I’ll be honest: I cannot stand the word “iconic.” It is overused and hyperbolic. If we call everything that there ever was “iconic,” doesn’t the term become irrelevant?
But I do have to say that when it comes to architecture, Dallas really does have some “iconic” homes. They’re the properties that keep coming up in conversation, whose pedigree is like name-dropping Pritzker Prize winners.
Which is why I was a little stunned that, in the Dallas Observer‘s recent list most “iconic” Dallas homes, there was no mention of the immaculately restored and updated Philip Johnson-designed mansion at 10210 Strait Lane. He is a Pritzker Prize winner, after all.
So what other homes should have made the cut?
The Trammell Crow Estate at 4500 Preston Road was another extremely memorable Dallas home that I was rather shocked to miss from the Observer article. Listed by Allie Beth Allman for $59.4 million, it was purchased by billionaire Andy Beale back in March of 2015. This incredible home with one of the most unbelievable libraries you’ve ever seen is a complete treasure, and not just because it was home to one of Dallas’ most notable businessmen. However, the writer did include the record-breaking Walnut Place (nee Crespi Hicks estate) — another Beal purchase — at No. 10.
Now, to the writer’s credit, 10 Nonesuch, Mount Vernon, Paigebrooke, The Wilson House, and the Mary Kay Mansion were all included on the list. However, I feel as if it was a missed opportunity to not include some of the more fun and interesting homes, such as the Underground House. I mean, who hasn’t driven by this partially buried, hobbit-esque home at 1000 Buckner Boulevard and had their curiosity tickled? I’ve been told by sources that the home is undergoing renovation, and we’ve been promised photos, so stay tuned!
Of course, there’s Belle Nora, but that’s more of an East Dallas story considering that the man who owns the property is well known for his many poorly maintained homes throughout the area, including the historic Mediterranean and former home of the Dallas Church of Scientology, which burned to the ground and is still just a scar on a foundation.
But I digress. A commenter on the story brought up the absence of Chateau des Grotteaux — the castle at West Shore and Gaston Avenue in Lakewood. Thanks to its proximity to a significant amount of car, bike, and foot traffic from nearby White Rock Lake, it gets quite the number of onlookers. It has an interesting history, too, as it was once the home of former Dallas mayor R.L. Thornton. Apparently you can get your picture taken there if your bank account can’t suffer the down payment.
Other missed opportunities include the DeGolyer House at the Dallas Arboretum, the Rachofsky House, and a posthumous nod to the incredible Bud Oglesby-designed home of Nancy Dedman that was razed in 2015. Puzzling, though, that Millermore Mansion was included on the list and John Neely Bryan’s cabin made it, but no mention of the Caruth Homeplace.
And a home I could never leave off any list of notable Dallas homes isn’t all that old but definitely speaks to the future of Dallas: Malone Cliff View. This home, brought to life by the talented Bill Booziotis, has incredible presence and interior spaces while taking advantage of the phenomenal views afforded by its cliffside perch in West Dallas.
What do you think? What Dallas homes do you consider to be “iconic”?