When Erle Rawlins Jr. and his wife purchased an old laundry business on Congress Avenue, his goal was to take the building and turn it from a cavernous commercial property and into a true townhome. This was in 1934, when most people were trying to find their financial footing after the stock market crash of 1929.

Rawlins was a business-savvy man — a Realtor, natch — and he knew a thing or two about architecture. So he set out on this project with the help of Earl Hart Miller, and what they ended up with is this amazing 3,000-square-foot home around which high-rises and a bustling neighborhood was built.

Even though 3610 Congress Ave. needs a lot of work, she’s still a beauty. There are three bedrooms and two baths, but the real stunners of this property are the living areas. There you’ll find amazing textures, parquet and tile floors, gigantic windows, and high ceilings. They’re rooms where just about anything seems possible.

There’s also a good-sized pool in the backyard, which would be great for garden parties as guests can look up through the canopy of trees and see the buildings of Uptown and the sky sparkle around them.

I’ve already mentioned this, but this historic home is in a desperate state of disrepair, with leaks in the tar and gravel roof endangering some of the architectural features that make this home special. The price of 3610 Congress — a mere $599,000 — takes these conditions into account.

I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but the listing says that the zoning could allow for this home to be razed and redeveloped. I hope that a caring person will make this townhome in the heart of Oak Lawn their labor of love. It seems all too special to become rubble.

Of course you know her, who doesn’t? Her face is everywhere, her signs are omnipresent, she is one of the grand dames of Dallas real estate. In fact, today she’s on the cover of Grand Luxe Magazine. And when you think of the quintessential Dallas real estate agent, don’t you just think Doris Jacobs? Well, guess what folks. She wasn’t even BORN here. Ha, we are both re-born Texans. And get this: she’s sold FORTY-FIVE (45) homes on Beverly Drive. I think Doris Jacobs could sell a house on Beverly Drive blindfolded… in fact, maybe she does: Doris is known for putting her clients in homes even before they come on the market.

CD: Doris, are you a Dallas gal?

DJ: I was born in Charleston, West Virginia, the capital of West Virginia. Our home place has been in the family since the late 1800’s and I still own it.

CD: Why does that not surprise me? Where do you live? House or Condo? House style?

DJ: We live on Beverly Drive in a historical landmark home designed by Fooshee & Cheek around 1922. They are the architectural firm of record of Highland Park Village and many landmark properties along Lakeside Drive, Alice Circle and Greenway Parks.

CD: The girl loves tradition. How much would you sell it for?

DJ: (“Shudder”)… We would not sell it.

CD: Well, that’s one that’s safe! And you drive a… let me guess, Mercedes Benz? No, a Bentley!

DJ: Black Mercedes.

CD: What’s you favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?

 DJ: Well, we live in Highland Park, and lived previously in Volk Estates, and before that, Old Preston Hollow….so we really love all parts of Dallas. The topography of Bluffview and Kessler Park are unique to other neighborhoods and I love them. I love the parkways in Greenway Parks, the dynamics of Uptown and the charm of the M Streets.

 CD: You lived in Preston Hollow! We were neighbors! If you could move in Dallas, where else might you live — what other neighborhood?

DJ:  (Planting feet firmly.) I wouldn’t move. I love the convenience, the small town atmosphere and the wonderful schools in the Park Cities. My daughters have long-term friendships here from their school days.

CD: OK, we get it. How the heck did you get started in Real Estate? Who’d you work for first?

DJ: I was always looking at homes for myself. Jennie Reeves was an agent with Erle Rawlins Jr. and suggested I get my license. I did, as a lark, and here I am!! Erle was a fabulous teacher. My first listing was on Gillon, which now would have a value of around $ 7 million.

CD: Erle has never told me that story! OK, so what’s your worst sales nightmare? Just worst transaction ever?

DJ: Really don’t have those…there’s always a way to work things out if you have a truly dedicated seller and a devoted buyer…and access to professionals, like architects and general contractors, who can satisfy all things.

 CD: Really, OK so what if the seller is not dedicated…

DJ: I’ve been in situations where we were a million dollars apart and made it work.

CD: Holy macaroni! So what’s your best/highest sale?

DJ: Best does not necessarily man highest…..highest probably was an estate in Old Preston Hollow. As far as “best” goes, they are all good when buyer and seller leave the title company happy. I work for satisfying life’s needs, to give the family what they collectively want so if they are pleased, then that’s a “best” deal. I’ve sold three homes on Lakeside and 45 on Beverly Drive.

CD: (Picking self up off floor) 45? That’s like almost every house on Beverly. OK, quickest sale?

DJ: My quickest sale was when the client gave me a check for full price when he signed the multi-million dollar contract.

CD: How quickly have you ever turned a house?

DJ: Often, since I know the homes and their provenances so well, we sell properties that were never on the market. We can be as fast as the buyer and seller allow us…. and the title company, of course.

CD: How much did you sell last year?

DJ: I was the top individual producer out of 300 agents in Allie Beth Allman & Associates last year, a position I’ve held now for nine years.

CD: Secrets to marketing a house?

DJ: Wisdom, which is difficult to define, as the younger agents are working to attain that, and, by the way, I love being a mentor. One must really know the neighborhood and keep up with the changes, as well as the (pluses and minuses) of the home. You must know your client and each member of the family well, along with their individual family dynamics, and one must be flexible and creative as to how the elements of the home can be used to accommodate the individual needs of the incoming family. A craft room to one family, for example,  would be a gameroom to another, or a guest house for one family would be a teenage retreat for another. Knowledge of the neighborhood and comparables, knowing the details of the provenance. Of course, advertising and open houses are part of the process as well.

CD: And your magic Rolodex. If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…

DJ: Well, my college study was communication and design, which is one of the reasons I love real estate. Or……..Jack will love this……I would be a sales associate at Neiman Marcus!

CD: I am dialing Shelle Bagot right now! What is your favorite place for a second home and why?

DJ: Someplace near the ocean like Newport Beach, California or Naples, Florida.

CD: Love it! Let’s go look at some…