Our Monday Morning Millionaire at 3428 Beverly Drive is an iconic, architecturally significant, Highland Park Mediterranean eclectic mansion that has a rich dramatic history. Designed by legendary architect Hal Thomson in 1920, this house has so many stories to tell you better grab a big cuppa, turn off the phone, and sit down.
Formerly known as the Ferris Mansion, it was built for Tom Ferris, who was a successful broker at the Dallas Cotton Exchange.
Thomson brought in the best craftsmen from Europe and North America to help him create this Mediterranean eclectic mansion. Those talented artists included one of Thomson’s favorite collaborators, Peter Mansbendel, a Swiss master woodcarver. Mansbendel is responsible for the elaborate wood columns and the leaded glass windows enhanced with engraved rural scenes.
From the enchanting eyebrow window at the top of the mansion to the graceful outdoor staircase that winds from the upstairs patio to the ground level, this Mediterranean eclectic mansion is all that and a bag of chips, as they say in Britain. D Magazine listed it as one of their 10 Most Beautiful Homes in Dallas in 2009 and it’s just gotten better since then.
Listed 11 days ago by Allie Beth Allman for $12.5 million, it’s worth every penny. There are 12,940 square feet, five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and three powder baths, but those are just the basic stats. What you really need to know is that not only was this home built to the highest standards of the 1920s, but it was also renovated to the highest standards of this century by the Buntings. You may know that name. Remember, I told you there would be stories!
According to Mark Bunting, the original home had a fire, set by an architect who had a drinking problem. Hey, his words, not mine. So, a lot of the original documentation on this home was lost in that fire.
The Buntings purchased the home in 1995 and spent three years renovating, updating, and adding the most incredible 3,000 square feet of underground living space you’ve ever seen — with light entering it from two sides. I won’t call it a basement because that does not do it justice.
Mark Bunting is what we call a serial entrepreneur. He created SkyTV, the largest producer of computer and technology related video and television programming. He’s basically responsible for putting computers in our homes. Google him, seriously. Then, feel like you are not doing enough with your life, but I digress.
So just imagine what happened when Mark and his beautiful, and equally smart, wife Kelly got their hands on this property. They went to town. They had small children at the time, and they had to turn this iconic Mediterranean eclectic mansion into a kid-friendly haven. They did that and so much more, including the purchase of the lot next door in 2001 to add, oh, just your standard ballroom and bar.
Talk about serendipity. Mark just happened to have family members in the millwork industry who built the two-story library from scratch, customizing it to look exactly like it was built in the 1920s.
Homes like this must have owners that appreciate history and understand how to update properly. The Buntings were the perfect stewards of this home for 10 years. They enlarged the Italianate loggia to create a gallery that tied rooms together and created a much-needed flow, which homes built in the 1920s don’t have. We’ve heard their kiddos roller-bladed through this limestone-floored loggia, so despite the grandeur of this Mediterranean eclectic mansion, the Buntings totally succeeded in turning this into a family-friendly home. The patio in front was widened, the roof raised, and the covered side driveway was re-established. They also added a media room and quarters.
The Buntings sold the home to attorney Joe B. Garza and his lovely wife, Nikki. That’s an entire story you can Google as well. But suffice it to say, the Garzas have taken equally good care of the home, and after 13 years in this gorgeous, grand Mediterranean eclectic mansion, they have put it on the market.
You must visit this home to appreciate it fully. It’s not easy to convey how spectacular this home is for both entertaining and raising a family because it is indeed one of a kind.
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