The Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society puts on a can’t-miss tour every time, featuring some of the best-preserved homes throughout Highland Park and University Park. But sometimes a restoration becomes so much more than just fixing up an old house. Sometimes a restoration is more about celebrating craftsmanship and history.
That’s what Patty and Price Pritchett have done with 3432 Bryn Mawr. They took a home that would have otherwise been considered a teardown and lovingly poured the resources into it to make it the stunning colonial revival it is today. It has such presence on the lot, with its stately columns and bright white facade. Inside, the home is cozy and refined, with gorgeous hardwood floors and custom fixtures.
We wanted to know more, of course, so we picked homeowner Price Pritchett’s brain about what went into this home’s restoration. If you want to see it in person, be sure to buy your tickets to the April 9 home tour today, as online sales end tomorrow, April 6!
Of course, if you’re feeling lucky, we’ll host a ticket giveaway tomorrow, so stay tuned for your chance to win!
CandysDirt.com: What room or design element of your home will stand out to home tour goers?
Price Pritchett: Our home at 3432 Bryn Mawr looks grand. Stately. But it’s actually sort of petite. In its day — 1936 — it was considered “big.” It’s how families used to live, but the scale inside (approx. 3,300 square feet) is small by today’s Park Cities standard. We chose not to expand the house, whereas a spec builder would surely add an east wing with probably an additional 3,000 feet.
Our preference was to keep the lot open and airy. No fencing! Even the landscaping is fairly minimalistic. So many homes in the area have overplanted landscaping that smothers the house. One reason people love this property so much is that it can breathe! The house itself is the star.
CD: Is there any feature or finish in your home that tour goers shouldn’t miss?
Pritchett: We made huge improvements in moldings and trim work, adding elegance but keeping it classic in style and honoring the home’s traditional look. We avoided trendy. Our focus was on details. The finish out is high end and will stand the test of time.
CD: If you had to choose one spot — inside or outside — on your property where you could spend all day, where would it be and why?
Pritchett: We use the whole house! (Interestingly, in the mid-90s we built a 13,000-square-foot home at 6700 Turtle Creek, now listed for $21 million. And in the early 2000s we built a 9,000-square-foot home at 3900 Gillon that sold for $8,000,000. We never used much of those houses!) The 3432 Bryn Mawr home “fits”!
CD: What are you doing to prepare for the home tour?
Pritchett: We’ve been trimming up the landscaping and doing some touch up painting, but that’s about it.
CD: What construction or renovation have you completed since you moved in? In what ways have you put your fingerprint on your home?
Pritchett:We completed all restoration/renovation/upgrading prior to move-in. Our fingerprints show mainly in the following ways:
1. Retaining the home’s footprint on the lot; no additional wing, etc.
2. Exquisite finish-out
3. Brass-and-steel stair balusters we custom designed and have used in other homes
4. Antique English marble fireplace mantle
5. Minimalistic landscaping
6. Classic art collection displayed in the home
CD: Is there any history behind your home? Your neighborhood? Care to share?
Pritchett: The home was built in 1936 by Harris Eugene Yarborough, a real estate developer and home builder who constructed many homes in the Park Cities area. He, wife Mildred, and family were the first occupants. Yarborough, an active and civic-minded man, donated the land to build Park Cities Baptist Church. He also served as mayor of University Park from 1946 to 1950.
Yarborough died in 1957 and his son (Harris E. Yarborough, Jr.) took over the homebuilding business. The son died in January, 2007.
We do not have precise records of subsequent owners/occupants of 3432 Bryn Mawr. Word has it that the home later belonged to someone named Hamrick, who sold it to William Crockett Chears (d. 12/99) and his wife Carmen Chears (d. 11/12). They divorced, with the home becoming the property of Carmen Chears, who sold it to William A. (Bill) and Beverly Squibb in May, 1988.
After living in the home for close to 20 years, the Squibbs sold it to Andrew Stevens (movie producer and actor; son of movie star and Playboy Playmate Stella Stevens) in 2007. Stevens apparently looked at 3432 Bryn Mawr as an investment opportunity. He planned to demolish the house and garage, and had an architect develop plans for new construction. For some reason — perhaps the serious recession of 2008 — Stevens changed his mind and sought to sell the property. The house sat empty for quite some time and fell into disrepair.