This Texas Modern home in Highland Park is exciting on so many levels. Not the least of which is the home’s history.
It was originally built in 1967 for John Frederick Skelton Jr. and his wife Doris. Fred, as he was known, worked for the Texas Power and Light Company for 45 years, eventually becoming the CEO. The Skeltons were associates of the Dallas Museum of Art and Stradivarius patrons of the Dallas Symphony. As supporters of the arts, it is evident they had the house built for entertaining and to display an art collection.
What’s also evident is the architectural inspiration. This is a very Frank Welch-inspired home. When you see the old facade photo, it’s clear. Compare it to 3612 Euclid (built in 1965) and to 3201 Dartmouth (built in 1978) both designed by Welch. The man influenced everyone.
The integration of regionalism and modernism that this home exemplifies is best described in a passage pertaining to Welch in Great American Suburbs: The Homes of The Park Cities, one of our go-to reference tomes here at CandysDirt.com.
…the development and refinement of a regional vernacular style filtered through a modernist aesthetic that began with lyrical abstractions of the traditional Hill Country homestead….
That sums it up beautifully. There is no Texas architect building in this style that has not been influenced by the genius of Welch and of O’Neil Ford. The architect responsible for the original incarnation of this Highland Park Texas Modern is Roland Gommel Roessner. Roessner’s focus was on creating spaces that preserved the client’s privacy while maintaining an open plan for entertaining. That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It’s exactly what we embrace today.
Roessner was a man ahead of his time and there is no doubt he was influenced by his peers, but he also brought his immense talent to this home. To give you an idea of his place in history, his design for the George Thorne House in 1953 received Newsweek‘s 1955 House of the Year award.
The third inspiring level of this home is the fact that another firm, Brown Architects, reimagined this home in 2008. It takes a sensitive architectural firm to understand the historic importance of a home, incorporate the original design tenets, build on those, and present a home that suits the standards of our present buyer base. Their work achieved LEED Certified Silver status. I think Roessner would be pleased to see this new incarnation of what he began.
Even when you have a home steeped in architectural history, it takes a deft hand to comprehend and build upon the legacy. This Texas Modern is a complete success. It now stands at 6,756-square-feet with five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and two powder baths.
Everything about this Texas Modern is exciting. From the grand foyer, with a floating staircase, large enough for a sizable cocktail party, to the glass bridge walkway, it’s jaw-dropping.
“It feels like a home you would find in Laurel Canyon,” Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s listing agent Ashley Akin Pearl said. “It’s sexy, cool, and elegant. You feel like a movie star in this home!”