Seldom have I seen a house so flawlessly restored and updated. Preservation Dallas thought so too. Last year they selected this Kessler Park Spanish Eclectic home as a recipient of one of their coveted Preservation Achievement Awards.
This gorgeous Kessler Park Spanish Eclectic was built in 1925 for Alex A. Greer and his wife, Clara. Greer was a plastering contractor, so the coved ceilings and plaster details found inside this home are his handiwork. The house was built with a true masonry structure. That means no wood stud exterior walls. The roof is Ludowici clay tile, and original features inside the home include a Calco tile fireplace with their famous peacock tiles.
As you find with historic homes like this, they don’t change hands often.
The Pierce family lived here for 50 years and did a great job of maintaining it. Over the years, the home had undergone a few remodeling projects, including the kitchen and main bathroom in the 1980s. The original breakfast room was turned into a downstairs bathroom, and a rear porch was added.
Enter Chris Hickman, who bought the home from the Pierce family in 2014.
Yes, our Chris Hickman, the Realtor. He and his partner, David Moxley, lived in the house for some time before remodeling, which is smart. You have to let a house speak to you and see how life unfolds in it before you start a remodel.
The application to Preservation Dallas sums their efforts up nicely.
The goal of the remodel in 2016-17 was to preserve the exterior and main spaces: living, dining, entry hall, and the three bedrooms, while adding on a large entertaining kitchen open to a family room, a dining porch, and a master bath and closet. Circulation through the main floor and a connection to the addition was a challenge due to the location of the existing small kitchen. The solution was to remove the porch addition and to replace the original kitchen location with a wide hallway that opens up the circulation from the entry hall to the addition, connecting all the major rooms, old and new.
All of the original finishes were restored in the main rooms. New oak flooring was milled in a narrow width for the addition to match the original. Door and window casings were reproduced in poplar with the same profile as the originals. The thick plaster texture was patched and also copied throughout the addition. The “miracle” style interior doors were re-used and refinished where necessary to match the original stain. A six-month search culminated in locating enough Ludowici roof tiles in a similar color blend to cover the addition. All of the electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems were replaced – a challenge with solid masonry exterior walls while trying to retain the original plaster. New archways in the style of the originals were added to connect spaces.
More design freedom was taken in the areas previously remodeled in the 1980s. The breakfast room/bathroom became a laundry and butler’s pantry. The main bath was tiled in Calacatta Gold marble. Its hex floor tiles are a nod to the damaged original tiles found during demolition, and the ceiling was coved to match the other older areas of the home. The guest bath tucked under the stairs was slightly enlarged and features a new stone mosaic floor.
The resulting home is a blend of 1920’s character with the conveniences of the newer construction of this century.
The result, in my opinion, is drop-dead gorgeousness!
Hickman credits Moxley with the vision of the house and ensuring the large family room and kitchen addition was seamless. The duo wanted to make sure every detail in the home’s addition related to the original architecture. They even found tile for the new fireplace that has the same embossed images you would have seen in the 1920s.
“We wanted the addition to feel as if it has always been here,” Hickman said. They succeeded beyond all expectations because guests regularly comment that it’s surprising to find a house from this era with such a large family room!
The addition to this Kessler Park Spanish Eclectic home puts it at 3,385 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a powder bath. The former owners installed a glass greenhouse for their orchids that still stands in the backyard next to the guest quarters.
“Our favorite area of the house is the kitchen,” Hickman said. “It’s a great place to entertain. We set the laundry room up to function as a bar for parties, and the way the kitchen and family room flow onto the back porch feels like one big room. I’m going to miss the neighbor’s most of all. Our house is a revolving door. Everyone is here for potluck and happy hour on Friday nights. It’s such an easy place to gather, and I’ll miss that a lot.”
Chris Hickman and Donald Moxley did an incredible job with the renovation of their 1925 home in Kessler Park. They were able to preserve the exterior and main spaces while updating the work done to the house in the 1980s remodel.David Preziosi, Executive Director of Preservation Dallas
Susan Schweidel with The Chris Hickman Group at Ebby Halliday has this completely transformed Kessler Park Spanish Eclectic at 1116 N. Canterbury Court, listed for $ 1.395 million.