I love our 1950′s ranches. Not only do they remind me of the homes I grew up in back in suburban Illinois, they remind me of one of our best Dallas homes on 4307 Melissa Lane. So when I heard that Dallas film maker and radio personality Quin Mathews’ childhood home was on the market, I had to see it. Quin, among other fabulous things, co-founded and hosts Art Matters on WRR. He was also one of the first people I ever met when I moved to Dallas, when I moved here from NYC in 1980. We both worked at Channel 4. Quin grew up, from age 7 on, at 7207 Northaven, with his parents and sister in the 2295 square foot home Charles Carneal now has listed: 7207 Northaven Road. Asking $429,000.
You truly have to see this home. It is located on the speed-bump stretch of Northaven east of Hillcrest where the trees create a canopy of green. It is so Leave It To Beaver you will catch Eddie Haskell at the front door. Madmen ought to seriously consider this home for a set location. It’s your 1957 era classic three bedrooms, two baths — the master bath actually opens to the hallway, as well as the master, which tells me a lot about the Mathews family: great available parents. The closet space is fabulously abundant, and there are so many built-ins you can focus your design budget on quality upholstery and art. There is carpet everywhere save for the garden room with hardwoods beneathe, and Quin tells me they have never been touched. Pristine. Can you imagine the moment you rip up that carpet and excavate those floors? Quin tells me his mom and dad custom built the home in 1957. They lived at 6465 Mimosa and the builder was — get this — their next-door neighbor, Ted Dennis.
“My parents found a house they liked on Kenny Lane north of JanMar, and the architect’s office was at Preston Royal as I recall because I would go there with them,” says Quin. “Northaven was not curbed, it was an old country road at the time.”
Quin also recalls that the same sub-contractors who worked on his parents’ house were simultaneously finishing up Mickey Mantle’s house over between Douglas and the Tollway, north of Park Lane. They would come over to work on the Mathews’ house quite excited to be building a baseball celeb’s home.
The house is built like a rock, and in the most pristine shape ever, like most single owner homes. Everything in every room was placed there by my mother, says Quin. The furnishings are the same ones she bought in 1957 to 1960, he says.
They, like the house, are flawless.
The kitchen was upgraded in the 1980′s and a new refrigerator was added, possibly a new cooktop, but the original Vent A Hood remains. Skip Woodall, who went to school with Quin, would be proud. The original refrigerator finally broke, says Quin, and his mother could not get it repaired. It was a floating refrigerator. Edward R. Murrow once paid a visit to Frank Sinatra’s house and he showed off the very same refrigerator.
The floating refrigerator was great, says Quin, and efficient; it floated above the counter tops with a full counter underneath, kind of like a modern refrigerator on it’s side.
The bathroom tile is also original and perfect, commodes and faucets likely been .
I paused in the laundry room, which is actually as large as a 2012 McMansion laundry room minus the Sam’s closet. Mrs. Mathews had a complete sewing corner. She mended and, Quin says, sewed dresses for his sister.
Sometimes I just pine for the 1950′s.
Quin lived on Northaven until about 1969, then he, like the refrigerator, floated back for a few summers. Sometime after he left, his parents enclosed and air-conditioned the garden room, which had been built with the original home.
Quin says his mother, Billie Abbott Mathews, been a teacher and she was insistent that everything always be done correctly. The home is east of Hillcrest and close to Kramer School, also one of the more sought after DISD public schools these days.
“She was my grammar teacher,” says Quin, “and taught me everything I ever needed to know.”
Like her teaching, Mrs. Mathews kept 7207 Northaven in order. It is a home that nurtures, soothingly says ”I have been loved” the moment you walk in. Mrs. Mathews’ husband died in 1982, and she lived in her home until her death at the age of 93. It was her wish to never leave the home that she loved.
She never had to.
“My parents were North Dallas pioneers in that they moved to a road called Wandsworth, north of Walnut Hill, in 1947,” says Quin. ”The street changed its name to Mimosa Lane, as most of the homeowners planted the then-popular tree. There was a field between the house and Hillcrest High School, originally Vickery Hillcrest School, an 11-year country school. With a second child on the way, like so many, they moved “north” to Northaven.”
“It’s not a nice house, but it’s my house,” she would tell her children.
7207 Northaven is a VERY nice house. Nice homes do not have to be huge sprawling mansions with multiple living areas, 16 fireplaces and five spas. Nice homes can be well laid out, thoughtfully planned, beautifully cared for and loved.
Just like your house, Mrs. Mathews.
“My hope,” says Quin, ” is that another family can make the house their home for another fifty years. There was much happiness in the home, and I’d love for another family to bring happiness to 7207 Northaven for future generations.”