The Grady Vaughn house at 5350 South Dentwood, nestled deep in the heart of Preston Hollow, goes to auction TODAY! This home is one of the most significant specimens of midcentury modern design in the state. The starting bid is $2.9 million. This on a home now priced at $5.5 million.
Dallas, like most of America, is in love with midcentury modern design. And we should be.
The midcentury modern movement in the U.S. is truly an original American design we need to preserve at all costs. The works of Europeans contributed, of course, just as they have to our immigrant heritage: the International, Bauhaus, the works of Gropius, Florence Knoll, Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (who relocated to the US). Brazilian and Scandinavian architects contributed, too, with their simplicity of clean lines and design integrated with nature, a core of MCM.
Midcentury architecture brought modernism to America’s post-war suburbs, as it did to many Dallas neighborhoods east and west. There were huge windows and open floor plans, post and beam architectural design that eliminated bulky support walls in favor of, whenever possible, walls of glass. Doors slid open to the outdoors. Function was as important as form, and meeting the needs of the family. Later, in the sixties and seventies, stone walls and A-frame design would expand the form to higher ceilings. Pioneering builders and real estate developers such as Joseph Eichler brought the “Eichler Homes”, to Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay region of California as affordable homes. Those residences are collectors homes today, as are our Ju-Nels. Cliff Mays, and other MCM treasures. The movement was everywhere. George Fred and William Keck, Henry P. Glass, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Edward Humrich created MidCentury Modern residences in the Chicago area, such as the total glass Farnsworth House, near the town where I grew up.
In 1951, when Dallas was just beginning to embrace the midcentury modern design movement, oilman Grady Vaughn, Jr. commissioned architect Robert Goodwin of Goodwin & Cavitt to design his waterfront dream home in what we now know as the honeypot of Preston Hollow. This neighborhood commands the most expensive dirt prices in Texas, and the neighbors are a veritable Who’s Who. 5350 South Dentwood has been designated an endangered home by Preservation Dallas. The home has six bedrooms, seven and a half baths, several living areas on one of the most heavily treed lots in this majestic part of town. The acreage is unbelievable: 1.36 acres.
The home is on one of the most lush lots in Dallas — huge trees, a serene swimming pool that is ageless, even a private pond and rock creek. The home is a whopping 9,500 square feet built when square footage like that was a rarity.
This home is in an estate. It has only been occupied by two families, the Vaughn family that commissioned it to be designed and built, and the Allan Zidell family, who bought it from the Vaughns.
The Vaughn house started on the market at $6.9 million back in 2017.
Today, it goes to auction with a starting bid of $2.9 million! Truly, this is a mid century modern lovers last change to buy a home that is a work of art, in one of the best neighborhoods in Texas.