When a historic Turtle Creek estate goes on the market for the first time in 21 years, it’s almost as if a hush falls over our real estate world. Then it’s a mad scramble to be among the first to get a foot in the door and see it.
You will not be disappointed. This is a real gem.
The houses that line Turtle Creek are among the most beautiful in Dallas, surrounded by lush landscape — the park’s azaleas are legendary. Without a doubt, it is one of the most coveted neighborhoods in the city and has been since it was created.
In the late 1800s, Colonel Henry Exall and his pal, civic leader J. T. Trezevant traveled to Philadelphia looking for investors to help them finance the creation of Highland Park. They returned with the needed money and with inspiration that would help to define Dallas. They’d studied the Philadelphia parks system and were keen on the idea of a parkway along Turtle Creek. The authors of Great American Suburbs, The Homes of the Park Cities, found the following quote from Trezevant:
A matter that forcibly struck Mr. Exall and myself was the necessity for parks in Dallas … Turtle Creek presents greater natural attractiveness than the stream along which the Quaker city has arranged her drive …every yard of it could be made a sylvan delight … in ten years, the roadway on each side of the steam would be the most beautiful drive in all the broad state.”
I think Trevezant and Exall would be extremely pleased that their vision came to fruition, for indeed, Turtle Creek is the most beautiful drive in all the broad state, and the homes along it are sylvan delights.
This Turtle Creek historic estate is a perfect example. Because of Exall and his fellow developer’s foresight, this neighborhood’s beauty drew the prominent and wealthy gentleman of the era to build their family homes.
Thomas Broad was commissioned to design this home for Royal A. Ferris, Jr. in 1945. Broad will long be remembered as his firm Broad & Nelson are responsible for the design of the Masonic Temple and the Love Field Air Terminal. Broad was a member of the first graduating class of the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin in 1915, a director and of the Dallas Chapter of the AIA, and a Fellow of the AIA.
In other words, he was one of the go-to architects of the era.
Ferris Jr. was president of Browning-Ferris Machinery Company. Ferris Plaza, in front of Union Station, was named for his father, who was a banker, a civic leader, and one of the original directors of the State Fair. If you have not figured it out yet, Royal Lane was named for him.
For the past 21 years, the same family has owned this gorgeous historic Turtle Creek estate. I like to think Broad would have been delighted that noted architect and UT alum Overton Shelmire, FAIA, took up the mantle to help the present owners meticulously restore, renovate, and enhance this home. You see, Mrs. Broad continued to live here until the 1990s, so despite this home being cutting-edge in its day, by 1999, it was ready for a refresh. Shelmire did a phenomenal job honoring Broad’s work while bringing this 5,694-square-foot historic Turtle Creek estate up to today’s standards.
In 2008, Mark Barry of Barry Bull Ballas was tapped to do another kitchen design, this time more in keeping with the home’s historical tone. He also reworked the entryway and the wrought iron and glass front door. With four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two powder baths, a study, a game room, an exercise room, a smart home system, and an elevator, it offers everything a family could possibly need or want in a home today.
Bonick Landscaping served the original vision of Trezevant and Exall by enhancing the gorgeous grounds and pool with serene gardens.
“It’s a sanctuary in the city,” Allie Beth Allman listing agent Rachel Trowbridge said. “It’s such a serene and comfortable home. Every window has a beautiful view. There are towering Magnolias, and I’ve counted at least 14 Japanese Maples. Every inch of this estate has a purpose, from the pool and water wall to the formal and vegetable gardens.
Trowbridge has 4125 Turtle Creek Boulevard listed for $6.85 million. Remember how fast estates of this caliber are moving today. Also remember, when a home has served only two families in 74 years, it means it works, and a home that works for a family has a value that far exceeds the list price.