There are a lot of new homes going up in Dallas, we trip over them or the cement trucks constructing them almost every day.
But I prefer a home that has graciously stood the test of time. Plaster walls, beau d’arc woods, dentils, brick walkways as perfect now as they were then: these jewels are in better shape than the young whippersnappers! And these homes, like great Hollywood divas, have stories to tell, secrets to share. They are like living in a Texas version of Downton Abbey with classical symmetry, ballrooms, huge windows, classic placement on their verdantly treed lots, and huge swaths of entertainment spaces like lawns, remember lawns? The areas that show their years the quickest — kitchens and baths — have been renovated by the best contractors in town. They are plumped, primed, and better than ever.
Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate now has a smattering of classical stunners on the market that we just had to draw your eyes to. From the depths of Old Highland Park to the most sought after streets in Lakewood, these are the architectural jewels of Dallas. The best part of all? These museum-quality masterpieces are coming to us at great values. We present 4248 Armstrong Parkway, 4908 Lakeside Drive, and 6748 Lakewood Boulevard.
Let us begin with Anton Korn’s French-inspired estate at 4248 Armstrong Parkway (Highland Park). This is one of the most significant architectural properties in North Texas, not the least of which is that while Korn executed the architectural genius, the venerable John Astin Perkins put his design magic on the interiors, much of which is still evident. The main home of 8,004 square feet was built in 1924. The enormous 200 by 200 foot deep lot has no fewer than 50 magnificent trees plus a pool, terraced gardens with fountains, blue stone pathways to meander, and wrought-iron gates. There is a luxurious Guest House, one of the property’s best features. (John Perkins referred to it as “Marie Antoinette’s back house” after he installed crystal chandeliers throughout.) This is also the perfect home for large-scale entertaining: the pool can be converted to a lively dance floor with a custom made pool cover still in excellent condition. It is a heavy iron cut-out that fits into special holes on the deck to secure.
Perkin’s classic design character reigns in the main house, from the the stunning foyer wallpaper to jewel-toned walls with matching custom draperies that only Perkins could create. The master is conveniently spacious, for a total of five bedrooms. There are four full baths and three half baths, and multiple “keeping rooms” for relaxation, including a billiards room. As for the gardens, they would take a lifetime to re-create.
Korn was an architect who built some of Dallas most significant homes in the 1920’s. Besides gracing Swiss Avenue, he designed homes throughout the Park Cities with Hugh E. Prather, often called the founder of Highland Park.
Perkins, however, is the man who every Dallas woman loved until his death in 1999 because he brought color and a haute sensibility to mid 1930’s Dallas. Trained at both Yale and Parsons School of Design, Perkins mixed high end antiques with what was then irreverent color — lavenders, red, even mustard and parrot green — frosting it with a chic spin. Perkins was to Dallas design what Dorothy Draper was to New York City. 4248 Armstrong is a complete showcase of the classical Dallas look a la John Astin Perkins. Asking price is $8,995,000, listed with Dave Perry-Miller.
4908 Lakeside Drive is one of the best locations in Old Highland Park — right across the street from Lakeside Park, with shimmering views of Turtle Creek. This iconic estate was built in 1918 with architectural design by Hal Thomson in collaboration with Fooshee and Cheek, the architects of Highland Park Village. Thomson, an Austin-born architect, commands the architecture of Dallas’ golden building boom, from the early 1900’s to the Great Depression. His homes line Swiss Avenue and populate the Park Cities.
Situated on .75 lush acres, this Thomson masterpiece was custom built for the Orville Thorpe family from Chicago, whose matron had a penchant for pink eons before Mary Kay Ash blushed. Hence, a couple of pink sinks and commodes are in two of the bathrooms. But there are also the original, flawless, P.E. Guerin fixtures. Talk about Dallas history, Toddie Lee Wynne was once a boarder here! And 4908 Lakeside was also a cover girl, once gracing the cover of Publisher’s Clearing House magazine. The home was built with plaster, brick and wood filled with concrete. The kitchen, originally designed as a servant’s kitchen, was expanded and a coal chute turned into a fireplace. There is a full basement under the house now used as a wine cellar. And there is a third story, originally intended and used as a dance room. Re-designed to be a tree-top man cave with coffee colored plaster ceilings and walls, and sturdy shell-stone window sills, there is abundant attic storage as well as a hotel-sized elevator to lift you to all three floors.
4908 Lakeside has 7,600 plus square feet with four bedrooms, four full plus one-half bath, a three car garage with a full, one-bedroom carriage house above. Though the sturdiness of the original build is evident from the moment you step foot on the solid red brick walkway — I dare you to find a hairpin crack — the solidness prevails throughout the home. The extensive custom moldings and dentils are museum-quality. Decadent dressing areas and built-in cabinetry off each bedroom give us a glimpse of the way the well-to-do preferred living in the past: elegant dressing tables, mirrors, and extensive wardrobe storage.
In this home, you truly have it all: the un-replicable labor of construction, with a recent interior redesign by William-Christopher Design that is responsible for the glorious interiors. He kept most of the home and its historical rooms intact, such as the dining room gleaming with Gracie hand-painted wallcoverings, and the glorious floors: wood, marble, and parquet. Though there is no pool, the grounds are alive with trees and foliage, including a 100 year old Magnolia said to be the oldest in Highland Park. Another huge Magnolia was given to the owner, Patrick Sands, by his sister. This architectural jewel is listed at $9,950,000 with Lance Hancock at Dave Perry-Miller.
And then, 6748 Lakewood Boulevard (Lakewood): Not only is this home a movie star — listed in Outstanding Homes of Dallas, named by Preservation Dallas as the best historic renovation of 1998, this was the actual, personal home of Albert Dines, of Dines & Kraft, the famous duo who developed Lakewood and gave it that signature Tudor look. In fact, it was Dines & Kraft who designed and built the majority of the homes in the Lakewood Conservation District. These homes have a huge architectural brand and following.
Then, even more, this home was designed by Charles Dilbeck — which I knew the moment I saw the iconic fireplace. The history and architectural genius just overflows.
6748 Lakewood retains the glory of its early years, from the stone exterior, the Potter Iron Works front staircase, the Tudor criss-cross leaded glass windows, and the detailed lattice work ceiling in the formal living room. The moldings and paneling are original, classic and in perfect condition. The walls are thick plaster and you have D&K’s signature arched doorways.
But then comes the “ah ha” moment, when this 7,000 square foot, circa 1935 historical home comes into the present with the great taste of a Grace Kelly: in the late 1990’s, Dallas architect Richard Drummond Davis created a near seamless expansion of the original kitchen and breakfast room, adding a spacious downstairs family room and a stunning master bedroom above it, upstairs. The addition also incorporates the Swedish influence and heritage of the lady of the house, with light wood tones, Delft and other tiles, stenciled beams, arches, and custom cabinets. Lots of custom cabinets. The new kitchen is loaded in the right places: dual dishwashers, commercial range, Sub Zero fridge plus refrigerator and freezer drawer built right in, a huge adjacent Butler’s pantry, even an original elevator to get you upstairs. Davis created a breakfast room with built-in window seats and a nearby 400 bottle wine closet. Upstairs is the sumptuous master — see that blue and white? It has an adjacent office/nursery/exercise room, private balcony, double sink spa bath with shower, huge master closets, and beautiful ceiling lines you can only get from an historical home. There are three additional charming bedrooms upstairs, creating a total of four with the master. There are also two sitting/reading nooks.
The home sits on a huge 263 by 255 foot deep lot in the middle of Lakewood Boulevard.
And you also have something here you cannot get in Highland Park, much as we love that place: White Rock Lake to gaze at every single day. This home has been significantly educed from its original listing tag to $1,999,999. Marketed by Susan and Wesley Wheeler, Dave Perry-Miller.