Where can you find stunning lake views, a split-level soft contemporary house with a complete guest apartment, and a sparkling pool where infamous 1950s stripper Candy Barr lounged? In Lakewood at 6409 Blanch Circle, of course! Our Inwood Home of the Week has everything you could want and an unmatched history.
What most people don’t know about Lakewood is there are wonderful little areas that back up to man-made lakes built from tributaries of White Rock Creek. This split-level soft contemporary began life in 1951. It backs up to not one, but two lakes. Owner David Aspinall purchased the home in 1988. Aspinall has a heart for history. He reached out to one of the original neighbor, Sondra Carter, for some background on the area. We are thrilled to be able to share a bit of her email to him.
The two small lakes bordered by Vickery Boulevard, Blanch Circle, and Lake Circle in Old East Dallas were developed by my father Aubrey Pollard Simons when he built homes in the area. I don’t know the year the lakes were built, but I would assume it was around 1940 or maybe a year earlier. Old pictures show most of the land around our house was undeveloped except for a few houses across the street and one directly across the lake on Lake Circle.
My father named our street after my mother, Blanch Brown, and Sondra Drive was named after me. Blanch Circle was a dead-end street where we learned to ride our bikes.
Our lives on the lake were filled with years of joy and became the favorite place to swim with all our friends. There were natural springs that would make spots of the lake very cool during the hot summer months. We swam almost every day and navigated our rubber rafts up the lake to explore around what is now your home, David. The lake was stocked with fish and friends would come to fish all day.
The house directly across the lake from ours belonged to the Jordan family for many years. We would all often debate whether to just swim over to their house or walk across the dam with grass burrs that would stick to our feet. As an adult, my high school friends still recall the wonderful days of fun spent swimming in the lake.
It’s not hard to see how easily people fall in love with this area. It’s the main reason these home so seldom come up for sale. You essentially have a vacation lake home minutes from the city center. When Aspinall set eyes on the lake behind the house, he knew he had found his home.
“I grew up in Michigan on a lake, and a farm, so nature speaks to me,” Aspinall said. Having wildlife, the serenity of water, and the proximity to city life is the best of both worlds.”
At the time this split-level soft contemporary house was not the motivation for the purchase as much as the setting. Aspinall knew remodeling was in his future, but he wisely chose to live in the home for a bit before making any big changes.
“I have to live in a house to figure it out. I research and analyze to make sure I have the right product, and the right architect,” Aspinall said. He ended up using David Oswalt, a neighbor who lived on the upper lake to redo the kitchen. “He went above and beyond,” Aspinall said. “It was just incredible. I was so happy with the result that I continued to work with him on the rest of the house.”
Aspinall moved out and rented a home on the upper lake during the major renovations. He used his paddle boat to check on the renovation progress. One of the many perks of lake living!
“It’s more than a renovation,” Aspinall said. “We built another house essentially,” Aspinall added the second level guest apartment with an eye to possibly taking care of his parents one day. It’s completely self-contained, ADA compliant, with a private garage and elevator. Double locking doors were installed between the main house and the apartment as well as a sound barrier wall.
The split-level soft contemporary now has 5,100 square feet, four living areas, four bedrooms, four bathrooms, an expansive conference area, and office that could also be a game room. A media room doubles as a fifth bedroom.While Aspinall has made the indoors of the split-level soft contemporary as inviting as the outdoors, I can attest to the fact it’s hard to pry yourself away from the backyard. There are multiple outdoor living areas including a weather protected deck that cantilevers over the water with views of the entire length of the lake and the pool. Oh, and that pool is legendary. Back in the 1950s the home was owned by Troy B. Phillips Jr., who was once briefly married to the infamous stripper Candy Barr. One of the neighbors mentioned how back in the day they would pretend to do yard work just to get a peek at Barr lounging by the pool. Barr eventually separated from Phillips and shot him outside her apartment one night. He survived, but that’s another story!
Carter’s email summed up life on the lake beautifully:
It is a small oasis in the middle of a bustling city. We have often sat in the backyard marveling at the beauty of this little, hidden spot of joy in the city as we watched all the unique birds fly in for a drink of water and get chased by Canadian geese wanting to nest in the grass. It was my family home for 76 years, and we have released it for others to create their special memories and preserve for the future. I hope they love and are good stewards of this very special place.
Aspinall feels the same. “Once the lake captivates you and becomes part of your soul, it’s pretty difficult to think about living anywhere else.”
But he’s off to some pretty exciting adventures, so it’s time for another good steward to take over this incredible split level soft contemporary with the most serene views in Dallas.
David Bush has it listed for $1.499 million. Remember, Aspinall has been here for 30 years and these homes seldom come on the market and this one is not even in MLS yet!
Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years and 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