I was searching high and low for a home that typifies the state of Dallas real estate in 2014, where it is, where it is going. Dallas is growing like gangbusters — our real estate market is one of the strongest in the nation. Only Austin’s, Houston’s may be stronger. Luxury homebuyers are moving closer in to urban homesteads, but still loving the land and acreages only Dallas can provide within city limits. And it is clear, very clear, that the modernist touch is here to stay.
So when I saw that Susan Marcus had listed Nancy Dedman’s modern masterpiece –well, one of them — at 10300 Strait Lane, designed by Dallas modernist architect Bud Oglesby, I said, this is it.
Listed shortly before the holidays in October, this inclusive and exclusive estate is on 3.5 verdant acres with beautifully proportioned rooms taking in the full views of the grounds, including a private pond. It’s on the creekside. And it was designed by one of the city’s pre-eminent architects.
“Bud was a genius at siting,” says Susan, who was a personal friend. She is absolutely correct.
Enslie “Bud” Oglesby was also master of light, which we need in these parts. Born in Phoenix, he was raised in San Angelo, graduated Cornell and received his masters in architecture from M.I.T. His firm, Oglesby Group Architects, was one of the most significant architectural firms in Dallas for years, and he influenced a tremendous number of current architects, including modernist Ron Wommack. Oglesby also studied and lived in Sweden.
Oglesby recognized that people in Dallas “travel a lot, and there are so many choices of materials that it prevents a definitive look.” His homes sport a relaxed contemporary elegance, always exploring light but also accommodating the practicalities that a home must be functional to accomodate a family’s lifestyle.
In a sense, he was ahead of his time. We do travel a lot, in and out and to our second and third homes. And is there a definitive look to a Dallas home?
If anything is definitive, I suggest that Oglesby’s homes may be the ultimate Dallas home.
Consider his other works — Oglesby designed Nancy Lemmon’s highly distilled one-bedroom Highland Park home with incredible lightness, soaring ceilings, and precisely placed windows — but no skylights! This was her downsizing cottage, built after living in a
10,000 14,000 square foot home Oglesby also designed for Nancy (and her ex-Mark) at 5411 Surrey Circle. That home was sold to the Kusin family, someone else is enjoying it now. Ironically, Susan Marcus also sold Surrey Circle to the Kusins, then helped Nancy purchase the site of her downsized home on Arcady. Nancy had asked Oglesby to design her a home half the size of her beloved Surry Circle, to replicate it if possible, but smaller. The architect gave her exactly what she wanted.
10300 Strait Lane is not a huge home, at 6872 square feet. Indeed, home sizes are creeping up again as they always do when the economy gets better. I swear, home sizes have replaced hemlines as the new economic bellwether. During the recession, Americans downsized and the average new home shrunk by 6% to 2,135 square feet. And I recall writing the doomsday prophecy of the McMansion. Really? During the past three years, the average size of new U.S. homes has grown significantly, according to a recent Census Bureau report. In 2012, the median home in the U.S. hit an all-time record of 2,306 square feet, up 8% from 2009.
Like I said, it’s house size now, not skirts.
10300 Strait Lane has wide galleries for art display connecting three main wings, all surrounding a central courtyard. The sitting room off the master has a fireplace and views the pond. There are four additional bedrooms each with en suite baths. The kitchen is in the rear with butlers pantry, laundry room, den, another fireplace and wet bar. The estate also has a pool, tennis court, 3 car garage, 2 room quarters. The home has had only two owners, Margaret Jonnson Rogers, Erik Jonnson’s daughter, who commissioned Oglesby. The home was built in 1971. Asking price is $7,490,000. The lot is probably the most desirable on Strait, sitting in the middle of the street, selected back when the area was virgin, home-less land.
Oglesby’s designs demonstrate his concern with the treatment of the intense light in Texas. He once said, “How you deal with light is extremely important. How you let it enter a building, how you treat it on outside surfaces–through trellises, shutters, courtyards and recessed windows–is crucial.”
Very important issue in 2014.
Thus 10300 Strait is not merely the home not of the week, but of the year going forward in 2014. It was designed and built by one of the city’s most influential, historical architects, owned by one of the city’s most philanthropic families, sited on acreage that was once considered the country but now very much within the city. It manages to be a mansion elegantly, tastefully, without gobbling up the land with unnecessary square footage. It goes easy on the land, respects it. We will be doing more of this in 2014.
And the home has history. Nancy Dedman entertained lavishly here, and you can feel the fun in it’s bones. Staging is being completed by Blu Sky Living, stay very tuned for more interior photos…
Note: This post has been updated with the address of the home on Surrey Circle.