If you have been in Dallas for a while, you know this Greek Revival mansion, and you certainly know the name, Rita Crocker Clements. Newcomers might need a small history lesson, so let’s begin. Rita was a smart, strong, savvy, sophisticated woman that never forgot her ranching family roots. She was an active volunteer not only in politics but also in her community. To say she was a mover and a shaker is to put it mildly.
Rita got things done with grace and style. She began her political activism as a very young woman in 1952, volunteering for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidential campaign. She was married to oilman, rancher, and mountaineer Richard “Dick” Bass for over 20 years, and had four children with him.
She was introduced to Bill Clements and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. Bill served as governor of Texas twice, from 1979–1983 and then from 1987–1991. Rita was an instrumental campaign strategist, and in our humble opinion, one of the most respected first ladies Texas has ever seen. Married to Bill for over 30 years, she was widely loved, highly regarded, and upon her passing in January of this year, deeply missed.
And so, her lovely Greek Revival mansion at 6930 Turtle Creek Boulevard in Volk Estates is now for sale. It’s listed for $9.1 million with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s agents Ralph Randall and Madeline Jobst.
Architect Richard Drummond Davis worked closely with the Clements to design their home. He created a classic 11,323-square-foot Greek Revival in what he refers to as a Lower Mississippi Valley Plantation vernacular.
“It feels like a governor’s mansion when you walk in, but not in an intimidating way,” Jobst said. “It’s a big house, but it feels intimate and approachable. It’s all perfectly balanced and beautifully proportioned.”
It’s easy to imagine Mrs. Clements gliding down that splendid, commanding staircase to greet her guests.
The Greek Revival mansion has incredible detail in every room, from the millwork to the intricate hand carvings in the Governor’s study depicting Texas icons like the Six Flags of Texas and the state capitol. The tile in the butler’s pantry showcases Texas symbols and courthouses. One of the most stunning rooms is the formal dining room, which features hand-painted Zuber wallpaper depicting the Revolutionary War.
There are four bedrooms, five bathrooms, two powder baths, and quarters over the three-car garage. The master suite is downstairs facing the creek behind the house. The upstairs bedrooms each open onto the gorgeous veranda and can be reached by that sweeping staircase or via elevator.
The classic Greek Revival mansion has a great deal of privacy for being so centrally located. Sitting on almost an acre of land backing up to Turtle Creek with an adjoining parcel available for additional privacy, you cannot ask for a more serene location than this Dallas treasure.
Open House: Sunday, May 20, 3 to 5 p.m.
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