It’s hard to really define a “Dallas” home without thinking about the “structures” erected in the last 20 years, from the top-heavy wood-shingled maisons that look like skinny women with huge top-heavy boobs, to the McMansions and Mediterranean would-be meccas. Certainly the classic Dallas ranch is a home that defines us as much as a Cape Cod defines, well, Cape Cod.
But nothing brands itself more as a “Dallas home” than 7023 Lakewood Boulevard. Talk about turrets, here is a turret — an original turret. Architect Clifford Dorris Hutsell may have designed this Lakewood home for himself in 1930 (but we think he actually lived in another home), at a cost of $10,000. At the time, it was one of the most expensive residences in Lakewood. In fact, it cost as much if not more than the Grand Dame mansions on Swiss Avenue. Why is this so truly a Dallas home? Because it was designed and lived in by Hutsell, who built 50 houses in Lakewood between 1926 and 1941, including most of the grand showstoppers along Lakewood Boulevard. He is credited with giving the neighborhood its signature quirky, rambling, old-world look. Hutsell was born in Grapevine, but spent some time in California where he became enamored with Spanish Eclectic design. (Later he pounced on Tudor.) He brought that design back to Texas which was, after all, once under the Spanish flag. Thus Spanish Eclectic is as much a part of our Dallas home brand heritage as it is California’s.
If you have ever been to the Golden state, the Spanish-influence is evident on almost every street. In 1929, Hutsell went to visit Tom Mix the movie star or more accurately, his home. Hutsell fell in love with round entry tower turrets, sloping peaked tile roof, custom stained glassed windows, even draperies on exterior windows.
He also loved the Mission influence, tall bell towers looming over a square house. In fact, 7035 Lakewood reminds me somewhat of the Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa in Sonoma, California.
And the features are truly genuine and sublime: you will find no other home like this in Dallas. If you want an original home, this is your chance: there are all hand-painted plaster walls, elaborate metal work hidden throughout the house, custom murals, coved ceilings, arched original stained glass windows, private courtyard, colorful mosaic tile accents, a clay tile roof, handcrafted iron gates & fanciful light fixtures, fountains and a Spanish courtyard. The tile-work is mind-boggling — every bit of it is perfect and pristine, even from a home built in 1930. And the hardwoods — be still my heart. There are parquet floors in the living room alone, the rest are beautiful original long-wood oak.
True confession: I was in a friend’s just-built Spanish eclectic Mission-style home last night, it is my new architectural crush.
According to Dallas realtor and preservation specialist Douglas Newby, Hutsell’s “idiosyncratic detailing and palette included multi-colored ceramic tile, wide-arched stained glass windows, balcony porches and exterior stairs to the second floor reflecting Spanish Colonial Revival homes. His architectural design is the most dramatic when several in a row march up the street visually fitting together like intricate pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. His whimsical approach did for Mediterranean what Dilbeck did for Texas Ranch houses. Hutsell almost made Dilbeck seem restrained.”
On this home, you’ll notice the low courtyard walls continue with the front plane of the living room, elaborate exterior metal work, and an octagonal fountain and other courtyard features. The inside includes the multi-colored roughly textured plaster that was his trademark and painted mural ceiling. The light cream-colored brick was used to simulate stucco since stucco was not allowed in the deed restrictions. You also will see his multi-colored Spanish tile roofs, rough hewn wood balconies and round clay tile pipes as gable vents.
Hutsell homes are all over Lakewood, his name is almost synonymous with the neighborhood. Look what’s behind that turret:
7023 Lakewood is a 4,509-square-foot home on about a quarter of an acre, a treed acre. There are five bedrooms, five full and two half-baths squeezed in, two living areas including an updated kitchen, and two formal living areas. No pool, but there is room. The asking price is now $1,375,000 with Wayne Garcia of Dave Perry-Miller, who seems to be selling everything on the ground east of Central. Which is a lot — Lakewood is hotter than it’s going to be here come August. The bathrooms, updated, are perfectly tiled — don’t touch that tile!
And talk to Inwood Mortgage about financing. Inwood Bank is a sophisticated lending institution that understands history and Dallas homes from the inside out. Inwood Bank has been a local Dallas banking institution since 1964. They appreciate Dallas’ heritage, and know that 7023 Lakewood Boulevard is a home that is about way more than brick, mortar and paint: it’s about a home that one of our founding architect fathers designed and lived in!
If only that turret could talk!