Quirky Monticello Fixer Upper at a Bargain Price

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Quirky? Perhaps I am doing this singular Monticello listing at 3741 Hamilton Avenue an injustice. The listing describes the style as eclectic. Whatever it is, it isn’t boring and in 1930, when this house was built, it must have been unusually eye catching.

Built on a large lot, at the corner of Hamilton Avenue and Dorothy Lane, the profile of the façade stakes out a presence on both streets with the entrance in the recess of a V.

A trio of sprightly barrel-vaulted arches springs forward on the Hamilton Avenue front while three pitched roofs seemingly float over a long masonry wall, enclosing the back, front Dorothy Lane. Incredibly the house has remained in the same family for ninety years.


The listing honestly admits to the need for upgrades and renovations, and window units here and there suggest that an expensive HVAC overhaul is on the to-do list for this Monticello home.

The 2,500-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath house is listed at near lot value, which may tempt a buyer to tear it down and rebuild. Such things do happen in this coveted Westside enclave. However there is so much good material here, the preservationist in me would love for a buyer to skillfully restore this unique abode.


The floors on the ground floor are hardwood with terrazzo on the second. Normally one might expect that arrangement to be reversed. Hm. Quirky.

Actually, the wood floors look to be in good condition.


Those sprightly barrel vaults rather gracefully intrude into the living room to house globe pendant light fixtures. The room is appropriately furnished in Knoll modern classics and good Persian rugs. The more one examines this residence, the more one detects a rather rich lifestyle replete with interesting objects, books, and art.


The listing counts the ground floor bedroom as the master-a current preference. Though pink is a trending color this year, I could forgive the demo of the adjacent bath tile. Something trite about the pink/blue combo.

But the blue fixtures are almost one of a kind and, I feel, it would be a real pity to lose them. Think to add modern, live brass hardware including towels bars. Perhaps a glass opalescent penny tile for the floors?

The kitchen fairly cries out for a reno and rework, but there is a generous amount of space to work with and it is plumbed for gas. Actually the existing slab-front cabinets could be retained, stripped and given an ebony stain to freshen them up. Modern brass hardware and, instead of same-ole-same-ole stainless appliances, how about a colorful, retro Big Chill refrigerator and a matching range?

The three upstairs bedrooms are accessed from an open corridor, which functions as a gallery of art, books, and objets trouvés —telling elements of a rich and fulfilled life.

Although the current master bedroom is on the first floor as previously stated, the largest bedroom — clocking in at 18 feet by 14 feet — is on the second floor with a large attached vintage bath. Another bedroom is now being used as a studio/office.

A screened porch off the stair landing overlooks the back garden. The covered pool, in the unraked and untended back, creates a sort of wistful Grey Gardens ambiance. Or, perhaps more hopefully, Sleeping Beauty’s realm, waiting to be reawakened and revived.

Tim D. Young is offering 3741 Hamilton Avenue for $465,000.


Eric Prokesh

Eric Prokesh is an interior designer whose work has appeared on HGTV, in books and publications including DHome, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, and House and Garden. In January 2005, HG named Eric one of the 50 tastemakers in America and DHome has included him as one of Dallas’ Best Designers for 10 years. Having lived most of his life in Dallas, he now calls Fort Worth home and is one of our experts on beautiful Fort Worth Dirt.

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