[Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This week, we’re taking time off to focus on our loved ones, so we are sharing some of our favorite stories from this year. Keep an eye out for our top features from the archives as we rest and get ready for a brilliant 2020! Cheers, from Candy and the entire staff at CandysDirt.com!]
Karen: I don’t think it is a mystery to anyone that my dream home is an English country Tudor manor. I’ve spent a lot of time in England, was married a Brit for many years, and return to the mother country as often as possible to see my goddaughter. “Old Alice” is a lovely grand dame of a home, covered in ivy, and extremely private despite its central location. It offers a warmth you can only get in a home that’s over a hundred years old. Every inch of it reminds me of the stately homes I’ve toured in Britain, and I would not change a single detail. It’s not only my Best of 2019 Monday Morning Millionaire choice. It’s the house I consider as the best of the decade!
When you think about the perfect English country Tudor manor, it’s filled with beamed ceilings, stone walls, beautiful hardwood floors, antiques, lovely wallpaper, and gardens — miles and miles of gardens.
These elegant, stately homes are few and far between in Dallas, so I’m beyond thrilled to let you know that for the first time in a couple of decades, one of the best is on offer in Highland Park.
I haven’t been this excited about a home for sale in a long time. Not only is it gorgeous, but the provenance of this house is also incredible. It was built at 3712 Alice Circle in 1925 by architect Clyde H. Griesenbeck for Dr. Sam Webb Jr. This was back when Highland Park was brand new. Alice Circle was named for John Armstrong’s wife. Armstrong was one of the developers of Highland Park.
Dallas still seems like the biggest little town around, but in the ’20s it was indeed a small world. Griesenbeck was the chief architect for the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway (MKT). He designed everything from depots, to freight stations and maintenance buildings in Texas and Oklahoma. So, it’s not that surprising to find Dr. Webb was the chief surgeon of the MKT. Kismet? Absolutely!
I was sure our favorite tome here at CandysDirt.com would have some excellent information on this stunning English country Tudor. I was right. Great American Suburbs: The Homes of The Park Cities, Dallas by Virginia Savage McAlester, Willis Cecil Winters, and Prudence Mackintosh had the following on this historic home:
Clyde H. Griesenbeck was an exceptional architect, active in the Park Cities during the 1920s and 1930s, with three of the most outstanding Tudor Revival residences built between the world wars to his credit.
Between 1925 and 1928, Griensnbeck completed two striking Tudor Revival residences in Highland Park that were notable for their distinguished facades, each rendered predominately in stone. First was a $30,000 mansion at 3712 Alice Circle.
I know, $30,000. Remember that was a fortune in 1925.
The Webb family lived in this notable English country Tudor for about 25 years. Then the Charles S. Yancey family moved in until at least the late 1960s. There was a lull in information on the property until the 1990s when Stuart and Jennie Reeves purchased it.
If you’ve been in Dallas for any length of time, you know the Reeves, and if not, you most likely know their daughter, DJ Lucy Wrubel. There is a brilliant story on those miles and miles of gardens that Jennie brought to life in D Magazine. After only a handful of owners, this beautiful home is back on the market, and it’s a rare opportunity to own a piece of Dallas history.
Of course, this 7,480-square-foot English country Tudor has been restored and expanded over the generations. The Reeves have a passion for history and the best eye for detail you’ve ever seen. There are five bedrooms, four bathrooms, two powder baths, and those gardens.
The house is on a .732-acre corner lot, just across the street from Davis Park. You have enormous privacy, and yet could not be closer to all that matters. It’s the perfect house in the ideal location. That perfection, in my opinion, includes the fact this is a home that has been created to evoke a feeling of comfort. The interior design is about as far from cookie-cutter as you can get and that’s one of the attractions. It’s utterly English in style and décor. That means it’s beautifully appointed, but you know a dog can jump on a sofa and not get scolded. The British royal family would be quiet at home here.
Of course, having the right interior designer is crucial in these homes. I hear, through the grapevine, that the legendary Maurgerite (Maggie) Green of Green-Garzotto, who is unfortunately no longer with us, was instrumental in the look of this home.
If you ever want to understand how to create a warm and inviting kitchen, download these photos and keep them for reference. This is a kitchen you will never want to leave. Perch in the wing chair next to the fireplace, sip a lovely cognac and bask in an old English atmosphere that belies the fact a serious chef has every modern convenience at hand.
The master bedroom looks like one you’d find at Downton Abbey. Nothing says England more than wallpaper that matches the fabric. It’s a time-honored look, and after the current white trend, one I hope we see more often. Tradition, combined with style, creates that unique English feeling of home.
One of the things I love about English country Tudor homes is how the swimming pools are so beautifully concealed. You see this not just in England, but also all over Europe. The pool is a private oasis, hidden by gorgeous tall trees and generally surrounded by a wall. This one is the perfect retreat. It’s hard to emphasize how lovely the grounds are, so I encourage you to check out the D Magazine article about them that I mentioned.
This is an extraordinary opportunity to own a home that embodies what the developers of Highland Park were hoping to create, an idyllic community, filled with beautiful homes where you know your neighbors and care about them. I think they’d be pleased to see their dreams have come true.
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 all dogs, international travel, good chocolate, great champagne, and historic homes knows no bounds. Her father was a spy, so she keeps secrets very well!