DeCarla Anderson Gives Lessons on Selling a Dallas Castle With Historic Pedigree

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Chateau des Grotteaux is a literal castle at the corner of Gaston and West Shore. It’s such a uniquely magnificent home with a steep (but justified) price tag that listing agent DeCarla Anderson and the previous owner knew it was going to take a minute to sell.

Throughout the two-year listing, Anderson met every agent on the property and provided a personal tour. She said she’s basically 6941 Gaston Avenue’s unofficial docent.

We know a bit about the property, too, and if you need a refresher, well, we’ll hit some highlights here, but you can also revisit the well-penned article by Donovan Westover. 

A Royally Cool Lakewood Compound

This house … it’s more than a house, it’s a magical paradise set back behind a stone wall. It’s as close to a compound as you’re going to get in the city and it is remarkable.

In 1928, Ed Cox purchased the land and set out to build his most glorious home. Cut to the stock market crashing, booing and wooing, and R.L. Thornton and his wife, Mary, purchased the unfinished home, completed construction, and lived happily ever after.

Until the next-in-line-previous owner purchased the home, that is.

At that point it was 2005 and he had his work cut out from him. But in the grand tradition of visionaries, he had an idea plus money (which always helps) and got to work. His plan was to work his way outside in and he did just that. He replaced the fallen wall, removed the 85-year-old original roof and replaced it with an updated, top-notch, come-at-me-torrential-rain-and-hail, slate tile roof. 

He lovingly restored the windows and kept everything true to the castle’s vibe. 

A Cave With Prohibition-Era History

One of the features that we can’t NOT talk about is the cave. YES, THE CAVE. In fact, that’s what Chateau des Grotteaux means, The House of the Cave. The mouth of the cave is still intact on the property, but the actual tunnel is long gone. It’s rumored to have once led to White Rock Lake for some good ol’ fashion booze smuggling during the Prohibition Era.

Guess what else you can find on the property? A SECRET GARDEN. Yeah, that’s right, Anne of Green Gables, there’s an UNDERGROUND SECRET GARDEN where flowers and plants and shrubs really bloom and according to Anderson, “it’s pretty spectacular.” 

Now we’ve not just qualified, but overqualified how special this place really is, and how it would obviously take some time to find just the right buyer. And like we said, the restoration was an undertaking. The previous owner did TONS of work, but there’s always more to do so the key was finding a buyer with a couple of. million dollars that also wanted to invest in completing the project, putting their stamp on it and then hopefully inviting us all over because WE REALLY WANT TO SEE WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO, CURRENT OWNERS. 

Anderson said when it came to marketing the property, they cast a wide net. In fact, over the years, 6941 Gaston Avenue was featured in articles in New York and Los Angeles and there was a lot of interest from Chicago and Atlanta of all places.

There were times when Chateau des Grotteaux received international attention, which just adds to the delight that the actual buyer was right here all along. They live in Dallas and they have grand plans to keep the integrity of the castle and simply complete the renovation and updating that began 15 years ago. 

Anderson said you don’t always know what will become of a property, but in this case it’s everything we could imagine. No tear downs. No scrapes. Just a new set of owners that appreciates the history and (architecture) of this magnificent beast. 

Open invitation to the new owners: Send us updates on your interiors. We pretty much speak for all of Dallas when we say, “PLEASE!?”

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Nikki Barringer

Nikki Lott Barringer is a licensed real estate agent at Ebby Halliday/Preston-Keller. She’s also a freelance writer that loves interior design and architecture. Though she will never remember if it’s Midcentury or mid-century and honestly, she’s okay with that. Other fun facts: Nikki loves cake for breakfast, shopping online and powerwalking her pants off. She’s also much younger than her hobbies would lead you to believe.

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