The Hidden Glass House on Turtle Creek

glass house
There’s a little neighborhood you’d be hard pressed to find unless you were looking for it. Nestled in a slim strip of nature that backs up to the Katy Trail, it’s home to our Monday Morning Millionaire at 2706 Turtle Creek Boulevard—the most wonderful glass house you are ever going to find, anywhere in the world.

If you were a developer back in the 1980s, you’d have given this area a hard pass — unless you had vision. A gentle reminder that in 1979 one of the most incredible restaurants in the world was created in a private home, built in 1925, just across the street from this neighborhood. That restaurant, of course, is the venerable Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. So, imagine if you will for a moment, that back in the 1920s a homeowner had a vision that was enjoyed by the likes of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Tennessee Williams.

It took continued vision to create a restaurant out of this noble home because the neighborhood had grown a bit dodgy. Just off Turtle Creek between Oak Lawn and what is now Uptown, one had to have not just foresight, but also funds, because from what we’ve been told, the banks were not on board with developing this area.

But, as people began to discover the Mansion in the 1980s, those with imagination also discovered that little strip across Turtle Creek Boulevard. I remember when Park Bridge Court was being built, and I could not imagine why, because this was not what Dallas was all about at the time. Back then, the general thought process was bigger and better. But slowly, on this narrow strip of land, some interesting things began to unfold, and one of the first was this incredible glass house built by architect Jonathan Bailey as his Dallas base.glass house

glass house

glass house
Bailey is one of a handful of leading international architects in the hospital industry. He builds big, beautiful, high-tech medical centers, all over the world with the same environmental empathy, as he has built his own glass house. You are not likely to ever encounter this sort of construction because there is just one Jonathan Bailey and unless you score one of his homes in another country, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Bailey was living at Gillespie and Sale Streets in the early ‘90s and was attracted to a sore spot of land off Gillespie. He saw potential, a gem in the wilderness. It was not just wilderness, it was basically a garbage dump full of brick, trash, and right next to a parking garage. The city had no clue what to do with this area. Remember, this was years before The Katy Trail was even a germ of an idea. On the plus side, the site had been home to the original location of Lamberts Nursery, so there was an abundance of trees.

“The whole feel was garbage and concrete,” Bailey said. “I thought what would be logical for me, is instead of doing concrete or asphalt, the house needed to be the opposite of what was here. So, I did a solid glass house.

glass house
Bailey designed the house while he was living in London in 1995, in what he says was about 15 minutes. As a classically trained pianist, he designs to music. He’d seen the way the moonlight hit the landscape and designed his glass house to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Handing it off to his team to do the construction documents, he hired a friend who is a commercial contractor, and the result is a glass house that is absolutely stunning, and almost imperceptible from its surroundings.

“The house cantilevers off of what would normally have been columns in the corner, Bailey said. “So, you don’t have a reference point with the house not having corners. There is nothing that keeps it from the trees. Most of the walls open up, and it throws people off when the doors are open, and the screens pulled back. You realize you are in a treehouse. You are literally standing on a huge balcony that is the entire second floor. It’s not big, but I do things to change the perspective. The second you move columns off the corner of the building, the perception is that the building is a lot bigger.”

Bailey has also installed a 29 x 45-foot mirror that reflects the entire three-story glass house and further plays with the perception of space.

The 2,900-square-foot three-bedroom, three-bathroom glass house was designed so you don’t have to turn on a light. The depth is only 17 and-a-half feet wide, so it allows sunlight throughout the space. It’s also incredibly quiet and secure as there is gated access to the street and the home is six feet off the ground! “Glass is the highest form of security you can provide in a piece of architecture,” Bailey said. “It’s a very secure property.”


Bailey told me people are drawn to lying down on the floor when they visit. “They come in, go upstairs, and they want to lay on the floor, Bailey said. “It’s great because, for an architect, it’s an honor when someone gets it. You lay on the floor, and you don’t see the ceiling, just the canopy of trees. When it is raining, or snowing, or lightning, you are one with nature. You forget you have glass around you. It’s very calming. You feel you are outside, but you are inside, surrounded by glass.”

Don’t be surprised, if you’re lucky enough to see this amazing glass house, to be greeted by a rather large and extremely friendly family of raccoons that live around the home. This house is a nature preserve in the heart of the city, so it’s not surprising to find that the squirrels and raccoons have gravitated to this glass house. Bailey has trained them, they know their names, and they’ll expect a Cheeto, or two—so come prepared!

“They come up to the house on their hind legs, like penguins,” Bailey said. “They knock on the door. Once you train one, they replicate the behavior. When I approach the glass, they all stand there, and they know they have to go in order. They can’t jump ahead in the line for their Cheetos! The moms keep their babies here because it’s safe. They consider us part of the family.”

“This glass house is a living piece of art,” Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s listing agent Pogir Pogir said. “Bailey has designed a sculpture to live in that is the most dramatic, spectacular, extraordinary, and inspiring home you can imagine.”

I completely agree and am headed to get a bag of Cheetos right now so I can feed the raccoons and lay on the floor!

Pogir has this spectacular, one-of-a-kind glass house listed for $4.22 million.

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

One Comment

  • Karen…. you must write a book. I never want your articles to end. They are effortless to read and a pleasure to see. The house incidentally is magical. I have seen it many times and marveled at it. What a treat to finally get to see inside.