Don’t have plans for Saturday? Now you do. Why? Because you’re going to the Preservation Dallas Fall Home Tour sponsored by Briggs-Freeman Sotheby’s featuring eight of the most amazing Midcentury Modern homes in Dallas.
Better get started early, too, because you don’t want to miss the breakfast reception and panel discussion with Dallas Morning News architecture critic Mark Lamster, architectural historian Kate Holliday, and architect Larry Speck, FAIA. The trio will discuss the hallmarks and historic significance of minimalist style, which should be really interesting for those who have a burgeoning interest in what makes a Midcentury Modern home.
The history is so fascinating. According to Mark Meckfessel, FAIA, Midcentury Modern style is somewhat of an import to the US, evolving from International Style which was brought from immigrants who fled to America before World War II. A perfect example of the style can be found in our own city — 10 Nonesuch, the famed former residence of Stanley Marcus. Influence can also be traced from legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. But what makes a Midcentury Modern stand out?
“While the sources of that new thinking might have varied, the resulting residential architecture tended to have certain features in common that distinguished it from much of the home design of previous decades. Floor plans tended to be more open, with less separation among living, dining and family areas. Large, continuous expanses of windows broke down traditional notions of “inside” and “outside”. Roofs tended to be flatter and building forms more geometrically crisp. Structure was often openly expressed and applied ornamentation – cornices, brackets, moldings, etc. – was minimized or avoided altogether.”
That’s the concise and yet thorough description of Mid-Mod design I’ve come across. Now, if you want to see some sterling examples of this style, go and buy your tickets to the tour today. For a little sneak peek, check out the homes on the tour below.
The Robertson House, designed by Harley L. Tracey and built in 1951, is pretty much in its original condition with a unique brise soleil in front and all the original light fixtures. With 1,900 square feet and just two bedrooms and two baths, the home was designed for empty nesters who entertain.
The Markham house was commissioned by J.L. Markham in 1951 and has undergone several remodels, with the most recent carried out by Tommy Bishop, ASID, in 2007. The home was originally a two-bedroom, one-bath bungalow, but the owners enclosed the rear carport/garage, making it a master suite.
The Cavitt House was built by L.C. Cavitt in 1958 and has some stunning design features. The use of muted brick both inside and out, as well as the overhangs that make the home appear larger than it is, combined with it’s hilltop location make this home a notable one.
The Touchstone House, built in 1960 and designed by Robert Johnson Perry, is an Asian-inspired Midcentury Modern with floor-to-ceiling windows and other luxurious touches that place it on the higher end of homes built in this period.
Perhaps our favorite home on the tour is the Galaway House. This amazing home is such a gem, with a courtyard and pool that is surrounded by huge windows and tons of light. It’s in a neighborhood where you would never expect to see such an incredible structure, either. Designed by Tom Weber, Chad Dorsey (who owns MoreDesign) was the builder. They work independently, but worked together on the home.
Glenn Allen Galaway designed and built this home in 1966. The home was sold in 2010, and bith remodeled and expanded by Weber and Dorsey at MORE Design + Build. It’s now a five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home — significantly larger than it’s original 3/2 floorplan — and comes in at more than 3,000 square feet.
Designed by Scott Lyons and built in 1975, the Fridge House is a bit older than most of the homes on the tour, and most of Lyons’ designs in Dallas. While it may not seem bright on the exterior, floor-to-ceiling windows and copious skylights — trademarks of Lyons’ work — filter light throughout the home.
The Merritt House was built in 1958 and designed by O’Neil Ford and Associates. It is truly a showstopper, checking just about every box in the hallmarks of Midcentury Modern design. The landscape is gorgeous, too, designed by the Bolgers, who created DeGolyer Gardens inside the Dallas Arboretum. It’s an amazing home that will surely stand the test of time.
John D. Carsey, designer of the Art Deco Bath House Cultural Center on White Rock Lake, designed this beautiful two-story in 1950. The Prior House is a significant departure for this architect, and his legacy has been preserved with painstaking care by the current owners. This home, renovated by Bodron+Fruit, is a masterpiece with an extended second floor and gorgeous views.