Originally posted on December 7, 2011, when this blog was just a toddler, PaigeBrooke Farm remains one of the most amazing properties in North Texas. Not only is it a ranch house originally designed by one of Dallas’ most famous architects, it was commissioned by a prominent Dallas family. Even more: the home was lovingly restored in 1977 after it was wrapped and moved in six pieces to its present land location — that’s right! This 4500 square foot house was wrapped up like a delicate holiday ornament in Tyvek and moved on steel beams where it was put back together, melded, enhanced, and perfected in a beautiful, country like setting on 18 acres. You have no idea you are near civilization. As one writer described the setting: it’s an “ahhh experience”. The most amazing listing in Dallas/Fort Worth: PaigeBrooke Farm in Westlake. I drove out to see this spread on one crisp, fall day and am still in a trance – maybe why it took me 1500 words to describe. And I could write 1500 more. Then listed with Maribeth Peters of Allie Beth Allman, it is now listed with Jeff Watson of Briggs Freeman-Sotheby’s International Realty for $7,900,000.
Who moves homes to preserve them? Scott and Kelly Bradley, that’s who.
PaigeBrooke is minutes from D/FW Airport and a brief jog from Westlake Academy. The rambling, half-timbered structure was designed by Charles Dilbeck in 1938, and is chock full of artisian handiwork and delightful surprises in almost every room — VERY Dilbeck, who said each room in a home should have a surprise element. There are surprises, and Dallas history everywhere. The home was built originally for Ted Dealey, a publisher of the Dallas Morning News and member of a Dallas publishing family dynasty.
Dilbeck, of course, is the architect known for romantic Tudors and French country homes sprinkled in the Park Cities and a few in North Dallas: Harry Potter style before Harry was a Potter. His homes have a signature English farmhouse feel to them, and are built rambling, as if they have been added onto. Dilbeck, for example, always said that in authentic cottages you could always find the original log cabin that the home started from. (PaigeBrooke has one.) He also designed homes without hallways, so you have to go into one room to get to another, as if the house had been added on to randomly. It creates a very organic feel.
PaigeBrooke is classic Dilbeck, built with rustic brick, stone, tile and wood. There are those signature Dilbeck features such as rounded chimneys, overhanging balconies, cupolas and turrets — even a bell tower. Dilbeck was an eco-friendly architect before green was vogue. He favored salvaged and recycled materials. Hence, the pinkish stone throughout this house came from an old slaughterhouse in Fort Worth, and the handhewn beams were made from original Union Terminal timbers in Fort Worth.
Dilbeck designed several country estates. PaigeBrooke’s owners, Scott and Kelly Bradley, remain close friends with his widow, Pat Dilbeck. She and her daughter Elaine Dilbeck MacIntire say Paigebrook is their favorite of Dilbeck’s houses, and it was his favorite, too:
“I believe this was my husband’s favorite home,” Pat Dilbeck told The Dallas Morning News (subscription recquired). “He created so many pretty homes, but this one was so beautiful, being out in the country in such a lovely setting.”
A Dilbeck grandson even asked if he could propose to his fiancee on the property, to get in a little family history. (more…)