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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.

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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…)

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Update 10:59 a.m: Kelly tells me the CBS producers have postponed the story for a week or two, because they didn’t want to cut the piece to fit into a shortened time slot. We will keep you posted!
This is a home that has never left my heart, and never will. I have always thought that homes are like lovers — you have relationships with them over the years, and each one builds your heart, creates a page in your life book. Some are novels — like a long, solid marriage — some are short stories, some are horror stories. Some are lovers you just admire from afar and think wistfully, what if?

Paigebrook is that house for me. Apparently, Charles Osgood thought so, too. It’s an historical North Texas home/ranch that was so loved and revered by it’s owners they moved it, all 4500 plus square feet, piece by piece, wrapped in Tyvek, for a whole lot of money to keep the historical integrity intact and give it a new breath of life. That’s why the owner, Kelly Bradley, tells me Charles Osgood is doing a feature on Moving Houses Sunday morning and her Charles Stevens Dilbeck home is in that segment.  It runs on the CBS Sunday Morning News program at 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.

“We’ve lived in this home for 38 years now,” says Kelly, “and loved it so much that we moved it in order to preserve it, from one Westlake location to another, in our same town.”
It’s an incredible story, probably one of the most incredible house moving stories in the nation.

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05/29/15 5:16pm

309 Hazelwood Front

This home is absolutely KILLING ME. Why does it have to be so dang perfect? UGH. It’s like the seller said to themselves, “Hey, I know we’ve got this amazing midcentury modern in one of the best neighborhoods in all of Fort Worth, but let’s go ahead and put in a family room and kitchen with floor-to-ceiling windows that will make every person who ever lived weak in the knees, and then let’s put the hardwood floors on the diagonal because there’s just not enough chicness and character in here.”

Seriously. Dying.

You’ll know what I’m talking about once you see the rest of the photos of this amazing 1955 home inside the haute Rivercrest subdivision.

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05/29/15 3:48pm

1418 Eastus Front

We’re going to try to get our minds off of all the horrible flooding in Dallas with house porn. We got this little cutie in our inbox from none other than Steve Habgood, one of the best Realtors in North Oak Cliff. Habgood, a Dave Perry-Miller Realtor who is partnered up with Kathy Hewitt, says that this Austin stone cottage is a superb opportunity to move in and put your own stamp on a home with already fabulous bones.

This home has some updates, including fresh paint, refinished hardwood floors, and an updated kitchen. There’s some work to be done, namely updating light fixtures, re-doing the ceiling in the living and dining rooms, updating the sunroom, and perhaps fixing up the wood-burning fireplace in the living room.

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But those are cosmetic projects, and this home was built extremely well with good-sized rooms considering that it was built in 1948. Jump for more photos and information on our Friday Four Hundred.

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05/29/15 12:40pm
E. Lake Highlands Drive was washed over by the Dixon Branch as last night's storm caused flash flooding in areas throughout East Dallas.

E. Lake Highlands Drive was washed over by the Dixon Branch as last night’s storm caused flash flooding in areas throughout East Dallas. (Photo: Jo England)

The water flowed swiftly and steadily down the slope of Lake Terrace to E. Lake Highlands Drive, and on toward Dixon Branch, the nearby creek. The waters began to creep up over the banks, and then over the curb, and then covered much of the street. High water had come, but with more rain in the forecast could hell be next?

This wasn’t an uncommon theme last night, as several East Dallas residents dealt with flooding, especially those near creeks and ditches surrounding White Rock Lake Park. While flash flooding in Houston drove home the real danger of getting caught in rising water while in your car, what about those who had never imagined floodwaters invading their normally dry homes?

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A woman and two children inspect the flooded greenbelt at Lawther and Northwest Highway. (Photo: Jo England)

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Access roads from White Rock Lake to Buckner Boulevard were taped off by police as several inches of water covered them. (Photo: Jo England)

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An access road at Buckner Boulevard and Northwest Highway was still under several inches of water after last night’s storm. (Photo: Jo England)

That’s what had Lori Roberts terrified last night, as she watched the drainage culvert near her Casa View Haven home quickly become the kind of crested rapids that rafters love. But then it topped the concrete banks and crept up the street, and then up her driveway, and then perilously close to her home.

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05/29/15 12:03pm

Park Plaza

We’re continuing our roundup of 1980s high-rises so slink into your Bob Mackie and pop yourself a Bartles & Jaymes and read on.  Missed part one?  Catch up here.

Park Plaza: 4500 Roland Ave.

I will not be this 46-unit building’s target audience for decades, because at 76 percent, the Park Plaza has the highest rate of over-65 tax exemption filers in the city.

I called the Park Plaza a cannibal because I’ve been told there was an older building on the site that was stripped to the steel skeleton and reconstructed into the Park Plaza. The story goes this was the only way to keep the height and footprint of the original building as Highland Park building codes had changed. The logic is much like some communities that classify a “renovation” as leaving at least one original wall versus a “complete” new-build – it’s done to avoid zoning changes or the potential cost, permitting and taxation differences.

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This gorgeous home sits on a 62 x 179 lot and boasts 4,509 squar

It’s hard to really define a “Dallas” home without thinking about the “structures” erected in the last 20 years, from the top-heavy wood-shingled maisons that look like skinny women with huge top-heavy boobs, to the McMansions and Mediterranean would-be meccas. Certainly the classic Dallas ranch is a home that defines us as much as a Cape Cod defines, well, Cape Cod.

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But nothing brands itself more as a “Dallas home” than 7023 Lakewood Boulevard. Talk about turrets, here is a turret — an original turret. Architect Clifford Dorris Hutsell designed this Lakewood home for himself in 1930, at a cost of $10,000. At the time, it was one of the most expensive residences in Lakewood. In fact, it cost as much if not more than the Grand Dame mansions on Swiss Avenue. Why is this so truly a Dallas home? Because it was designed and lived in by Hutsell, who built 50 houses in Lakewood between 1926 and 1941, including most of the grand showstoppers along Lakewood Boulevard. He is credited with giving the neighborhood its signature quirky, rambling, old-world look. Hutsell was born in Grapevine, but spent some time in California where he became enamored with Spanish Eclectic design. (Later he pounced on Tudor.) He brought that design back to Texas which was, after all, once under the Spanish flag. Thus Spanish Eclectic is as much a part of our Dallas home brand heritage as it is California’s. (more…)

05/29/15 12:05am

Copperhead

It’s time to buy some Snake-Away, but I think I got the last jug at The Home depot — sorry. I haven’t seen any, but I’m sure they are out there in the tall grass. We have had baby snakes in our house in years past.

But Keller Williams agent Alyssa McKissack tells me she and her hubby, Brad McKissack, went for a run about a week ago in their neighborhood, “… we came around the corner & saw this monster Copperhead just chillin’, then we go over the bridge & look down to see a water moccasin, tonight’s run was done after that… ”

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