The 1970s were more than just swinging, they were also a decade of action, invention, and creativity. It’s the decade that brought us Microsoft, Apple, the first jumbo jet, video game, cell phone, and some decidedly non-cookie-cutter homes. Our Saturday Seven Hundred at 10801 Branch Oaks Circle is a 1970s contemporary that is an excellent example of how architectural boundaries were being broken in 1976 — and by a female builder.
Let me take you back to a time when women were still taking typing classes, and the outlook for a career was pretty much nurse, secretary, teacher, or flight attendant. Jo Parsons was ahead of her time, and she built homes ahead of theirs. She began her company Jo Parsons Four Seasons Homes in 1972, specializing in custom and spec homes in Northwood Hills, Prestonwood, Northlake, Coppell, and Denton for years. She was hitting her stride in 1976 when she built this 3,615-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom 1970s contemporary just behind Pagewood Park on a quiet cul-de-sac.
Ya’ll how I like to dig through the Dallas Morning News archives. Parsons got quite a bit of press in her day, and I found a great interview with her from 1981.
What I look for when I decide to build, is an area that has good schools, a nice quiet neighborhood, and quality constructed homes all around. I guess I want the homes I build to reflect home. There are always hand-crafted built-ins, such as hutches, cabinetry, and chests of drawers in the walk-in closets, upholstered walls in the bedrooms, and other rooms in the house, and game rooms or solariums or atriums depending on design.
Our swinging 1970s contemporary has all of those great features minus, thank God, the upholstered walls!
There is a lot to love in this home, but the jaw-dropper is the sunken two-story atrium living room. I asked the sellers what they enjoyed most about their 1970s contemporary, and they sent me the following note:
The most unusual architectural feature of the home is the central living room with a vaulted ceiling. This is a one-story house, but this room has the aura of a much larger, airier, and grander room because of its two-story height. The exposed rafter beams add so much character to the room. It also has so much natural light. At sunrise, it naturally grows light earlier, and at sunset, it stays light much later.
“It’s also ideal for entertaining with the great open living areas,” Ebby Halliday listing agent Kay Weeks said.
While this 1970s contemporary is sleek, chic, move-in ready, and family friendly with a magnificent 30,000-gallon resort-style pool, another big attraction is the neighborhood.
Parsons chose her locations well because this area has not changed. It’s hard to find an intact neighborhood in Dallas today. Often there’s a gargantuan new build looming next door or hovering over your backyard, but this is an area of solidly built homes on family-friendly cul-de-sacs, so there’s never been a reason to fix what is not broken.
The cul-de-sac life is perfect for bike riding, hoop shooting, skateboarding kiddos, and they can walk out the back door into Pagewood Park. I asked our Candysdirt.com staff educational savant Bethany Erickson for her thoughts on the neighborhood schools, and she had this to say:
I think, especially for young families, a home in this area is perfect because it’s not just the elementary school, Arthur Kramer, you can be confident in — this is really a feeder pattern your family can grow with. Both Franklin Middle School and Hillcrest High School are also IB schools, and Hillcrest actually received every single distinction available in the most recent Texas Education Agency accountability ratings.
What are you waiting for? At $725,000 this swinging1970s contemporary is a steal.
Open House: Sunday, August 26, 1 – 3 p.m.
Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager and writer for over 25 years. She teaches the popular Staging to Sell class and is the creator of the online course, The Beginners Guide to Buying Wholesale. She loves dogs, international travel, history, white paint, champagne, artificial turf, and homes with personality. Her father was a spy, and she keeps secrets very well. Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com