The Forest Hills Cox Estate is a Spanish Eclectic Dream

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Spanish Eclectic

When I see a home like this Spanish Eclectic enter our market, I can tell you the hair literally stands up on the back of my neck because I know there is a fantastic history attached to it. And I’m never wrong.

This is a fantastic story.

Think back to the Hollywood of the 1940s. Google it if you are a Millennial because you do want to know about this era. These were the days of glamor, excitement, and dreams. Iconic stars like Cary Grant, Lucille Ball, Bette Davis, and Marilyn Monroe chose the Spanish Eclectic style for their homes. Today, you find nothing much has changed. Celebrities like Eddie Murphy, Angelina Jolie, and Kylie Jenner have chosen the same look because it simply exudes glamor.

Spanish Eclectic

Why is this such a significant style? I asked one of our -go-to architects, Lloyd Lumpkins.

“Aaah… the days of romance and glamor, homes like these are why I got into architecture,” Lumpkins said. “I love the romantic period of architecture. Clients and their architects were bringing home design ideas from their grand tours of Europe. These homes inspire us through their whimsey and fantasy. They show us how to use the core elements of architectural design. Of course, scale and proportion, but also an enhanced understanding of massing, rhythm, the play of light and shadows and the way the design embraces the street and its surroundings.

“The curved roof entry is a great piece of whimsy. It takes its cue from the arts and crafts movement of the time. You frequently saw styles borrowing from each other. And this is what the great modern designs do today. We create new from the lessons these great homes show us.”

Spanish Eclectic

The Sportatorium And The Showplace

This Spanish Eclectic was built for W.T. Cox. If you’ve been here a minute you will immediately think Cox Fence, known for the decorative rooster embellishments he designed. You can still find this fencing throughout Dallas. Cox didn’t just own a fencing company. He built the Sportatorium.

For newbies, the Sportatorium was the place to go for the best entertainment in the city for decades. So, indulge me while I digress a bit because what follows speaks to the stature of the man and his home.

Spanish Eclectic

The Sportatorium was the home of professional wrestling in Dallas for 40 years, and it was world-famous. It opened in 1936 with Jack Dempsey signed as the first matchmaker. In 1949 a five-alarm fire destroyed the building. Mr. Cox told the Dallas Morning News, “There will always be wrestling at Cadiz and Industrial and there will always be a Sportatorium there as long as I’ve got a dime to do it.”

The real success of the Sportatorium was down to promoter Ed McLemore who began working with Cox in 1939. It was indeed rebuilt after the fire and I watched The Ice Man vs The Ugandan Giant, Kamala there in the early 1980s. From 1952 well into the ’80s it was also a music venue. Elvis performed there as well as Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash, to name but a few.

This trip down memory lane should give you some insight into Mr. Cox and his home. He built it in 1940 with purpose, not just as a family home but as a showplace. You never know who might turn up for dinner!

Spanish Eclectic

This stunning Spanish Eclectic is a smidge over an acre, with 6,103 square feet, five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a powder bath, a media room, and a billiard room. There are multiple large entertaining spaces. And preppers take note! There is an internal spring-fed well. That’s right, it’s inside the house. It serves the swimming pool, fountain, and Koi pond. There’s also a generator. of course!

Spanish Eclectic
Spanish Eclectic
That beam of light comes from the turret!
Spanish Eclectic

“Each bedroom has a private set of staircases,” Coldwell Banker listing agent Lee Lamont said. ” There is a guest suite upstairs with a private balcony. The house is a throwback to classic Hollywood.”

Two weddings, that we can trace, took place in the huge back gardens with those incredible elevated walkways.

You have to wonder if Patsy Cline swam here.

When custom homes were built in the 1940s by folks that had money, they did not skimp on any detail and they build them to last.

This one-of-a-kind Spanish Eclectic at 8146 San Fernando Way is listed at only $1.695 million. You could not duplicate it today for that price.

If only walls could talk, we’d know if Elvis slept here!


Karen Eubank

Karen is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years and a professional writer for over 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying for his masters at The New England Conservatory of Music. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap.

Reader Interactions


  1. Mark Manley, Realtor says

    Spanish architecture is a true dream and it evokes a calming and relaxing lifestyle. I have made numerous attempts to go a bit more contemporary in the design in our home. I always end up going back to elements of rustic, spanish design. I guess its a natural attraction!

  2. June Doigg says

    You should have included the beautiful love story of the current owners and their beautiful and culturally diverse blended family.

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