That headline got your attention, didn’t it? You’ll have to keep reading to find out the answer. Right now, all I can tell you is our Inwood Home of the Week is a gorgeous Kessler Park Tudor that wraps the corner of Montclair Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.
I was racking my brain trying to figure out why I was so familiar with 1122 North Montclair Avenue and it finally hit me. For many years, it was used as a location for photography and film. In my former life, I was a photo stylist and had been here on a couple of shoots. It’s been a good 25 years since I was inside, but I distinctly remember being struck by not just the look, but also the feel of this gorgeous Kessler Park Tudor. It was like stepping into a home in the English countryside, and you could just feel the history.
It was built in 1927 for J.A. Skillern and his wife. If you’ve been in Dallas for a generation or two, you’ll remember Skillern’s was the drugstore chain. Walgreens was up in Chicago still, and CVS did not even exist until 1963. The Skillern family were prominent in Dallas society. The local story goes that they gave homes to their daughters and drugstores to their sons. Considering the drugstores are gone, the houses were probably a better gift as most are still standing and in beautiful condition.
I can’t find any documentation, and I’ve scoured the archives, but if I had to guess, I’d say this was a Carsey & Linski design. It has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and one powder bath and it looks a lot like the one they built for Louie Kimple, the founder of Dixie Wax Paper Company at 1414 West Colorado Boulevard.
There have been a handful of owners over the years including the Bryans and the Fletchers — that would be the barbecue Bryans and the corny dog Fletchers. That has to stop you in your tracks. Two food families owned this house. That alone is a draw for me!Original details have been preserved in the 3,700-square-foot home including leaded windows, coved ceilings, original millwork, a Batchelder fireplace, beautiful hardwood floors and an elevator. Think about the year this house was built. Not many homes had elevators in 1927, but the Skillern’s Kessler Park Tudor did!
“The elevator went from the maid’s quarters and wine cellar in the basement to the second floor, owner Ann Foster said. “It has the original accordion doors that remind me of a 1920s Paris flat. The floors are hardwood, and the original light fixture works. There is even a railing for the maid to hang clothes to take upstairs and rumor has it that a safe is located somewhere along the elevator route.” It’s not functioning at present, but that’s only because when Ann and her husband John purchased this Kessler Park Tudor in 2014, there were more important renovations on their minds, like bringing the kitchen into this century. Anne is a Realtor with Dave Perry-Miller, so who better to ensure this beauty was not only preserved, but also appropriately updated.
“The kitchen was a 1970s kitchen, there was nothing original, and it had heavy, blue, brick floors,” Anne said. “When our contractor, Jeff Blackwell, pulled up the brick we discovered the original pine floors. The kitchen was the domain of the cook, so less expensive wood was used here. The rest of the house has oak flooring. You can see a carving in the threshold between the kitchen and the hall that was typical of the era. We tried to create a classic and timeless kitchen. Jeff was instrumental in helping us. He’s passionate about saving and preserving homes.”
Blackwell worked with the Fosters almost nonstop for the first six months ensuring no detail was overlooked. The basement bathroom was remodeled, all the hardwoods were refinished, and copper valleys were added to the original slate roof by Scottie Ballantyne Roofing.
The house has been on home multiple home tours and has been a real draw for location scouts over the years, which leads us to why Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley were here. The house was used as the home of Hurley’s character Sara in the Paramount film “Serving Sara,” shot in 2002. Perry is a process server and serves Hurley in the entry hall of this Kessler Park Tudor.
Not only do you get a sought-after film location, but think about those basement quarters, complete with a separate mailbox. That’s rental income!
“I’m going to miss the aura of the house,” Foster said. “It has such a special feeling. It’s light, airy, and the rooms are spacious, much more so than you’d expect in a house built in the 1920s. It’s very comfortable for guests. We’ve had tons of family and friends in for the holidays, we have loved living here, and the neighborhood is wonderful. It’s full of people that love and appreciate the preservation of these homes. It just doesn’t get any better than this.”
Indeed, it does not. This Kessler Park Tudor can be yours for only $1.25 million, which you’ll pay off in no time with all those location fees!
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