Chapel Downs Home

Here is another reason why you might want to take a serious look at 10039 Pensive Drive here. Our Thursday $300,000 here. Got an email from none other than Rob Snyder, fabulous chairman (and I think founder) of Stream Energy. Turns out he and his (equally) famous and smart brother, Dr. Rick Snyder (Dallas cardiologist, past prez of the Dallas County Medical Society) were RAISED right here at 10039 Pensive Drive. Great DNA and smart juju. Rob says he even installed the sod lawn. No kidding:

Rob Snyder from Stream Energy here.

My Mom sent me this link this morning related to your coverage of a Chapel Downs house located at 10039 Pensive Drive.

And she did so as this home just happens to be the first house of the Snyder family here in Dallas: and in which we lived for eight years after moving from Indiana during the late 1970s.  (Hell: I even helped to install the sod for the first lawn at that place.)

Rob Snyder

Photo by James Bland

This just makes me so happy. It’s the reason we do what we do, our obsession with real estate, here at CandysDirtcom. We kind of feel that real estate is what makes the world go round, and it does. There is something so nostalgically comforting about our past homes and memories of living there. They are like dear old friends. We kind of like to know they are doing OK. Flourishing, even!

And Rob, your old house is splendid! (Look at that sod!) This also means we were actually almost neighbors, too. Our very first home in Dallas was at 3550 Ainsworth, after we left the Hub Apartments on Cedar Springs. Readers have asked me to write about all the homes we lived in since moving to Dallas in 1980. That might be a very cool exercise for not just me, but a series.

And thank you, Mrs. Snyder (Bobbi) for reading and sharing. Sounds like you have an amazing family. Which means you must be an amazing woman. I would LOVE to have coffee with you one day!

Radbrook 3

As I wrote almost one year ago today, every so often, a landmark Dallas home comes along for sale that makes you catch your breath and want to mortgage your first-born child so you can buy it.

Such is was the Herman and Mimi Lay estate at 4935 Radbrook Place in Preston Hollow.

Only now I can say, with tears in my eyes, such WAS the home of Herman and Mimi Lay.

This is the home that, each spring, has oceans of tulips sprouting in colors so vivid you do think you are in Holland. And the azaleas! No wonder the the Lay Ornamental Garden in the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is named in honor of Herman and Mimi.

The home, built in 1962, was designed by renown architect Cole Smith, who is married to interior designer extraordinaire Sherry Hayslip. The home was built by Hal Anderson.

And when I last spoke to the agent who listed it, Elizabeth Hutchinson of Keller Williams Dallas Premiere, she told me the potential buyers had no plans to use those double four letter words: tear down.

What happened?4935 Radbrook ext




You do remember this estate up in Hickory Creek, the stunning French magnifique modeled after Vaux-le-Vicomte, a chateau on the outskirts of Paris, France?

It’s enormous: 48,000 square feet now on 39 acres. Originally built by CellStar Corp. founder Alan H. Goldfield and his wife, Shirley, the estate known as Champ d’Or (or “Gold Field”) is one of the grandest residences in the entire country. The property features endless unique high end amenities including a two-story mahogany library; a conservatory mimicking Tavern of the Green in New York City; an ornate theater complete with stage, twin loges, screen and and a concession stand; two commercial elevators; multiple staircases, powder rooms and fireplaces; a master suite with a steam room inspired by “The Rat Pack”,  hair salon, two-story Chanel-style “her” closet, two-story “his” closet, an indoor lap pool and an exercise room off the huge master bathroom with heated towel drawers. The third story holds a mirrored ballroom patterned after Versailles with complete kitchen plus powder rooms for the ladies and men. The entertaining prospects are endless there, or on the veranda with seating for up to 450 people. There is a catering kitchen and a Butler’s pantry. Downstairs, on the lower level, there is a bowling alley, full racquetball court, garage for 20 cars, and a laundry room with commercial washer, dryer and sheet press. There is also a full wine room and gift wrap room with storage. It doesn’t stop here: there is an outdoor pool and pool house, tennis court, and numerous patios and gardens.

As for actual number of bedrooms, there are about six with six full baths and eight powder rooms: the master wing is on the first floor, the Wedgewood suite with living area and fireplace, breakfast bar, luxurious bath and private laundry room, is on the second floor where you also find another two-bedroom suite, each with en suite baths. There is yet another bedroom compartment on the third floor near the ballroom. This one has living and dining rooms plus a kitchen with two bedrooms and separate en suite baths.

Once again, Joan Eleazer of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is listing 1851 Turbeville Road, now known as “A French Country Retreat”. Asking is $17,500,000. No more Champ D’Or. Of course not: the Goldfields no longer own it. A new family, a new generation of life and love has filled 1851 Turbeville Road for the last few years as a second home, and they are ready to pass the beautiful baton:


4208 Shenandoah ext.ashxYears ago I wrote about this home when I was at D Home, and the way home builder Cy Barcus built a 3800 square foot palace in 2004 utilizing the best of everything he knew from his 35 year plus building career. I recall thinking, God, this would be the perfect home for us in a few years.

Cy sold it four years ago to Henry S. Miller. Now it’s hit the market for $3,500,000.

Cy even split the lot between him and the neighbor next door — at that time it was Margaret Ryder, still is, I think. The two could not have had more opposite homes — his a clean contemporary designed by Richard Drummond Davis, her’s a rustic Dilbeck cottage with English gardens. But split they did, and the land soon became the testament of a great friendship. Even their dogs made themselves at home in each other’s homes, passing through a little opening in a stone fence down the middle of the split lot. I am guessing that arrangement still exists because the lot is 90 feet wide — huge for this neck of the PC.

Also, at the time, like I said, it was 2004. Shenandoah was not known for screaming contemporary architecture. Almost a dozen years later, there are contemporaries all over the Park Cities, even a “box” on Mockingbird.

Cy Barcus was known for years as a builder of mansions for the city’s rich and famous. We can take a look at our CandysDirt-approved homebuilders page and see who has taken his place now. Still, when he built 4208 Shenandoah, he tried very hard to fit the shape and form of the house  into the traditional neighborhood.

4208 Shenandoah back yard

Photos taken by Photography

Richard Davis called it a “saltbox — incredibly indigenous to Texas.” (more…)

Wentowood ext

Update 11:00 p.m.: so I spoke to Julie P, and she gave me the scoop. Seems she put the house in Facebook Friends, which is how our friends at Busted Coverage must have found out. Julie has been busy with a new wee one! Also the Horcoffs have a baby, too, and wanted to get over to their summer home to free Wentwood for showings. Coats Homes is the builder, and the master is upstairs, plus three bedrooms, fifth bedroom or gameroom on the third level.

Talk about getting out of Dodge as fast as you can. The other thing I find weird about this is that the listing agent, Julie Provenzano, has the home all over Zillow but NOT in MLS, well not yet, at least. Is this the new norm? Thanks to the folks at Busted Coverage for this alert, and then to my good LA Times pal Neal Leitereg for the heads up! Yes, Neal, it does look just like Jose Calderone’s pad, methinks it’s the same builder and designer.

3417 Villanova ext

3417 Villanova

3417 Villanova living

3417 Villanova


Hicks Main House- Front
It is almost impossible to describe what it feels like to actually visit Walnut Place, the former Crespi Estate, as it was christened by owners Thomas O. and Cinda Hicks. But we were fortunate indeed to tour the 35,275 square foot (67,689 including terraces) estate for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The most expensive home in Dallas is now on the market with both Allie Beth Allman and David Nichols of the brokerage bearing Allie Beth’s name. The home had previously been marketed by Doug Newby, who’s methodology had been to keep it highly exclusive and restrictive — few Dallas area agents were actually ever inside the home. That could be because Doug thought the buyer would come from outside of Dallas. He did have the estate plastered on every private jet publication out there. Until now, it has not been in the MLS.

Last Thursday, the extraordinary Preston Hollow estate was opened to the agents of Allie Beth Allman to tour for the very first time. Everyone was absolutely breathless. The drive-up as you turn into the graceful private gates at 10000 Hollow Way is more like driving through the French countryside to a fabulous chateaux deep in the heart of the forest. You are on 25.25 acres but you are seconds from the Dallas North Tollway entrance and about a seven minute drive to downtown Dallas with minimum traffic. Office in Preston Center and you could even walk –it’s 4 miles!

Hicks 10000HollowWay18L

The drive splits, forking to the right and left. The two circles culminate in the entrance to the crushed limestone auto courtyard. It is here the original Crespi Estate, designed by Maurice Fatio, was situated on the rambling acreage for the best possible siting: the drive pulls you into another world of pastoral escape, all of which is viewable from the estate. The estate overlooks a forest of trees and a creek which runs through the property. There are meadows and trails, a year-round pond, a helipad with a lighted landing pad that is covered with grass when not in use to maintain the natural aesthetic. There are two courtyards lined with 16 magnolia trees each, a greenhouse, formal rose garden, lighted tennis court, and a 1500 foot deep well was drilled on the property and that water is then purified to water the estate grounds.

You enter the estate though an ornamental steel front door. You will enter into the original Crespi estate that was built in 1938. The addition, completed by John Sebastian, flows completely seamlessly from the original mansion to the new. I’m told the Hicks did not just add more limestone to their exterior renovation, they went to the actual quarry in Indiana that had supplied the original limestone back in the 1930’s. They re-opened it and excavated stone from the same terra for the absolute utmost chance of a perfect match. Stones, as you know, can be like fabrics and no two are ever 100% alike. A Corian technique of light sandblasting was used to match the new Indiana limestone to the old original, perhaps remove the “newness”.

The home is amazingly balanced and perfectly symmetrical. It begins with the marble floored gallery hall running the girth of the main house. (more…)


Sounds like a cool new class in law school, right? Sort of like “Ethics and the Law” or “Animals and the Law.” Shockingly, it’s not a class at all but reality for the popular former Dean of SMU’s Dedman School of Law (1998-2013) and current Judge William Hawley Atwell Chair of Constitutional Law and Professor of Law, John B. Attanasio. Professor Attanasio, 60, was arrested on a prostitution charge and booked into the Collin County Jail early this past Sunday. (more…)

Mary Kay mansion extUpdate: Spoke to Karen, who tells me this listing has had interest from all sorts of peeps ranging from a high of Mehrdad Moayedi, who could certainly afford it ON TOP of the Phil Romano home on Strait Lane, to a reverend from California who wanted to buy it and turn it into a pink church because he felt the house was a portal into the (pink?) fifth dimension. Chant with me now, HMMMMMMMM. A church on Douglas? Correct that: a church north of the church on Douglas? Boy, talk about how big the cow neighbors would be having. Which reminds me. The buyer does not, to Karen’s knowledge, own a major sports team. And he plans to keep the house after a renovation, maybe turn around and sell it again? And Karen has the neighbor’s backs: she told the good reverend she did not think the neighbors would appreciate the parking mess from a pink church. Guess he’s off seeking another portal. I still think 8915 Douglas is a Dallas icon.

What this means is that someone has put a contract on the home with an option to buy it. That option is until March 1, 2015. This is incredible news for the home, the owner, and the agent, darling Karen Luter, who has worked her fingers to the bones on this listing and gosh dang she has had it listed since February of 2012. And we have written about it since the beginning of time! Mary Kay Ash, who founded the amazing multi-level marketing cosmetics empire, bought the home from the builder while it was under construction.  She had moved out of the mansion to her other Dallas home off Boedecker prior to her death in 1981 2001.

The current owner is an OB/GYN physician, Dr. Karen Gillum, who lived in the home for more than 15 years. The poor mansion is now vacant and ready for some love, just in time for Valentines Day! (more…)