A Reader writes:
Hey Candy, i was just wanting to know if you knew of any websites or books that are about Charles Dilbeck or have a list of the homes he designed. He is my favorite architect and i know he built a ton of houses in Dallas but i have also found homes in more random towns like Sherman, and Waxahachie. I would really appreciate the feedback because i have loved every single house that i have found that he built, because i want to see more of his amazing work. Thanks again.
The very best Dilbeck property, one of my tip-top faves in all of the world, is Paigebrook in Westlake. It is funny this house never seems to make the “most beautiful” lists of local shelter pubs because it is hidden in Westlake. 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, cottage-y 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.
You are correct: 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. Let me get in touch with Kelly and Pat… Kelly Bradley tells me there is a Dilbeck class at SMU on Charles Dilbeck design. But alas, it has a wait-list.