Normandy style cottage was also extremely vulnerable because it was on two large platted lots combined that made over .4 acres. Small houses on large lots are seldom saved. In addition to the architectural deed restrictions placed on the home, deed restrictions were placed on the lots so that neither of the lots could be sold separately. This extra land allows full views of both the front facade and the side facade with the Normandy style bay wall window. Read more on home and preservation process https://douglasnewby.com/2021/11/highland-park-preservation-success/.
*Preservation Triumph #MarkLemmon#DallasArchitecture @PreservationParkCities #DallasHistoricHome#HighlandParkHistoricHome#PreservationSuccess#HighlandPark#ArchitecturallySignificant#HistoricallySignificant#HomesThatMakeUsHappy
Modernism was the culprit for low-income immigrant and Black homes to be torn down in the early and mid 20th century. Now modern design is preserving historic homes from this same era. On the Dallas AIA Tour of Homes 2021 you will be able to see what had been a small, worn-out, 1,400 sq.ft. Colonial Revival house clad with aluminum siding and resting on Bois d’Arc posts on Coombs Creek Trail that architect Cliff Welch was able to transform by accentuating its simple design with a modern approach. Cartouches and carvings have been eliminated and replaced with functional design elements. Dallas has an abundance of affordable homes if we don’t turn our back on the old original housing stock in need of repair.
*Historic Preserves Modern
@AIADallas #AIADallasTourOfHomes#KesslerPark @CliffWelchFAIA #CliffWelchArchitect#CoombsCreekTrail#Dallas#Architect#Architecture#HistoricHome#OldHouse#Preservation#ModernDesign#ColonialRevival#Renovation#DallasNeighborhood
A celestial study by interior designer Ken Fulk at Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas might be a nod to an astrological prediction of design. Or it might be an example of how rooms in a historically designed home that I sold over ten years ago can keep the classical proportions and floorplan but have each room take on a very different look at the hands of talented designers. My blog article shows before and after pictures of many of the rooms showcased at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas at 5138 Deloache Avenue in Preston Hollow. https://douglasnewby.com/2021/10/future-of-design-kips-bay-decorator-show-house-dallas/. *Future of Design #PrestonHollow @kbshowhouse #kbshowhouse2021#Design#InteriorDesign#InteriorDesigners#kenfulkdesign#Astrology#Tarot @kenfulk @fromthegrounduplandscape @john_bobbitt @martinpainting @coreydamenjenkins @michaelaiduss gilmelott @dennisbrackeendesigngroup @lantzcollective @traciconnellinteriors @alexahamptoninc @martynlawrencebullarddesign @meredithellis @jamesshowroom @shellyrosenberg @brantmcfarlaindesign @janetgridley @creativetonic
A summer holiday for me usually means Basque beaches with the sea in one direction and the Pyrenees in the other direction, with the day ending at Le Kaiku, a chef-owned Michelin star restaurant in Saint Jean de Luz, near the sea. This summer, not eager to embark on international travel, East Tennessee provided an infusion of topography, charming views, and farm-fresh dinners. The views were not as exuberantly picturesque as the Basque country, but East Tennessee offered a delightful end of summer respite. A morning bike ride brings one past a charming boathouse, a cabin, maybe the prototype for the John Neely Bryan replica cabin erected in downtown Dallas, a 19th century church with hand-hewn pews, rivers, creeks, fenced pastures, forests and glorious views. Recent conditions prompted many to move to the interior of the country and prompted others to take a holiday in the interior of the United States. Happy end of Summer! *End of Summer #EndOfSummer#EastTennessee#BlackberryFarm#HistoricChurch#Boathouse#Landscape @le_kaiku
The perfect grand finale on an early summer night in New Harmony is seeing the Richard Meier designed architecture illuminated under the stars that are about to fill the night sky, and then one is able to follow the path illuminated by millions of fireflies that lead you to the Wabash River. Here there are five types of fireflies. There are those that hover in and near the grass, those that dart around at eye level, those that inhabit the flight paths at tree level, and then there are those that fly high with their lightning luminescence that becomes indistinguishable from the millions of bright stars in the night sky. New Harmony might be a small town, but it is the firefly capital of the country. *Stars, Fireflies, Meier #NewHarmony#Fireflies#LightningBugs#RichardMeier#Architecture#ModernArchitectureAtNight#SmallTown
As the sun sets on the Wabash, one knows the show will soon begin. Twilight is like an evening sorbet that cleanses the palate of the day to give one a fresh canvas for the millions of fireflies (lightning bugs) about to appear from the grass on the ground to the stars in the sky. This last year the cliché of small town inhabitants heading to New York has been turned on its head with people from New York moving to small towns in Indiana. I decided I didn’t want to miss out on the midwestern small town experience. It is easy to forget how many small towns or cities have wonderful museums and where the nature is sublime. My birthplace of Freeport, Illinois, a site of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, has a delightful art museum and massive parks and landscaped boulevards I still think about. The village of Hinsdale, Illinois, where I was raised, had tree-lined, brick paved streets and triangle parks. Hinsdale also had a health museum that people came to from miles away. Whether it is a small town or a big city, it is important to balance art, architecture, vibrancy, and nature in an honest and organic way. *Prior to Fireflies #Twilight#Nature#NewHarmony#SmallTown
21st century cemeteries seem to take their clues from New Urbanism—controlled, uniform, efficient sameness, packed together with the obligatory bench and fountains. Farm church cemeteries express the personality of the several generations of family resting there along with a view of what brought them to this land, and how it provided for them. I have loved cemeteries like this since I was a child. They seem to exude history and joy versus sorrow and loss. Organic Urbanism perpetuates the good and fun of the past and of the future. *Family Expression #HistoricCemetery#ChurchCemetery#CountryCemetery#FamilyFarm
A historic silo is programmatically modern. Form follows function. The materials are from the region. The architecture is honest, and it submits to the landscape. The genuine need for a silo over 100 years ago leaves us now with a piece of art and architecture. I love the curved, red, high-fire brick with five aligned vertical windows perfectly placed and the site on the edge of a row of trees with a foreground of farmland. It has been several years since I visited corn, bean, and wheat fields that became an ingrained impression of my youth when I was visiting farms owned by relatives on both sides of my family. Nostalgia, nature, and architecture translate to a city as well as a farming community. Organic Urbanism enhances what people love. *Nature Begets Architecture #HistoricSilo#Beanfield#Architecture#Brick#HistoricFarm
Art is maybe the most compelling when it is unexpected. Walking through a narrow path surrounded by trees and crossing water, it was a delight to come across this sculpture. It reminded me of an Eduardo Chillida sculpture found in the Basque countryside sculpture garden in Hernani near San Sebastian. Just like the Richard Meier architecture found in both the farmland of New Harmony and in the urban atmosphere of Dallas, the Eduardo Chillida sculpture is hidden in the Basque countryside and it is also prominently displayed in front of the I.M. Pei designed Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. You can see examples of this Chillida sculpture in my Instagram posts around August 27, 2019. It shows how sensitive we are to the environment for art and how sensitive we are to nature in our cities. We need art and nature in our daily lives. In this picture, farmland and the Wabash River are in the background and on the other side of the path is the MacLeod Barn Abby, a quiet space for meetings, lectures, and events that offer solace for the mind, body, and soul. Gail Thomas and the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture permeated Dallas with a heightened sense of the city having a soul that needed to be nurtured. It became understood that a nurtured city would nurture its inhabitants. A successful city, town, or neighborhood needs to be nurtured. Organic Urbanism treats these places like a garden to be gingerly planted, groomed, and enjoyed. *Art on Wabash #Art#WabashRiver#NewHarmony#MacLeodBarnAbby#GailThomas#DallasInstituteOfHumanitiesAndCulture#Sculpture
Preservation is more than just preservation. Preservation is revitalizing an earlier energy and vision of the community. Jane Owen revived the 1814 German Utopian town that originally had buildings from the 1800’s and a hedge labyrinth for meditation and prayer. The best cities, towns, and neighborhoods have organic leadership motivated by passion to preserve, perpetuate and create good ideas and projects. The communities that are the most successful are not because a planner dictated the urban policy that they were taught in graduate school, but the communities are successful because of village driven projects embraced by the community. In 1988, Jane Owen created a polished granite labyrinth in New Harmony dedicated by the Rector of Chartres Cathedral, the cathedral that she visited with the architects to replicate the measurements. A labyrinth has become the unofficial logo of New Harmony. The hedge labyrinth and polished granite labyrinth have architectural appeal, are sophisticated and urbane, and add depth and meaning to the public spaces surrounded by nature. These labyrinths are additional successful expressions of Organic Urbanism. *Labyrinth to New Harmony #Labyrinth#ChartresCathedral#NewHarmony#GraniteLabyrinth#OrganicUrbanism#HedgeLabyrinth
A country church by architect Philip Johnson certainly adds more visual vibrancy to a small town than a traditionally designed church. Jane Blaffer Owen, a patron of New Harmony, commissioned The Roofless Church in 1960. Born in Texas, she was a philanthropist, an heir to the Humble Oil fortune, who also funded the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston. Jane was educated at Bryn Mawr and also at Union School of Theology. This was a great cultural and theological pedigree for her to orchestrate The Roofless Church. As Allison Hatfield commented in the last post, “One amazing restaurant is all a person really needs,” maybe one amazing patron is all a town really needs. Jane Owen was amazing. She was named by Queen Elizabeth II as Commander of the British Empire. I have found that successful cities, towns, and neighborhoods have major patrons. Dallas had Margaret McDermott as a patron. Munger Place, a small neighborhood, had the insight and drive of property owners like Bob Logan to transform the neighborhood that had been in decline for 70 years since Margaret McDermott had lived there as a girl. In New Harmony, The Roofless Church conveys surprise and joy—surprise to see it at the end of the block when one checks into the New Harmony Inn; further surprise to see what first looks like a walled garden reveals a sculptural chapel, and then another surprise when the sheltered church pews around the perimeter have a backdrop of beanfields. The Roofless Church is a meditative space where one can enjoy time by oneself. It also becomes the site of glorious weddings. The Philip Johnson architect-designed church adds to the Organic Urbanism success of New Harmony. *Philip Johnson Country Church #PhilipJohnson#Architect#RooflessChurch#NewHarmony#OrganicUrbanism#Modern#SacredSpace
To emphasize the point that New Harmony is a “one restaurant town,” I am posting the picture of the one restaurant. However, New Harmony also has a fabulous coffee shop with the best espresso I have had this year. I should have known the coffee would be good and New Harmony was a vibrant town when I saw two policemen drinking their coffee there. I was so impressed with the espresso, backed with small batch tonic, that I told the barista/owner that this is the best coffee east of the Wabash. *One Restaurant Town #NewHarmony#SmallTown#Historic#MainStreet#OrganicUrbanism
The beginning of this summer I visited New Harmony, Indiana, to see if Organic Urbanism thinking translates for small towns and big cities. I usually think of Organic Urbanism as a way forward for cities. However, it is interesting that a small town of 980 residents like New Harmony can have an organic evolution, celebrate nature, generate vibrancy, and showcase art and architecture. My upcoming series of posts will review a small town with lots of energy, important architecture and pastoral charm. Field of Dreams—Build It and They Will Come could certainly apply to New Harmony. Jane Baffler Owen, wife of New Harmony founding family descendent, orchestrated the Richard Meier architect-designed Atheneum in 1969 serving as the New Harmony Visiting Center. In Dallas, we are more familiar with the Richard Meier designed Rachofsky House on 3 acres in Preston Hollow. The architecture is similar, equally suited to urban or farm land. They serve in somewhat the same capacity as The Rachofsky House could be considered an Atheneum of art and architecture. It is the first place I bring friends from Europe to get a sense of Dallas. When great architecture is built, they will come. *Field of Dreams #RichardMeier#Architect#Architecture#NewHarmony#Dallas#Art#OrganicUrbanism#ModernHome
Can inviting sumptuous, captivating materials allow an architect to design a more modern home? Here in Highland Park, architect Joe McCall wins the battle for a home that will make one happy with his use of materials. As you approach this modern home, the edge-cut Douglas fir porte cochere is above you that has a clear stain bringing out the natural caramelized cinnamon colors of this soft wood. At your feet are the solid stone blocks of bluestone leading to the honed bluestone at the entrance. Visually connecting these two parallel flat planes of contrasting texture and color is an outer wall of Corso Italian brick with an open transom to allow one to see the continuous Douglas fir ceiling as it extends into the interior linear courtyard. Five different textures of bluestone are seen at the home. The Douglas fir is also used for the window frames throughout the house. The steel beams and columns and walls of floor-to-ceiling windows serve the purpose to integrate the view of nature throughout the home. However, because of the use of the other materials introduced at the entrance, the home is never interpreted as a glass and steel house. If the modern battle is won with materials, the architectural war is won with the proportions and intersecting open spaces that enmesh the home in the site. My favorite modern homes have layers and depth of materials and textures, as architect Joe McCall, landscape architect David Hocker, and interior designer Wendy Konradi have created here. I am curious what your favorite materials are for a modern home? *Materials Make Modern #JoeMcCallArchitect#ModernArchitect @JoeMcCallFAIA #DallasLandscapeArchitect#ModernMaterials#DallasModernHome#HighlandParkModernHome#DallasContemporaryHome#HighlandParkModern#HighlandParkHome#DallasDesign#DallasArchitecture#ArchitecturallySignificantHomes#ModernDesign#DallasLandscape#HighlandParkContemporary#HomesThatMakeUsHappy @WendyKonradiDesign
These long, thin Corso Italian 19-3/4” x 1-1/2” bricks were selected by Joe McCall for the modern home he recently designed in Highland Park. These bricks are individually formed and fired in kilns that allow a variation and depth of color depending on the placement in the kiln. The emphasis of the horizontal length of each brick evokes the modern rectilinear aspects of this very modern home. The texture adds depth and character to a modern home with many glazed walls, windows and doors. This post is a tribute to architect @JoeMcCallFAIA and the incredible modern homes he has designed. The post is also in honor of artisan and artist, master brickmason, and architectural historian Rick Wood who always has something fascinating to say about brick and how it is applied. *Italian Texture
Frank Welch was a legend – an architect beloved by his clients and revered by other architects, and he still is. The Architectural Forum posted the Frank Welch Memorial Lecture at the Moody Performance Hall in the Arts District. Here, potential future legends, Midland architect Mark Wellen, FAIA, Dallas architect, Max Levy, FAIA, and Fort Worth architect, Mark Gunderson, AIA, reviewed the work, approach and personality of architectural legend Frank Welch, FAIA, who furthered Texas Modern architecture and charmed the community.
Architects are tied into the community, shape the community, and illustrate the history of the community. Since I was in my twenties, I have met and discussed architecture with the architects in Dallas I consider legends. When I initiated and sponsored the Restoration House of the Year Award, a series of AIA presidents were on the committee for the annual award. These included Ed Beran, FAIA, Bill Booziotis, FAIA, and several other legends I have learned much from, and a few of them became longtime friends. Another legend was James Pratt, FAIA, who was a Dallas combination of Wilbur Cook, George Kessler and Jane Jacobs. I discussed a home James Pratt designed in my TEDx Talk, Homes That Make Us Happy, and had the pleasure of being a member of Town and Gown with him. James Pratt had a plan for Dallas unveiled at the Dallas Art Museum which included Haskell Boulevard connecting Highland Park with Fair Park. When I go to the Dallas Architecture Forum, there are often architects in the audience who will be our next legends and talked about for generations. Architects have one foot in society and one foot with the public – tradespersons, builders, designers, and the community. Architects are esteemed and accessible. What architects do you think might someday be a lasting legend in Dallas? *Legends On Legend #DallasArchitect#DallasLegend#DallasArchitectureForum#ArtsDistrict#FrankWelch#MarkWellen#MaxLevy#MarkGunderson#TexasModern#MoodyPerformanceHall#ModernArchitecture#DallasModernHomes#ArchitecturallySignificant @RWArchitects #MarkWellen#DallasArchitecture#TexasArchitecture#MidlandArchitecture#TexasModernArchitecture
People have been flooding to suburbs, small towns, and countryside locations. Homeowners also have been migrating to urban neighborhoods that embrace and exude nature. The rear garden of my home in an urban neighborhood has 12 trees and extensive plant life, attracting dozens of varieties of birds, from hummingbirds to hawks. Recently, when I went to Greenway Parks to show a Max Levy modern home that I have listed for sale, I was greeted by a rabbit close to the front entrance. There is something about seeing a rabbit that makes me think of nature on a different level. Rabbits are not rare and they do not seem out of place, but they always bring a smile. Nature brings value to us and value to a home. Greenway Parks is a great example of a neighborhood with lots less than an acre in size that exudes nature. What neighborhoods that have lots under one acre do you associate with nature? *Nature and Neighborhood #GreenwayParks#MaxLevyArchitect#DallasNeighborhood#DallasModernHome#HomesThatMakeUsHappy#DallasNature#Rabbit#DallasHome