When Leonard W. Volk developed Brookside Estates in the 1920s, the goal was to offer luxury estates on large scenic lots. It was an immensely successful endeavor, and what we now refer to as Volk Estates (in honor of its’ founder) is now a neighborhood of some of the finest estates in America.
This particular luxury estate was built in 1959 for Sissy Wynne Thompson. Yes, she is part of the Wynne dynasty. If you are new to Dallas, her brothers made lasting impacts on the city. Bedford Wynne was a co-founder of the Dallas Cowboys, and Angus Wynne Jr. developed the Six Flags theme parks.
The trouble with purchasing a home today is we don’t want to think about anything. What we long for is a house that’s been thoroughly thought out. It should have character, plenty of room, and privacy. I’m happy to say this luxury estate delivers all three necessities and then some.
When I spotted this exquisite home a few days ago, it was clear just from looking at the photos that the owners loved it. Little did I know how much, however.
Rarely does a seller write a love letter about their home, but that’s precisely what they did, and Allie Beth Allman listing agent Alex Perry was kind enough to send it to me.
The present owners took the home to the studs in 2012. They worked with award-winning architects Spitzmiller & Norris of Atlanta, noted for their decades-long design collaboration with Blackberry Farm, on transforming both the interior and exterior of the home.
Here is a snippet of that love letter:
We used the very highest quality materials, including architectural elements imported from London, Amsterdam, Austria, France, Italy and New York, such as a mantel that belonged to William Randolph Hearst, a bar made from the bed of the last King of Poland, and 18th-century hand-pegged parquet wood floors salvaged from European estates in France and Austria. Many of these items were purchased from prestigious auction houses, such as Christie’s, in London, Amsterdam, and New York.
The result is, as the owners wrote, “a magical estate meant to give the feeling of being transported from the hustle of the city to a peaceful, quiet country retreat.”
I wish I had room to reprint all 16 pages of their very detailed love letter, but I will share what they said about one of my favorite rooms. Of course, it’s the lounge.
Just past the family room is the cozy lounge, inspired by the Harvard Club in New York. It features a precisely designed and installed floor cut from full slabs of marble, a barrel-vaulted and coffered ceiling with a lighted cupola, and a large skylight with neoclassical fretwork and antiqued German glass. It also features a large bay window enclave with a beautiful view of the South Lawn, real brass rods and curtain rings, café curtain sheers, chic Holland & Sherry cashmere, and wool drapes trimmed with a Scalamandré braid.
The fireplace contains a beautiful brass art light and elegant, restrained neoclassical trim and millwork; it also features a custom wood and limestone mantel with a marble surround and an antique hand-carved wood panel incorporated into the frieze of the mantel. The bar counters, cut from extra-long slabs of serpentine stone, have an inset bar sink, disposal, and a polished nickel Barber Wilsons gooseneck faucet. The bar also has a handsome, real brass footrail, a Sub-Zero ice maker, a Sub-Zero beverage center, an Asko dishwasher, and ample cabinets and drawers. The lounge has in-ceiling speakers and is television ready. The lounge also has an amazing pair of custom steel doors adorned with clear leaded panels and real bronze hardware. The barback and surrounding trim feature incredible hand-carved wood details, a painted ivory crest, and a regal bronze eagle. The barback was fashioned from an antique bed that reportedly belonged to the last King of Poland, which the current owners purchased from a major auction house in order to fashion it into the estate’s bar.
Homes that have been so meticulously cared for and loved rarely come along. This is indeed a find.