This is huge news, and a big shot in the arm for our real estate market, especially at the higher luxury end.
A significant Dallas estate has sold and closed. Details are still pouring in, but sources tell me that the magnificent Preston Hollow mansion belonging to Lisa Blue Baron, a woman I cannot speak of more highly, sold Friday for just under $19 million.
You know the place: it’s the Robert A.M. Stern designed palatial estate on the southwest corner of Preston Road and Deloache in the honeypot of Preston Hollow. The home is a sprawling 15,254 square feet on 8.98 acres. We first reported that the house was on the market in May of 2014, and were likely the first to do so.
Lisa had told me that deciding to sell her beloved home, which she built with her late husband, Fred Baron, who she lost to cancer in October, 2008, was a really tough decision.
“Building it was a labor of love,” she told me. “Fred loved and appreciated architecture and good art. I rely on others for good taste. Me, I could live anywhere, even in a trailer!”
The home is beyond exquisite. Her white master bedroom remains etched in the memory cells of my brain, one of my favorite rooms of all times. And yet the home, for being so large and elegant, is one of the warmest places you could ever walk into. The home has been featured in Architectural Digest:
As Baron remembers it, they were standing among the creepers and weeds, noting the derelict vegetation, the scarcity of salvageable trees and the ample evidence that the neighborhood kids had made the place their own—more than ready to retreat, in other words—when Stern started to make his case. “Bob told us, You have just got to buy this property.'”
Lisa interviewed the city’s tip top agents when she finally decided to sell, and chose Erin Mathews at Allie Beth Allman & Associates, who has hung in there for four years now while the home has been marketed, while prices have been lowered at least twice, through a few offers, and through countless showings.
What a huge coup for Erin! The buyer was brought by Gina Cerullo of Compass, who cannot comment on the sale because of an NDA she has signed. Word on the street is that the buyer may be James Dondero.
The estate was first listed at $37.5 when it debuted. The price was lowered to $33 million in 2015, then to $24.5, evidently the magic number.
Erin Mathews’ website describes the property best. A few of my own notes: the powder rooms are definitely his and her’s, almost like powder rooms you’d find in a country club, with large dressing rooms. The home is on a private lake, and Robert A.M. Stern also designed the George W. Bush Presidential Center because of this house. It is the only home he has designed in Texas, and one of the few in the world.The home was built on the estate of the Pollock family, whose home had a large swimming pool that was one of the first in Dallas. For years, the Pollock home was a vital social center for the local Jewish community. In light of that, Lisa and Fred always gave their home a tradition of loaning the house nearly every week for charitable events. It was also often loaded with national and local Democratic candidates and fundraisers. President Obama has stayed at the house. When Bill Clinton was president, he would jettison to the Baron estate directly after landing in Dallas. Photos of Bill and Hillary are all over the house! It is rumored that one time presidential candidate John Edwards also enjoyed hospitality at 5950 Deloache:
“The Southwest’s premier estate that has hosted presidents, world-acclaimed celebrities and international decision makers on its palatial grounds is the result of legendary architect Robert A.M. Stern’s mastery and constructed by John Sebastian. “Architectural Digest” described it as Stern’s “finest pied-à-terre.”
Within Dallas’ prestigious Preston Hollow neighborhood, the beautifully landscaped nine acres, with its electric gate opening to a driveway and a paved auto courtyard, are simply magnificent with a private lake, an abundance of terraces and gardens, a tennis court with a shaded viewing area and a two-story guest house with its own two car-garage and porte-cochère.
The main house, an “English Regency sifted through American Federal” mansion, epitomizes the craftsmanship and materials found only in Europe’s most fabulous palaces.
From the perfection of the wool and silk carpeting on the second level’s living quarters to a breathtaking cantilevered staircase in the black-and-white marble entry hall, every aspect of the property is the stuff of which legends are made. Even the powder room adjoining the conservatory (aka “the Sunday Times reading room”) dazzles with floor-to-ceiling walls of tiny seashells.
The dramatic natatorium opens to the glorious outdoor pool and terrace surrounded by beautifully manicured hedges. Adjacent to the indoor pool is a lavish spa, with steam sauna and two dressing rooms with full bathrooms.
In addition to the professional gym on the third level with its own beauty salon, the main house also includes a stunning five-room master bedroom suite, two ensuite bedrooms, a library with fireplace, a leather-walled billiard room, two loggias, his-and-hers powder rooms, an over-the-top culinary center, a full-service catering kitchen, a cylindrical tempietto breakfast room, four wet bars, four fireplaces, a formal living room, an elegant dining room for twenty guests, and so very much more. ”