[Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This week, we’re taking time off to focus on our loved ones, so we are sharing some of our favorite stories from this year. Keep an eye out for our top features from the archives as we rest and get ready for a brilliant 2018! Cheers, from Candy and the entire staff at CandysDirt.com!]
From Karen Eubank: The Parks Estate is one of our all-time favorite homes. It went from the Preservation Dallas’ “Most Endangered” properties list in 2003 to being featured on The Preservation Dallas Architectural Tour in 2016. This is certainly a story that deserves being told again.
My love of historic houses runs deep. It’s barely surpassed by my love of dark chocolate and great wine. Our Inwood National Bank House of the Week is one of my all-time favorites, and it has quite a history.
In 2003 The Parks Estate, a historic Spanish Mission-style home at 6220 Worth Avenue, hit the Preservation Dallas list of endangered properties. My heart skipped a beat. I live nearby, and this house is not just a stately home, it’s an East Dallas icon. The Parks Estate has had many incarnations, including a stint on HGTV’s House Hunters several years ago. It’s finally for sale again. If I could buy it, I would.
Joseph F. and Lucy Largent Parks were original settlers in the neighborhood. They filed the Parks Estate plat in the early 1920s and engaged architect Clarence Bulger to design their home. Joseph was one of the founders of the Lakewood Country Club. He came up with the clever marketing scheme of offering charter memberships in the club to induce prospective buyers to his new development. This tradition continued well into the 1960s. If only it were still in place!
After living in the home for 35 years, the family donated it to the YMCA in 1957. I remember thinking what a novel idea and what a beautiful place to work out. I stopped in a few times during this incarnation to see it being well-used, mostly by loads of neighborhood children.
Unfortunately, turning a stately home into a public use facility means a great deal of wear and tear. Then there’s the simple fact that a charming place to work out can’t compete with consumer demand for the latest features and sleek new state-of-the-art buildings.
In 1999 it was sold to a private owner. The entire neighborhood had high hopes for a rebirth, but renovations stalled. It seemed years and years went by with little or nothing happening. By 2003 it was in dreadful shape, hence the feature on the Preservation Dallas “Most Endangered” properties list. That list is the clarion call for those of us that love historic homes to do something— and do it immediately.
Thankfully, the appropriate forces sprang into action, and the Parks Estate deed was transferred to Preservation Dallas. They found the perfect buyers. Kathi and Tom Lind purchased the property in 2008, hired architect Norm Alston, noted for his work in historic preservation, and this team started the journey to bring the Parks Estate back to life.
The home was sold again in 2013 to Mark Rogers, who has continued to improve, update, and enhance the 6,483-square-foot estate. In 2016 it was featured on The Preservation Dallas Architectural Tour, which our own Executive Editor Joanna England wrote about, so be sure and click the link to see all of the great photographs before the property was renovated and read her detailed descriptions of the Parks Estate.
Dave Perry-Miller Realtor Henda Salmeron listed the property just days ago for $2.499 million. This is quite an opportunity for anyone that understands and appreciates the value of living in a landmark home. There is quite simply nothing like it.
It’s a perfect family home with five living areas, three dining spots, four bedrooms, three bathrooms and two powder baths. Sitting on over an acre of land, with expansive lawns and a spectacular pool, you can just imagine hosting great parties.
If you buy this beauty, remember, I’m just down the street, and I’ll bring the wine!
Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years. She’s been a professional writer for 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying music at The University of Miami. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap. Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com