Richard Drummond Davis

In our ongoing series, Interview with an Architect, we speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals (you can read the last one here).

Richard Drummond Davis

Richard Drummond Davis

Dallas architect Richard Drummond Davis is Dallas born, creating some of the most lavish and beautiful luxury homes today in North Texas (he’s the architect behind our most recent Luxe Tour).

His undergraduate degrees, a BS in architectural studies and a liberal arts degree, at from the University of Texas at Austin. While earning his Masters degree in architecture at Princeton, Davis studied with Michael Graves, a member of the “White Five,” formerly a follower of Le Corbusier who turned post modern and invented a new style of architecture, totally and recognizably his own.

But post modern was not to be his path. Seeking to express his own ideas, he returned to Dallas to start his own firm, Richard Drummond Davis Architect. Today, Davis is masterful at listening to his clients and creating their dreams, while respecting the power and beauty of historical architectural forms.

CandysDirt.comWhat keeps you in architecture? What motivates you?

Richard Drummond Davis: I love the challenge of the client who wants something unique or the unusual site which demands something unique. Getting into the design challenge is an adrenaline high.

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One reason people fall out of housing

One reason people fall out of housing

Day by day, many Dallasites inch closer to a financial abyss.  Sometimes it’s self-inflicted, but oftentimes it’s not.  Many who find themselves without a roof simply had a series of misfortunes that were beyond their means or ability to handle. If anyone doubts this, the statistics on the numbers of people who work full time and yet don’t know where their next meal will come from or don’t have enough money to pay an unexpected $500 expense are alarming.  Hand-in-glove with this are the shocking (and increasing) numbers of people for whom rent consumes an outsize amount of their wages. Living paycheck-to-paycheck has become a dream for those living a paycheck or two behind.  Despite reports of the economic recovery, it’s not reached those most vulnerable.

Dallas, with its housing boom, is hardly immune, with rising rents exacerbating what was likely already a tenuous hold on tenancy. The final shove, out onto the streets, is a place infinitely more difficult to escape from than you imagine.

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historic downtown dallas buildings

The Butler Brothers Buildings is one of 11 historic downtown buildings where you can live the loft life in Dallas.

This is the second installment in a two-part series looking at loft living in historic downtown Dallas buildings. You can read the first post here

Dallas has a rich history in downtown, with many beautiful structures from the early 1900s. We’re looking at 11 of those buildings, which have been converted, usually after years of abandonment, into hip urban loft living.

Moving to the urban core is part of experiencing a ‘walkable city’ trend, particularly among Millennials, who value the live, work, play lifestyle, says Ashley D. Stanley*, owner of Ashley’s Apartments. Stanley is a long-time downtown loft dweller with her young son, an expert on the area, and apartment locator for downtown Dallas apartment rentals.

“I live in the Wilson Building and I love being close to public transportation, the urban core, so many restaurants, and downtown businesses,” Stanley said. “A lot of my clients for whom I find apartments are looking for an urban experience and they find living in downtown Dallas to be a vibrant, exciting thing.”

Last week, we looked at six historic Dallas buildings where you can rent a loft: the Wilson Building, 1900 Elm Historical Lofts, American Beauty Mill Lofts, the David Building, DP&L Flats, and the Butler Brothers Building.

This week, we’ll look at the final five and you can learn about each structure’s unique place in Dallas history, price per square foot**, and amenities.

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Chantilly Court by Greico Homes

Chantilly Court by Greico Modern Homes

It’s been a newsworthy summer for Greico Modern Homes. Their homes are featured in Dwell Magazine this month, and they are finalists in multiple categories of the Dallas Home Builder Association ARC Awards. But the awards that Tom Greico is the most proud of are the ones that he was awarded as a student of W.T. White High School.

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S. Edgefield HCHOTW

If you’ve been ogling over those cute tiny homes that are popping up everywhere, but you’re not sure if a life on wheels or in the boonies for you, this listing from David Griffin & Company Realtor Bart Thrasher shows that you can live itty bitty in the city.

Bart, who lives in Winnetka Heights with his wife, Karen, and son, Henry, knows a thing or two about good construction. Bart is a contractor and Karen is an incredibly talented architect, and with all that know-how between them they founded Thrasherworks, a boutique architecture and design firm based right in North Oak Cliff. And in Bart’s opinion, this property is perfect for those who believe in the gospel of minimalism and the zen of tidying up.

No wonder this unique Craftsman in Winnetka Heights is our High Caliber Home of the Week sponsored by Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans. While this listing is in contingency (the buyers are waiting to sell their current home), it doesn’t hurt to be prepared should it go back on the market. Call Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans today to get your pre-approval in line so you can put your highest and best offer in on this tiny home should you get a second chance!

342 S. Edgefield Front Porch

The front porch of 342 S. Edgefield has a hidden secret …

Jump to see the brilliant open floor plan and excellent storage inside this adorable Winnetka Heights Craftsman cottage!

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Vision - Ground Level & Overall Site Plan-2

Site Plan (top is West), courtesy of Crescent Communities

Crescent Communities released more details about its project planned at Zang and Davis near the Bishop Arts District. The residential components offer a variety of types and sizes to appeal to a range of budgets and lifestyles.

Most controversially, the second phase North Site plan includes a set of 30-38 brownstones with single units — each three to three-and-a-half stories high, made of high quality materials, and with walk-out roof terraces. The Towns on Zang product would likely be a great addition to the neighborhood if the front entrance stoops weren’t so devoid of character, but the question is whether Crescent would develop the property themselves, or sell to another developer. Their portfolio doesn’t include multi-level brownstones currently, and according to neighborhood watchdog Councilman Scott Griggs, their plan is to change the overlay to allow residential, then sell.

The current zoning overlay requires one-story retail frontage all along Zang Blvd. Removing the requirement for retail frontage would allow even dingy apartments to be built. Griggs insists upon including stipulations for street-access units if/when changing the zoning overlay. If this is the plan, let’s just make it part of the plans! But Crescent seems unwilling to make that concession. All we have is their word — and better pictures promised in a few months.

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Crystal Gonzalez High Caliber Agent

If you’ve ever driven down West Davis Street toward the Bishop Arts District, you already know Crystal Gonzalez’s face. This North Oak Cliff Realtor takes great pride in representing some of the most beautiful and sought-after neighborhoods and enclaves in the area.

She’s driven, dynamic, and service-focused, earning her a near-permanent spot on “best of” lists — reason enough to call her this week’s High Caliber Agent sponsored by Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans. While we are always impressed with this West Texas-born gal, we wanted to find out more about her approach to building the kinds of relationships in this business that mean long-term success. This week, get to know this David Griffin & Company Realtor a little better after the jump!

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The parking garage at the Taylor Luxury Apartments in Uptown suffered a partial collapse at the front of the building Monday evening. (Photo by Candy Evans)

The parking garage at the Taylor Luxury Apartments in Uptown suffered a partial collapse at the front of the building Monday evening. (Photo by Candy Evans)

Update: Candy zipped over to see what she can find out, and here’s what we know so far (with pictures).

“The cable guy’s truck was smashed,” Candy related from the field. “The glass is shattered on the edge of the building, and it looks like something came down from the seventh floor.”

Firemen on the scene said it was either a lightning strike or possibly a structural issue with the concrete, Candy said, adding that the firemen also said that engineers would have to figure out which of the two caused the collapse. “There were no injuries,” she said, “but there are lots of limbs and trees down in the area from the storm, too.” (more…)