4307 Armstrong, R.I.P.

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Armstrong Wrecking Ball

Came word Monday that she was in crunch munch mode, then late Tuesday afternoon, when I drove by, all that was left was a huge pile of rubble. 

4307 Armstrong Parkway exterior

4307 Armstrong was that magical white neoclassical beauty on Armstrong Parkway at the southeast corner at Douglas. It was owned by J.P. Morgan Securities broker Don Donnally and his wife, Carol. Built in 1937, she was one of the grand old dames of Armstrong. With a classic center hall floorplan, grand cascading oval stairway, mahogany library with wine closet and bar, remodeled kitchen, family room, game room, cabana, outdoor fireplace and living area, pool and spa, three car garage, and separate guest house, this home wined and dined — no wait, “mint juliped” —the dignitaries of Dallas. Oh yes, if those walls could talk! She had 7687 square feet, four huge bedrooms, six full and two half baths. She was three stories tall. The huge lot at .82 acres is one of the most delectably desirable in Highland Park with magnificent magnolias, trees, verdant grounds, a gazebo and a greenhouse. This was a home that exemplified graceful “Southern Living”.

She was on the market originally for $5,995,000 about a year ago. Then the price was lowered to $5,595,000. She sold in February for $5,357,500 to a California couple, Bryce and Leigh Williams. Molly Malone of Dave Perry-Miller was the selling agent, Erin Mathews of Allie Beth Allman brought the buyer. The home had once been listed with David Nichols of ABA for a whopping $7,989,000.

Then yesterday they started chipping away. By Tuesday afternoon, the graceful white mansion was a pile of white speckled rubble. By today, the lot should be cleared.

4307 Armstrong crunch

But the dirt — dirt lasts forever! Like the soul of a loved one, the dirt never leaves, never whimpers, just hangs around for the next act, the next round of mint julips.

4307 Armstrong foyer

4307 Armstrog stairway

4307 Armstrong study

4307 Armstrong study 2

4307 Armstrong morning room

4307 Armstrong LR2

4307 Armstrong desk

4307 Armstrong master

4307 Armstrong bath

4307 Armstrong rear

4307 Armstrong pool

4307 Arcady spa


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Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

Reader Interactions


  1. mmJoanna England says

    What a beautiful home it was! While I will mourn this gorgeous Southern Belle, I am kind of excited to see what goes up in her place.

  2. Kristian Peterson says

    WOW….I am so sad to see that LANDMARK home torn down……………….Its a crying shame………..crying shame!

  3. Karen Eubank says

    I have to agree with Jo. While a part of me truly mourns the demise of this beautiful home ( aren’t we glad we have photos!) I cannot wait to see what one of our talented builders will come up with.

    • Very Angry Parkie says

      Talented builders. Hurumph. They would just tear the whole Park Cities to the ground if they could make a buck. History and charm be damned. Might as well be Plano. Where is your soul,

  4. Patsy Ann says

    I’m pretty sure that I won’t be friends with them. I’m not inviting them to my famous cocktail parties in my fabulous “old” “tiny” cottage. There’s just not enough room for their egos.

  5. Rebecca Moore says

    Maybe if it had been staged with a newer, younger look, the buyers would have seen how young the house could live. The furniture looked as though it had been chosen by my mother and I’m 67!

  6. Nancy Malone says

    So sad. Vivid memories of visiting at Christmas to get candy. My parents took me to see the lights, visit this house and see the giant pecan tree! Gorgeous, loaded with charm. Where I grew up (3008 E. Lovers Ln.) is for sale. Loved this house and still do. The lovely current owners allowed me to come visit and walk back in time. They enjoyed my photo album of our family in the home. It was built 1945. Charm!

  7. Susan says

    I have seen too many of these grand old homes in the Park Citites be torn down and have some cold, impersonal concrete box go up in its place. So sad to see this one come down. What ashame.

  8. cj says

    It is not at all surprising to learn that Californians purchased the property. I am only surprised that more
    such activity has not yet taken place although I think that it will. The prices of real estate in HP/UP are incredibly low as compared to equivalent areas in California. Prices will escalate significantly over time and I predict that home prices will by 3 or 4 times higher in years to come just to catch up with nice areas in California.

  9. Meredith says

    I will never understand such a waste! Not only are they ruining gorgeous architecture but creating more waste in our landfills for no obvious reason. This house was amazing and not in any way damaged or in need of extensive repair to justify this. As a native of this area, I’m disgusted by the out-of-staters coming in and destroying our town.

  10. DGirl2 says

    A tragic loss for our community. Or I should say, ANOTHER tragic loss. This is a classmate’s childhood home. It was elegant and I was in war every time I spent the night there. It seemed there was always a new wing or floor or nook to discover.

    The California relocatees and the greedy builders who think 10,000sf faux chateaus are a “must” are equally to blame for ruining the small town charm of the Park Cities. While there are a few custom builders who actually utilize architects who understand scale and proportion, most are building junk that isn’t going to age as well as the original 4307 Armstrong did.

  11. Caroline Donnally says

    This was my home. I can see in the picture my bath tub being torn out of the house as if my liver was just torn out of my body. These California people lied!! They said they were going to live in it. They changed thier mind and didn’t want to wait to sell the house so they bought a new house on Beverly drive. They tore my house down and now are just trying to sell an empty lot. My heart is broken, I’ve been crying for days..

    • mmCandy Evans says

      Oh Caroline we are so sorry. I know how you feel — our old house on Park was torn down and I walked through the rubble crying at the spot where I measured my kid’s height in the pantry. But our’s was in far worse shape. We are so sorry!

  12. A Milner says

    What a couple of California losers. They don’t call it the land of nuts for nothing! It’s a tragedy and so totally stupid!

  13. Mac Dougal says

    Its my understanding the people who tore it down have now decided to sell the vacant lot. Decided there was too much noise from Love Field Airport to build a new home….. Oh the life! Rich People Problems!

    • Rich People Problems...some more! says

      Actually, they decided to put it back on the market because the wife was “too exhausted from finishing their vacation home, and didn’t have the energy to remodel another home right now. ” So they bought a newer construction home on Beverly, and decided to sell this favored home for lot value. Also, this couple lives in San Francisco and bought a 2nd home here because their son just started at SMU.

  14. cynthia Heed says

    What a shame!!!!! Who could not be happy with that? Too many grand beautiful homes are torn down. Craftsmanship and traditional older architecture are not appreciated anymore.

  15. Josephine Donnally says

    This was also my house as my sister mentioned previously. I too have been very upset as this was my home since 1979. It has a very special place in my heart and it pains me to think that someone could so selfishly tear down another’s memories without a care in the world. R.I.P. indeed 4307…thank you for the memories!!

  16. Mersina Stubbs says

    While I wholeheartedly agree that it was a lovely house and a shame to tear it down, y’all all sound like a bunch of rednecks blaming Californians. I have seen plenty of beautiful homes torn down and eyesores put up by native Dallasites.

    • A (Real) Dallas Agent says


      Agree with you 110%. Agents that don’t serve the glamorous and almighty Park Cities have a hard time feeling sorry for these “poor” little Highland Parkites. Rich rednecks? Absolutely! ohh, so sad that your house got torn down! One question though — did the check clear? If it did, you have no right to complain. Shame on you.

      “Caroline” — you just said in the message to Mersina below that “YOU were told before YOU (we) signed anything”? I thought this was the daughter posting? Freudian slip? Since when does the daughter sign the closing documents as her parents seem to still be alive as Candy noted in the main article? Ohhhhh, is this the mother/homeowner pretending to be the daughter? And you also brag about the sales price?

      Laughing out loud at you rich Highland Parkites pretending to be your kids on a Dallas real estate blog who “complain” about their house being torn down while bragging about how much it sold for. Only in HP, folks. Get a load of these people. These people are most definitely rednecks regardless of how much money or status they claim to have.

      You got it so right, Mersina. You go girl.

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