Did The Observer Do Justice With List of Most Iconic Dallas Homes?

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Most Iconic Dallas Homes
The Philip Johnson-designed contemporary at 10210 Strait Lane was listed by David Nichols in September of 2014 for $27.5 million. Worth every penny.

I’ll be honest: I cannot stand the word “iconic.” It is overused and hyperbolic. If we call everything that there ever was “iconic,” doesn’t the term become irrelevant?

But I do have to say that when it comes to architecture, Dallas really does have some “iconic” homes. They’re the properties that keep coming up in conversation, whose pedigree is like name-dropping Pritzker Prize winners.

Which is why I was a little stunned that, in the Dallas Observer‘s recent list most “iconic” Dallas homes, there was no mention of the immaculately restored and updated Philip Johnson-designed mansion at 10210 Strait Lane. He is a Pritzker Prize winner, after all.

So what other homes should have made the cut?

The Trammell Crow home in Highland Park was in that family for more than 50 years. Now it's time for new owners to enjoy the 10,000-square-foot house. Photo: courtesy of Dallas Morning News.
The Trammell Crow home in Highland Park was in that family for more than 50 years. It was purchased by Andy Beal in March of last year. Beal also bought the Crespi Hicks Estate.

The Trammell Crow Estate at 4500 Preston Road was another extremely memorable Dallas home that I was rather shocked to miss from the Observer article. Listed by Allie Beth Allman for $59.4 million, it was purchased by billionaire Andy Beale back in March of 2015. This incredible home with one of the most unbelievable libraries you’ve ever seen is a complete treasure, and not just because it was home to one of Dallas’ most notable businessmen. However, the writer did include the record-breaking Walnut Place (nee Crespi Hicks estate) — another Beal purchase — at No. 10.

Now, to the writer’s credit, 10 Nonesuch, Mount Vernon, Paigebrooke, The Wilson House, and the Mary Kay Mansion were all included on the list. However, I feel as if it was a missed opportunity to not include some of the more fun and interesting homes, such as the Underground House. I mean, who hasn’t driven by this partially buried, hobbit-esque home at 1000 Buckner Boulevard and had their curiosity tickled? I’ve been told by sources that the home is undergoing renovation, and we’ve been promised photos, so stay tuned!

The Underground House — rebranded as the Earth-sheltered home — was marketed by Vicki White three years ago for $870,000.

Of course, there’s Belle Nora, but that’s more of an East Dallas story considering that the man who owns the property is well known for his many poorly maintained homes throughout the area, including the historic Mediterranean and former home of the Dallas Church of Scientology, which burned to the ground and is still just a scar on a foundation.

But I digress. A commenter on the story brought up the absence of Chateau des Grotteaux — the castle at West Shore and Gaston Avenue in Lakewood. Thanks to its proximity to a significant amount of car, bike, and foot traffic from nearby White Rock Lake, it gets quite the number of onlookers. It has an interesting history, too, as it was once the home of former Dallas mayor R.L. Thornton. Apparently you can get your picture taken there if your bank account can’t suffer the down payment.

Other missed opportunities include the DeGolyer House at the Dallas Arboretum, the Rachofsky House, and a posthumous nod to the incredible Bud Oglesby-designed home of Nancy Dedman that was razed in 2015. Puzzling, though, that Millermore Mansion was included on the list and John Neely Bryan’s cabin made it, but no mention of the Caruth Homeplace.

The modern home at 10300 Strait Lane was designed by Bud Oglesby. It was razed in 2015.
The modern home at 10300 Strait Lane was designed by Bud Oglesby. It was razed in 2015.

And a home I could never leave off any list of notable Dallas homes isn’t all that old but definitely speaks to the future of Dallas: Malone Cliff View. This home, brought to life by the talented Bill Booziotis, has incredible presence and interior spaces while taking advantage of the phenomenal views afforded by its cliffside perch in West Dallas.

Malone Cliff Residence - Dallas Texas

What do you think? What Dallas homes do you consider to be “iconic”?


Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for CandysDirt.com. While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

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  1. Jon Anderson says

    Iconic – It seems in Dallas, “iconic” would be the home that was torn down to make way for the McChateau (McMansion with money).

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