This fairytale Northern Hills stone cottage nestled deep in the trees, has everything I’d consider to be the essentials in a home: History, of course, beauty, privacy, and location. This home is minutes from Highland Park Village, the shops on Knox Street, the Arts District, and a few minutes walk from the Katy Trail.
But you’d never know it. In fact, if you didn’t know how to find it, Northern Hills would tax your best sleuthing endeavors. That’s on purpose. In 2009, the neighbors applied for and were granted, conservation district status. That’s a good thing because it has allowed the neighborhood to continue as the fairyland the developers intended.
The conservation district application lays out the history neatly:
Dr. John Cole originally owned 5,000 acres between what is now Central Expressway and the Trinity River. He gradually sold off the land for development but kept Northern Hills, a section in the very center of his original holdings. In 1920 Cole sold this land to the McNeny brothers, who bought it for a small development of prestigious homes. They required brick or hollow tile homes built in one of the fashionable, eclectic styles of the period: Spanish Colonial, Tudor, Georgia, and Mediterranean.
Overbrook runs just north of a steep ravine on the southern edge of the neighborhood, emphasizing the curve of the streets, the lush undergrowth, and the towering trees. With no through streets, there is an idyllic sense of neighborhood…
When the application was made, more than 50 percent of the owners had lived in Northern Hills for over 30 years. It’s not unusual to see these homes passed down through generations. Most of the 61 houses were built between 1920 and 1938, and no two are alike. The neighborhood is under an enormous canopy of mature trees, and yes those trees are a part of the protection plan of the conservation ordinance.
This Northern Hills stone cottage was built in 1925 by Guy Cahoon. He was an architect but is better known as a widely-respected commercial artist, one of the few who signed his drawings. His book Commercial Art was written and illustrated to help those beginning to practice the illustration trade. You can still find a copy of it today online. Cahoon may be better remembered for his 1933 book of Sketches of Dallas. However, only 300 copies were printed, so if you find one, it’s probably worth a good bit!
“It’s a beautifully preserved neighborhood that is an anomaly in the middle of the city, ” Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s listing agent LeeLee Gioa said. “There are only a few of these coveted little iconic neighborhoods in Dallas.”
Clearly, Cahoon was influenced by several architectural styles, including English and Norman. Using native red fieldstone, he combined it with tapestry brick and overlapping board to create just the right touch of rustic style, blending beautifully into the natural surroundings.
In 2002 the talented Dan Shipley created a masterful addition to this Northern Hills stone cottage. He brought it forward without losing any of the original charm, which is quite a feat.
His design received the 2002 D Magazine Residential Addition/Renovation Award. The home is now 4,621-square-feet with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a powder bath.
The home has a cozy library with a fireplace, a sunny gallery, and a sitting room open to the shaded rear grounds. The remodeled kitchen overlooks the gardens and is adjoined by the breakfast room and a beautiful deck.
The very spacious first floor master suite has a sitting area with enormous windows and doors overlooking the lush landscape.
“As one of the oldest homes in Northern Hills, this is a true landmark,” Gioa said. “With a spring-fed creek, you always hear the sound of water trickling. Oe of the most amazing things is you feel as if you are in a treehouse, wherever you are. The whole property simply glows at dusk. This home represents a scale and style of living that is both genuine and gracious.”
Leelee Gioa and Anne Goyer have 3604 Overbrook Drive listed for $2.5 million.
It’s a once-in-lifetime opportunity. Don’t miss it!