Preston Hollow Midcentury Traditional 6231 Desco Dr. 2
The 1950s brought us a lot of cool things. TelePrompTers, zippered storage bags, leaf blowers, and the artificial heart were all invented during the decade. The era was rife with innovation and architecture was no exception. This Preston Hollow midcentury traditional is a good example of how architects began to take license with style. Clients that were hesitant to go full bore midcentury modern could still enjoy elements of the look in a more traditional design. (more…)

Rear BCH-131 copy

Note: This property will be open Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00 pm

There is a new standard of luxury in Old Preston Hollow, and Bella Custom Homes is leading it. This weekend is the unveiling — yes, unveiling, just like a painting — of Bella’s latest masterpiece of perfection: 4926 Deloache Avenue. This exquisite Italian Mediterranean estate is ideal for the discriminating buyer who has an eye for architectural perfection and loves unique touches in every nook and cranny of the house. And there are a lot of nook’s and crannies in this place: the more than 14,000 square foot estate flawlessly embraces traditional classic architectural elements with transitional styling and modern essentials, all the elements that modern buyers of luxury real estate want.

The builder, Tony Visconti, has delivered the undeliverable with the estate. You enter first through a custom iron front door into an impressive entry with 25- foot ceilings that soar. Check out each angle: large plaster crown molding is everywhere and perfect, and the floors are imported marble. (more…)

Athena Exterior 1

Yes, I’ve recently written a lot about the Pink Wall (the fire and all) including an Athena double-unit listing at $1.1 million, and normally I’d be loathe to write about the same building so soon, BUT …

Unit 915 at the Athena is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with 1,543 natural square feet that picks up 230 more feet from an already enclosed balcony.  HOA dues are $1,037 per month but in addition to all the usual high-rise maintenance and such, also includes all utilities, cable TV, and internet.  It’s listed for $249,900 with Diana Boswell of JP & Associates.

That’s $141 per square foot. No high-rise in Dallas is trading at that rate.

Of course there’s a reason.  While the agent says, “With a little bit of TLC…” I’d say, “It’s a dump” … but in a good way.  To a renovator, “It’s a dump” means, “Tell me more.”

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8915 Douglas ext 2

Say goodbye to another Dallas icon. The home of the late Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Dallas-based Mary Kay Inc., is being torn down as we speak, at 8915 Douglas Ave.

The 11,874-square-foot mansion, in the honeypot Old Preston Hollow, was built in 1984. The Dallas Central Appraisal District has the home valued at $1.91 million, interesting because it was sold for $1.85 million. Its condition is listed as “very poor.” And it’s obvious the house has not been loved in a long time.

Shrubbery is to be maintained so as to not to disturb the neighbors.

“It was dilapidated inside, and it’s really sad,” says someone who has been inside recently. “No one has lived there in years. The materials were not of high quality, and looks like water had gotten up through the foundation.”

The really valuable chandeliers and marble pieces are also gone.

Even the pink quartz bathroom commode is going.

8915 Douglas entrance

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The Fire Eventually Spread to the Chimney Stack and Stairwell Left of the Blaze

The Fire Eventually Spread Left and Right to Envelop the Entire Structure

A late Friday night fire continues to burn into the night at the Preston Place condos located at 6255 W. Northwest Highway (map). The three-story, 60-unit complex is located between the Athena and Preston Tower high-rises on the north side of Northwest Highway near Preston Road … very near the new Transwestern Laurel apartments currently under construction.

Dawn Begins to Show the Level of Damage

Dawn Begins to Show the Level of Damage

Update 8:30am: Morning shows the extent of the damage.  The entire perimeter of the roof and top floor units show signs of fire damage. Northwest Highway remains closed. Steam and smoke are still being carried by the wind.  It appears no embers spread to neighboring complexes. I’m no insurance adjuster, but the building looks like a total loss.

P Place Fire 9

Some nine hours after starting, firefighters still battle small blazes. The northeast corner still visibly burns.

P Place Fire 11

Update 10:30am: Smoke continues to clear and the extent of the damage revealed.  We were also alerted that last night good neighbors Preston Tower opened their community room to displaced homeowners and the Red Cross to coordinate aid.

P Place Fire 12

FINAL Update 3:45pm: Not much has changed visually since this morning.  Major flames are gone with the occasional flare-up (left side looked extinguished at 10:30am but has flared back). Steam and smoke will billow for hours to come.  You know how it is, turn over an “extinguished” log only to find red-hot embers.

What has changed are the number of news vans seeking to eke out a story by invading victims’ pain on the worst day of their lives.  A tear-stained face and a few choked-up words are chum to a voyeuristic public.

Northwest Highway has reopened and the Lookie-Lous are out.

Earlier I ran into Councilwoman Jennifer Gates who was seeking to aid her constituents on such a sad day.  Lives may not have been lost, but for these residents, life’s contents are now ash.

Certainly there will be more to report on this catastrophe and CandysDirt.com will he there. New items will be posted in stand-alone stories.

(Back to original report …)

What started as a few emergency vehicles quickly grew to dozens as the fire spread from unit to unit eventually encompassing five window segments of the rear, easterly face of the building bordering the Diplomat. The fire started about 11:30 p.m.

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Downtown Sprouts in Distance. A Carpet of Summer Green Replaces Winter's Sticks and McMansion Roofs

Downtown sprouts in distance. A carpet of summer green replaces winter’s sticks and McMansion roofs.

The Athena is an odd duck of a high-rise.  Built in 1966 by the same Hal Anderson who developed Preston Tower, the Athena was originally marketed as a luxury property.  The units are large — four center 2/2 units with 1,543 square feet and four corner 3/3 units with 1,899 square feet (there are a handful of small units on the fourth floor that no one talks about).  Darn near all units have (unfortunately) enclosed all or part of their luxe balconies adding another 227 potential square feet to the mix.

However, its more recent history has not been as glamorous. Since 2002, units cracking the $200-per-square-foot mark might be counted on your hands. Why?  The recession, but in part because the Pink Wall in general has not kept up with the times, and even more partially, units had not kept pace either.

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preston hollow

The five-bedroom home at 6739 Lupton Dr. in Preston Hollow is offered by Ebby’s Penny Rivenbark for $2,399,000.

I’ve lived in Preston Hollow for many years and I think it’s one of the most special neighborhoods in Dallas. With oversized lots and tree-lined streets, it has an out-of-the-city feel, but you can get anywhere in town with ease because of its central location, just six miles north of downtown. Fifty six of the acres that make up the neighborhood used to be a dairy farm, and it still has that country feel: did you know that if you have an acre or more in Preston Hollow, it’s grandfathered in that you can have horses? One resident who takes advantage of that is former President George W. Bush!

Of course, you can’t talk about Preston Hollow without noting the incredible, landmark architecture located in the area. These are some of the most impressive — and expensive — houses in Dallas, many of which are estates and mansions.

When it comes to selling Preston Hollow, Ebby Halliday Companies sold one in three homes in the area in 2016, according to MLS data, the industry gold standard for measuring market share. Ebby Halliday Companies, which includes Dallas-based Ebby Halliday Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, as well as Fort Worth-based Williams Trew Real Estate, sold 571 homes in Preston Hollow, garnering an astounding 28.5 percent of the market by units. The nearest competitor sold 10 percent. Even when broken down by individual brands, Ebby’s two Dallas-based brands lead all competitors in Preston Hollow.

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Sunnybrook IHOTW

Sometimes you see a house and think, “Wow, I could just move right into that one.” That’s the way we feel about this Sunnybrook Estates colonial revival at 5033 Brookview Drive.

Traditional homes create a strong pull. Many of us grew up in them, so they impart an immediate sense of home. But, we don’t want anything very traditional once we step inside. We want clean, sleek lines, museum-quality white walls, classic Carrara marble, and rich hardwoods.

We want this house. (more…)