Kings Highway is practically unrecognizable from a decade ago. A historic conservation district in North Oak Cliff that borders Winnetka Heights and the greater Kessler Park area, it’s a treasure trove of old homes, and those diamonds were pretty rough a while back.
But as people saw the value in these older, well-built Craftsman and prairie homes, reinvestment grew. Now Kings Highway is a very popular conservation district. Still, it’s hard to convince buyers to take on a 100-year-old property and their many quirks.
“My team provided an example project that others in the neighborhood could emulate,” said owner Christian Chernock, “where you don’t have to tear down an entire home and rebuild with something that dramatically changes the scale and charm of the neighborhood in order to get modern amenities and luxury.”
This week’s High Caliber Home of the Week sponsored by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans is 937 N. Windomere, one of three older homes Chernock and architect Paul Zubiate reimagined for today’s buyer. It’s still perfectly charming on the outside, and inside it is open and inviting. We’re certain that this home will fly of the market, so get pre-approved with Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans today so you sail through closing.
Of course, while the neighborhood is a big draw, we have to say that the clever finish-out of this home is a huge selling point!
“This house was taken down to the studs and completely re-done,” Zubiate said. And because the house is part of the Kings Highway Conservation District and considered a contributing structure, “we could not change any of the gables or window locations,” he added.
The original house was only 1,100 square feet, whereas the finished home is 3,404 square feet. Obviously, a sizable addition was done, which starts just past the mid-point of the kitchen, Zubiate noted.
“By adding the addition onto the back portion of the original structure, we were able to preserve the historic charm and keep the scale of the neighborhood as its been for the past 100 years,” Chernock said. He’s done four projects on Windomere, plus a couple more on nearby streets using the same strategy. “Since then I have seen several major projects that have used a similar renovation plan,” he added. “I hope it continues so we maintain our original homes and character.”
While preservation was worthwhile, it wasn’t always easy. “The biggest challenge was working with the city so it complied with the Conservation District Requirements,” Zubiate said. “We wanted the house to blend in with the neighborhood.”
And while it blends in many ways, it stands out in others. Zubiate made some outstanding choices with his design of 937 N. Windomere
, and we immediately fell in love with the vaulted ceilings in the formal living and dining rooms, the family room, and kitchen — a favorite of Zubiate’s too! — which are swathed in warm wood whose grain adds fluidity to the space. Naturally, not all of the improvements are things you can see, as the electrical and plumbing were upgraded throughout.
“The entire house has new windows, foam insulation in the walls, underside of crawlspace, and roof,” Zubiate said.
You won’t get a master suite like this in a typical 100-year-old home, so there’s that. This master bedroom, one of four in this home, is gigantic. There’s an entire wall of built-ins, tons of light, a gorgeous five-piece master bath with a huge tub and beautiful frameless glass shower opposite the immense vanity. And then that closet! So much beautiful custom cabinetry …
There’s also a fantastic utility room that’s just lousy with storage, an office, and a wine bar. WHO DOESN’T LOVE A WINE BAR, Y’ALL?
But reimagining an older home wasn’t easy, though we are glad Chernock and Zubiate joined forces to make it happen.
“The home at 937 N Windomere speaks to the revival of Kings Highway because it does a great job of respecting the history and charm of the neighborhood while adapting to what many home buyers desire in amenities and luxury,” Chernock said. “Revival in Conservation Districts can be dicey because the ordinances do not have the same restrictions for demolition and renovation that Historic Districts do. Conservation Districts are at the mercy of developers and neighbors who hopefully will do something smart and respectful because the ordinance law doesn’t require it.”
If it’s such a significant challenge, why attempt it in the first place? I mean, we love renovations like this one that include all of the finishes, fixtures, and features that today’s homeowner craves in a North Oak Cliff neighborhood with history, but it does sound like a lot of work. It helps, though, if buyers can see what’s possible within those conservation district restrictions.
“It’s important to have recent projects that show people you can have both modern amenity and historic charm,” Chernock said. “If not, you often see people just tearing down older homes and rebuilding with little regard to the scale and architectural detail of their surroundings.”
David Griffin has listed this particular example of Kings Highway’s revival for $695,000.