3420 Ranchero aerial

Let me tell you why Tuesday’s auction of 3420 Ranchero in the honeypot of Plano is so very important: dirt. This area is the estate haven of Plano, equivalent to the honeypot of Old Preston Hollow in Dallas, or Hunters Glen in Highland Park. And the property can be had for less than its Collin County appraisal!

In the early 1970’s, as the town of Plano, Texas was just opening its sleepy eyes, James Muns and Don Dilmore developed Ranchero Country Estates. There were to be 19 properties on two meandering country roads, Ranchero and Rambling Way. On Ranchero, the property plots measured from 2 to 4.62 acres, and five properties were carved out on Rambling Road, all measuring from 1.92 to 2.33 acres.

The area is literally in the heart of Plano, off Parker Road, between the Tollway and Preston. The lots are gigantic, wooded, with tanks and ponds and natural surroundings that lure you into believing you are in the country, especially at night. For his own home, Muns chose a 4.62 acre parcel with the very, very best view of the sparkling pond.

3420 Ranchero kitchen (more…)

1 - Main Aerial

This enormous, luxurious estate at 3420 Ranchero Road will hit the block with Heritage Auctions on March 14, but read below if you want an exclusive tour tomorrow!

We all know about Ranchero Road up in Plano, one of the toniest addresses you can have.

The area is literally in the heart of Plano, off Parker Road, between the Tollway and Preston. The lots are gigantic, wooded, with tanks and ponds and natural surroundings that lure you into believing you are in the country, especially at night. Shhhhhhh.

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3908 Euclid ext

Property previews begin Friday through Monday, 1 to 5 p.m.

When Dallas architect Joe McCall starts talking about 3908 Euclid, you can see the proud papa gleam in his eyes. It was almost 26 years ago that he met Dana Nearburg and her husband, Charlie, with the commission to improve their family home on Lindenwood Avenue off Abbott. Dana was an architect by training and trade; Charlie was an engineer who had majored in art at Dartmouth College. Any other architect might have thrown in the T-square rather than work with two such precise and detailed homeowners, who soon decided NOT to build on their existing homestead, but step it up a bit by buying a lot on Euclid.

And then the real challenge began!

“We had three challenges, actually” says Joe. “First of all, the lot was 70 by 225, well-sized, but the trees were smack dab in the center of the lot. Great trees, too.”

And the Nearburgs wanted to save every one. Not only did you have a lot with trees in the prime building footprint, you had a deep neighborhood setback: 61 feet. Unfathomable.

Add to that the homeowner’s desire for two separate garages, one of which would be a car collector’s dream garage with spray paint bay and full auto shop, with all the bells and whistles.

A tough assignment, but when the design challenge gets tough, Joe McCall just gets going. He also got to work with one of the best builders in town, Randy Clowdus, Randy Clowdus Construction Company. Randy also did significant work on the $39 million estate of John and Debbie Tolleson, where the George W. Bush library was conceived, in Volk Estates.

“I’ll never forget the first time I met Randy, ” says Joe. “He was in the living room with a plumb bob. He was making sure the studs were perfectly straight before the sheetrock and dry wall. Any studs that were not perfectly aligned were shaved or shimmed.”

Thus begins the opus of 3908 Euclid, which goes to auction next week with Heritage Auction Luxury Real Estate. Which was the scene of a lovely party benefitting Jubilee Park in Fair Park last week, as potential buyers kicked the tires of the imaginary collectible cars that could be housed in the incredibly tricked-out garage.

3908 Euclid is not like any other home that has been to auction in Dallas. Frankly, it has no flaws. The home was timelessly built to the most exacting standards by the owners, architect and builder, high tier overachievers all. Though the brick appears to be NorthPark brick, it is not, but matches the color exactly. The home has an undisclosed but easily attainable reserve, because it has to. (Listing price is $6,400,000.) Come Tuesday, December 13, a savvy buyer is going to get the deal of the century.

On the market with veteran Dave Perry-Miller agent Martha Tiner and her daughter, McKamy,  The owners now simply wish to move on. With homes of this calibre being “soft” in the current market, residual effect of the calendar and election, they want to cut as wide a marketing swath as possible to ensure their dream home is passed to the perfect buyer and next lineage of proud ownership.

Let me ask you this: is there any home in Dallas with a waterproof mailbox?

3908 Euclid stone wall (more…)

3756 Armstrong Ave ext2Just moments ago, in Highland Park, O’Neil Ford’s largest creation in Dallas sold to the highest bidder, a couple, at Heritage Auctions’ very well-orchestrated real estate auction of 3756 Armstrong, which we have written about and followed extensively on this blog.

With about 12 bidders in the house, bidding started at $3 million and the estate sold at $4.950 million (including the 10% buyers premium). The buyer was represented by Allie Beth Allman.

The family story behind 3756 Armstrong is the best. Custom built for a young, attractive Dallas couple who took ownership in 1954, it remains an architectural icon that has been named by Preservation Dallas as one of the major Dallas buildings in danger of destruction:

…the Penson House was designed by O’Neil Ford, and built in 1954 for Jack and Nancy Penson. It is one of Ford’s largest residential projects and was designed in one of his favorite styles, Texas Regionalism. The exterior and interior of the 9,800-square-foot home remains very close to the original design with the exception of a second story addition, a master bath expansion, and enclosure of a rear porch.

I caught up with Read Penson Gendler, who happens to be a neighbor, and asked her about her earlier years growing up in this house, and also how she feels about handing the house off to new owners.

“Our family moved in when I was two,” she told me. “My earliest memories are actually at our first home on McFarlin.  I don’t think I realized the significance of the home until much later.”

She says she grew up with other kids who also had large contemporary homes, some of them larger than her’s. But Armstrong was definitely her parents’ dream house.

“They never talked about moving,” says Read, “both said they would go out of that house feet first.”

Her parents did entertain frequently in 3756 Armstrong, deb parties, teen parties, birthday parties and charitable events. And her children — the Penson’s grandchildren — have fond memories, as well, of going to Nan and granddaddy’s house on holidays, most often swimming in that pool and enjoying a barbecue outside. Just regular family time and fun.

Will the three Penson daughters miss it?

Says Read, who has a beautiful house of her own: “whatever we do with it now will be in our own hearts.”

The home is solidly built and can very well be remodeled. But should the unthinkable happen, is she prepared? Here is what she told her sister.

“Yes,” says Read. “I told my sister, in a way, this is our house and always will be the way our parents built it, and how our family lived there. If someone else tears it down, now, then we will have been the only ones — no one else gets to live there.”

3756 Armstrong Avenue

3756 Armstrong Avenue

Kennedy Atlantic Cover
With campaign pins, hand-written notes, magazines, and even a bottle of Jacqueline Kennedy signature perfume from the 1960 campaign, Dean William Rudoy’s collection of Kennedy-related memorabilia is diverse. If you’ve wanted to own a pen John F. Kennedy once used to sign legislation, or perhaps a shoehorn from when he was in the Senate, you can bid on these items today on Heritage Auctions’ website.

While Heritage is branching out to auction some amazing properties, they’re best known for handling the sale of iconic collectibles, of which Rudoy’s lot has some incredible pieces. Some of the items are in exceptional condition, and would definitely have impact in any collector’s home. To find out more about what’s on the block, you can peruse (and even bid) the entire lot on Heritage’s website, and even see a video interview with Rudoy himself, who was actually in Dealey Plaza on this day, 50 years ago.