Originally built in 1963 for the Hexter family, E.G. Hamilton — the architect who helped found OmniPlan, the same firm that brought us NorthPark Center — designed 3616 Crescent Ave. in Highland Park to be a trend-setting home that took full advantage of the lot. The merit award-winning home is known for its excellent use of light and lines, with large rooms that make entertaining a breeze.
Mil Bodron of bodron+fruit poured time and talent into the home’s remodel, which successfully expanded the space while maintaining the character of Hamilton’s original design. It’s an incredible accomplishment in architecturally sensitive renovation.
Too bad it appears to be all for naught, as the new owners bought the home for almost $5 million only to secure permits for its razing.
Hamilton’s use of continuous planes delineating interior and exterior rooms and creating light, eye-pleasing spaces is on full display in all 6,827 square feet, as is his abundant use of St. Joe brickworks and squared brick flooring. The original home was expanded and made even better in 1999 and 2008, when the extraordinary bodron+fruit (Svend Fruit and Mil Bodron are principles & the designers) managed updates and major additions. Those include a downstairs master suite, an updated kitchen, a sleek upstairs media room and a 20 yard swimming pool. The home has been highlighted in the 1999 AIA Guide to Dallas Architecture.
Before you start comparing this midcentury modern by a well-known architect to another one that met the same fate — the O’Neil Ford-designed Penson house on Armstrong — know that they are completely different in just about every way. While the demolition of the Penson house is a tragedy, it was in rather unfavorable condition. This home, however, received the deft touch of a firm that was entrusted with one of Dallas’ greatest modern homes — the award-winning Philip Johnson-designed estate on Strait Lane.
According to neighbors, the buyers of 3616 Crescent have allegedly justified the demolition of the home on claims of mildew.
CandysDirt.com hosted a party at this beautiful example of midcentury modern architecture in 2015 in which Bodron himself pointed out the trend toward teardowns, grateful that the former owners of 3616 Crescent had made the difficult but intelligent decision to expand and preserve the home:
“This lot is so large and rare in Highland Park,” said Mil, “that unfortunately it’s tempting to tear down the home and rebuild on it.”
Apparently he was right. We’re heartbroken to see that his prediction, despite his labors, has come to pass.