I’m still unable to get into the area, but I continue to get reports that Lobello Estates, home to some of the area’s most expensive and expansive homes, was hit particularly hard during Sunday’s storms.
A friend who lives on Lobello Drive sent me these photos of her natatorium.
“Large anodized aluminum beams still standing, all glass blown out,” she texted. “I’d say half our home is damaged. We were just approved this morning by insurance to get a long term rental so that will make it easy to just move directly from home to another place while we rebuild.”
Lobello Estates is bordered by Royal Lane on the north, Inwood Road on the west, Yolanda on the south, and Netherlands on the east, which then edges to the Dallas North Tollway (which was once a railroad).
Most of the lots are at least one acre and heavily wooded. I remember my first impression of the area in the 80s: huge, sprawling ranch homes with elegant and luxurious finish outs. Lobello Estates was the kind of neighborhood my parents would have loved. Many of the homes were built in the 1960s by Sam Lobello, Sr. and his son. Sam Lobello was among the original landowners and builders of Preston Center.
Lobello, a Dallas restaurateur named Sam Ventura Sr., and another named J.T. Piranio bought land from the McCraw family that became the Preston Center we know today. Surely you have seen the Lobello Building?
Then he ventured north:
Lobello’s father began building houses in the area, then considered to be in the country. The Lobello family opened a 200-acre addition of open fields and quickly made a $250,000 profit in speculation.
They also had a barbecue stand right where Berkshire Court is today. Lobello Estates homes were designed and built by well-known architects, extensively remodelled, and then scraped to make way for large estate properties, many in the 8,000 to 12,000 square foot range. Like this one on Ursula.
I’m hearing that nine homes on Ursula are total losses. Many others will require extensive re-building, like my friend’s. And these are well-built homes by prominent builders.
But the best builders in Dallas are no match for an F-3 tornado, all nine of them.