The Cary estate on Lakeside Drive is where the inspiration, dreams, motivation, and plans to make Dallas an important medical center came to life. If only these walls could talk.
But they can’t, so I will because you need to understand the importance of this home and why something this significant needs to remain standing in our community.
A Showplace For a Prominent Family
Dr. Edward Henry Cary built this magnificent home as a wedding present for his bride, Georgia Schneider. Construction on the Cary estate began around 1910 and was completed in 1912 by C.W. Bulger and Son. The finest craftsmen were brought over from Europe to create the woodwork, lay the imported Italian tile, and install the leaded glass windows. It was and continues to be a showplace.
Dr. Cary was one of the most prominent figures in Dallas history. He made certain that Dallas would be the medical center of the Southwest. You may not be familiar with his name, but you may have heard of his close friends W. H. Flippen, Karl Hoblitzelle, and Murrell Buckner. No doubt, you’ve seen the buildings, roads, parks, and hospitals that are named after them.
Dr. Cary’s desire to get big things done seems to have been inherited. His grandfather was Jules Edouard Schneider, a founder of the Dallas Gas Company and the Dallas Public Library. He was one of the gentlemen who brought railroads and electric lights to Dallas.
His honors and accolades would fill a book. You should know he served as president of the American Medical Association and was the dean and part-owner of The University of Dallas Medical School, which later became Baylor University. Then he founded the Southwestern Medical College. The Carys were the driving force behind the Medical Arts building, the world’s first 19-story skyscraper at 1717 Pacific Avenue devoted to physicians and dentists. (It was a sad day in 1978 when this historic building was demolished).
So, just imagine what transpired in the Cary estate. Inside these walls, the movers and shakers of Dallas planned, strategized, fundraised, and fulfilled their intentions to make Dallas the great city it has become.
In 1949 Dr. Cary told the Dallas Morning News he envisioned the rolling green hills of Harry Hines as a new home for a great medical center that would compete with The Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins. The land had already been secured for that purpose. He would live to see the beginnings of what is now one of the most important medical centers in America — his dream come true.
My point in telling this tale is to show you the significance of this house. It’s not just a luxury home where wealthy families have lived. It’s where the future of Dallas was plotted out. The visions of the founders of Dallas were discussed over cocktails in the beautifully tiled sun porch and over dinners in the hand-crafted, wood-paneled dining room. When I read about a 1926 buffet supper and informal reception for 300 members of the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association at the Cary estate, I could only imagine the extraordinary plans that came out of that event.
A Rare Dallas Estate That Has it All
The Cary family lived in this house until Mrs. Cary’s death in 1970. The home was briefly in the hands of the T.C Stricklin family and Mrs. Viva Ellison, and then the Al Hill family purchased it in the 1970s, and it’s been in their family for over 40 years. It’s a testament to the quality of a home when two families have found it suited their needs perfectly for decades. The Hills did the necessary updating, of course, but Al Hill also got permission to install the first tennis court in a Highland Park residence.
The Cary estate is one of those rare Dallas properties that has it all. A historic home engineered with quality craftsmanship and materials that could never be replicated today. “It’s built like a rock,” Allie Beth Allman listing agent David Nichols said. “It’s in tremendous shape and has been perfectly maintained. It has the highest elevation on Lakeside Drive with a beautiful view of the water and park. It’s the last great estate on Lakeside and rare to find 1.3 acres here.”
The Cary estate has 7,643 square feet, five bedrooms, six bathrooms, two powder baths, detached quarters, a cabana, putting green, and that excellent tennis court.
David Nichols told me Dr. Cary’s grandson came through the house recently and pointed out exactly where Dr. Cary sat every Sunday afternoon. Little did he know, back then, what his grandfather was dreaming up next for Dallas. The Cary estate is truly one of the most significant homes in Dallas. We hope the next owner is smart enough and has an appreciation for history to keep it intact.
Allie Beth Allman and David Nichols have the historic Cary estate at 4712 Lakeside Drive listed for $12.5 million.