If you love Swiss Avenue, you will absolutely adore Ennis, Texas, just 30 minutes south of Dallas. You need to get down there tomorrow for an unprecedented home tour and luncheon featuring the most historical homes in Ennis listed by some tip top Dallas agents: Eric Holmes, Joe Kobell, and Lauria Mah. These three have partnered to introduce us to some fabulous properties a wee drive south of downtown.
I know Ennis. At one point, I think my husband delivered every baby in Ennis and I have spent many a holiday party at Hamilton House. We have also been to the beautiful, historic Raphael House, now owned by the darling of the design world, Miss Harriet Adams! I love Harriet with all my heart and soul and swear to bring you her story someday! Harriet remodeled Raphael House and I saw it before her talents ever touched it. We have stayed there, having attended one of her famous “Lights of Ennis” parties. Oh my, that was a night to remember. First of all, it was the night of Hurricane Rita, so the interstate was shut down southbound to allow more people to evacuate north. Second, we were spending the night at Raphael House so Candy enjoyed her wine a little more than usual. She went bidding and thought she had bid on “garden gnomes” (Which weighed a ton, how to get them home? Who knows, who cares, just drink wine!) but alas, she had bid on a trip to JOHANNESBURG as in Africa. I know, garden gnomes, Johannesburg, yeah, it was definitely a blonde night.
What I am telling you is that these are three of the most fun homes you will ever see, they are historical, and they are friggin’ highway robbery cheap. I think Ennis is much like my husband’s old home-town of warwick, New York, where New Yorkers buy first and second homes and commute on the weekend. Thing is, Ennis is close enough to commute to Dallas, actually.
Raphael House is available for only the third time in one hundred years, Harriet being the third owner. You have to see the interiors, have to! It has a traditional southern front porch, and balconies, fully updated kitchen. It was a former bed and breakfast, is zoned commercial, and has the best ambiance in those creaky wood floors. Asking is $550,000.
Then there is 400 West Denton Street, Laurie Mah’s crown jewel of the Templeton McCanless Historic District. Lovingly restored by current owners, it is more than 6900 square feet within walking distance of charming downtown Ennis. Boasting all the elegance, gentility and grandeur of neoclassical architecture with its commanding façade, towering columns, and inviting wrap-around porch, this home of the Bluebonnet Festival is rich in history and modern day amenities.
Built in 1905 by Captain H.T. Moore and his wife, Malinda, the Moore House, regally presides over the 1.12-acre estate . This majestic 6956 square foot residence has been meticulously renovated while maintaining its historic beauty and integrity which includes five fireplaces, crown molding, beautiful millwork, exquisite hardware, original light fixtures, fabulous hardwood floors and nearly countless windows. Asking $850,000.
Finally, 605 North Preston which is located on “thee” street in Ennis, Preston Road. This beautiful 6 bedroom, 3.5 bath home boasts over 6,000 square feet spread out over 3 stories. The owners have lovingly updated this property since 1999, flawlessly merging historic charm with contemporary niceties. Hmm wonder which came first, Preston Road in Ennis or Dallas. Asking $424,900.
To get to Ennis, just drive south on I -45 to East Ennis Avenue, which becomes West Ennis and is the main drag in town. The tour starts at 400 West Denton, just north of West Ennis, so set your GPS. Don’t forget a stop at the Collin Street bakery! See you there!