Surrounded by trophy properties, such as the estate of Jerry Jones, Troy Aikman, and other Dallas movers and shakers, many wonder why this trophy home with so much architectural significance has not yet sold on the open market.
In fact, it is one of a handful of O’Neil Ford creations in our city.
“When it was listed, a lot of buyers didn’t have the vision or expertise to realize they could buy it for lot value,” says Greg Rohan, president of Dallas-based Heritage Auctions. “Then they could spend a couple of million dollars to return it to its original splendor.”
At lot value plus a full restoration, you could end up spending $8 million for a sprawling masterpiece on one of Highland Park’s most prized lots.
At that price, it would be $17 million cheaper than the house across the street.
Thinking of picking up a historical Highland Park bargain? Then get thee to the auction.
3756 Armstrong Avenue
If you have never been, here is my primer on Real Estate Auctions. Like most auction houses, Heritage Auctions Luxury Real Estate bidders are required to pre-qualify for a property auction by submitting proof of guaranteed funds. Bids are only accepted in person or by phone. For more information on Heritage Auctions please call 855-261-0573 or email LuxuryEstates@HA.com. The auctioneer is Mike Sadler, and you can meet him tomorrow.
O’Neil Ford is widely recognized as one of Texas’ most celebrated 20th-century architects. He designed most of the University of Dallas campus in Irving; Braniff Memorial Tower, the Braniff Graduate Center, the Gorman Lecture Center, parts of the art village, the Haggar University Center, and the Haggerty Science Building. San Antonio, his home base, is covered in his work: the renovation of La Villita, the campus of Trinity University, the campus of Saint Mary’s Hall, the University of Texas at San Antonio Main Campus, and the Tower of the Americas.
He also created buildings for Skidmore College in upstate New York and for Texas Instruments. O’Neil Ford completed the design of the building of the Museum of Western Art in Kerrville in the Texas Hill Country, shortly before his death in 1982. His sturdy structures always utilized brick, glass, and wood, and were brilliantly attuned to their physical settings.
The home did have one addition, the library and the magnificent master bathroom by architect Overton Shelmire. It has been a one family home since it was commissioned in 1954 Nancy and John G. “Jack” Penson, on land bought for them by Nancy’s mother, a descendent of the Penn Oil family. 3756 Armstrong was not just a family home, but a favorite focal house for charity events and fundraising for one of the most charitable families in town. Mr. and Mrs. Penson’s names are on the Meyerson Symphony Center’s Endowment Wall of Honor, recognition to their longtime support of the orchestra, and an athletic complex is named after them at The Hockaday School. Mrs. Penson died in 2012, her husband in 2014.