Breaking: Heritage Auctions REMOVES Reserve on O’Neil Ford Estate to be Auctioned TOMORROW

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3756 Armstrong Ave rear3756 Armstrong in Highland Park goes to auction tomorrow at 2 p.m. They say it was not because they got so very many bidders registered on the Highland Park estate, but because of the incredible quality of the bidders, who have said they want a shot at buying the architecturally significant Penson home that the reserve has been lifted.

“We had a very easily attainable reserve,” says Nate Schar, Director, Luxury Real Estate, Heritage Auctions. “The property is owned by an estate that is being finalized, and the sellers saw it only as an insurance policy against an unlikely series of catastrophic events leading up to auction day, like a financial market crash.”

Based on the incredible interest generated about the estate, from the many stories, and the qualifications of those bidders, the sellers are confident in Heritage’s ability to capture true market value, says Nate.

So that reserve is gone. Adios! The auction takes place at the Armstrong Avenue estate tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. selling to the highest bidder.  (It is NOT TOO LATE to sign up.) The auctioneer will open the bidding and determine the starting number. And things will roll from there.

The home has been listed, as we told you, at a high of $7.5 and then later reduced to the current appraisal of $6.1 million for the land. That means the 8900 square feet of living space created by the grandfather of Texas Modernism is basically FREE.

 Agents tell me they believe the master bath alone holds one million dollars in marble. If you are a mid-century aficionado, this home is your Mothership.


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
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 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.





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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, 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, and, 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).

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