Janelle Alcantara lives and breathes modern architecture. When she spotted this Melshire Estates Midcentury Modern at 5546 Charlestown Drive, it was one of those honey-stop-the-car moments.
Alcantara is not just an architecture lover — she’s also a senior associate with David Griffin & Company Realtors. She sees a lot of homes, and she sees a lot of them get torn down that frankly should have been renovated. She started Galaxy Modern, an architecture-driven real estate service, to make modern architecture accessible and to preserve existing modern homes whenever possible.
This Melshire Estates Midcentury Modern is an exciting example of what can be done when you have vision. It was constructed in 1964 when a lot of architect-designed homes were springing up in the neighborhood. Remember, this was an era when cool was the watchword. The Rat Pack was making headlines, the Ford Mustang appeared on the scene, and Mary Quant brought us the miniskirt. I won’t tell you what the median house price was because you’d just cry.
Dallas has a number of homes from this era that are worthy of saving, but most investors see only the dirt value and scrape away to throw up a generic McModern. Fortunately for all of us, one of the investors Alcantara works with shares her sensibility and enthusiasm for architecturally cool properties.
When Alcantara saw this Melshire Estates Midcentury Modern, she knew what she wanted to do, assembled a crackerjack team, and got to work.
“Matt Dimitri Karpenko is known for bringing these midcentury gems to life again,” Alcantara said. “But this is his crown jewel! The house was painstakingly and delicately deconstructed to preserve all that is magnificent about midcentury modern architecture, then slowly and carefully redesigned.”
The original brick was reused because it was not only in flawless condition, it’s was also a brick that’s not made any longer.
“Each brick is a work of art,” Alcantara said. “They are hand scored in a precise diagonal design, then laid in an artistic pattern that is a lost art today. Some of the bricks were given a gunmetal, metallic coating before they were fired. In the sun, it looks like they were coated with a liquid metal.”
The home was relatively modest in size when work began, but Alcantara is successful with these projects because she knows how to exceed buyer expectations. With 5,230 square feet, five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a powder bath, a study, and two kitchens, it’s an exceptional property. The two-kitchen concept has been gaining ground around the country because of the popular open-concept kitchen. No one wants to do the ugly prep in front of the guests. So the catering kitchen came to life, thank goodness. And if you need a kosher kitchen, this Melshire Estates Midcentury Modern is a perfect fit!
“The floor plan was completely reconfigured,” Alcantara said. “It’s unique, and not something you would see in a new build today. Each of the main rooms opens on to one of three courtyards. The main one is, thanks to the oversized lot, a pool-ready courtyard! Two living areas, the kitchen, and the master suite open to this yard. When you open the huge retractable walls of glass, everything is connected, and the indoor kitchen becomes the outdoor kitchen.”
The house was designed almost as a house within a house. There is a large guest suite with a private entry, parking space, and easy access to the catering kitchen. You can comfortably accommodate live-in help, an aging parent, or a boomerang child without regretting your decision.
Of course a house, no matter how stunning, is lifeless without staging. I was thrilled to see Alcantara enlisted the keen design eye of Lisa Stapp owner of Staged by Stapp, to create a bold and dramatic look that complements the home so well.
“It was an exciting home to stage,” Stapp said. “The rooms are large, so you always have to define the space, how it’s used, and make it visually appealing. I like that it’s one story with tall ceilings and lots of natural light. It’s super livable but still chic. It’s a very inspiring house.”
“It’s a property that will satisfy the soul of a true architecture enthusiast,” Alcantara said. “Someone that wants a house with a personality of its own!”
Alcantara has listed this extraordinary Melshire Estates Midcentury Modern with Rosemary de Medici for $1.725 million.
Open House: Sunday, March 3, 3 to 5 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. Karen teaches the popular Staging to Sell class and is the creator of the online course, The Beginners Guide to Buying Wholesale. Her love of dogs, international travel, history, white paint, champagne, artificial turf, and Tudor and Midcentury Modern homes, and any house designed by Clifford Hutsell knows no bounds. Her father was a spy, so she keeps secrets very well! Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com