Best of 2020: This Majestic Mediterranean Mansion Stops Traffic Daily

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majestic Mediterranean mansion
You can now clearly see the marvelous Neo-Moorish inspired trim on the exterior.

Editor’s Note: This year has been a decade, right? So many things happened, lots of things were postponed, and houses continued to sell despite it all. While the team takes a hot minute this holiday season to recharge the ol’ Energizers, we’re serving up our very favorite stories from 2020. Enjoy!

Karen: This is always a tough call each year, but what defines the Dallas look, for me, is this majestic Mediterranean. It’s not just a gorgeous honey-stop-the-car mansion, it’s also steeped in Dallas history. The owners understood the home’s architectural significance. They preserved the character of the neighborhood by keeping the exterior intact and actually improving upon it. Then they created a fresh interior that is a necessity in keeping these beautiful homes relevant. Whenever a luxury home combines history, beauty, and the right updates, it’s simply the best in my book!

If you have ever driven down Turtle Creek Boulevard, you have seen this majestic Mediterranean mansion. And you know the first time you spotted it, you stopped traffic and stared because it’s a jaw-dropper

This was certainly not the case when Greg and Susan Baten purchased the home in 2007. I’ve ferreted out an old photo from MLS to show you how the original house compares to today’s beautiful estate.

However, it did begin life in 1938 as a gorgeous home.

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A Home For a Robust Social Calendar

A deep dive into the Dallas Morning News archives revealed this home was likely built for Ballard Young Burgher and his wife, Grace, who lived here for many years.

majestic Mediterranean mansion

Ballard was a real mover and shaker in his time. There are more than 7,000 entries about him in the archives. (No, I did not read them all!) He organized and became the president of Guardian Savings and Loan in 1928 and sat on Texas Bank and Trust Company’s board of directors. He became an entrepreneur with interests in oil, railroads, and real estate.

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His real estate developments include the Wilshire Park addition in Northeast Dallas, the development of Lisbon Acres and Liberty Heights in South Dallas, apartment complexes on Northwest Highway, and the Avondale addition in Oak Lawn.

The real estate gene was inherited from his father, who had the foresight to build the family home at the corner of Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn. In 1923 Burgher sold the family property and handled the transaction to develop an apartment hotel. You may know this anchor of Oak Lawn as the Omni Melrose Hotel.

Why we don’t have anything named after this man is beyond me. He appears to have done a great deal for the City of Dallas.

History Worth Saving

I think Ballard would be thrilled that his once graceful and impressive mansion was saved from the wrecking ball. Thankfully Susan has an eye for what’s worth saving, and a gift for understanding how to restore and remodel a home properly.

majestic Mediterranean mansion

When the Baten’s decided to purchase this majestic Mediterranean mansion, it was uninhabitable. The interiors were a mess, and the old roof was crumbling. Even though friends advised them against the undertaking, they were not deterred in the slightest. Working with Veritas Developers, the house was stripped down to the studs and interior spaces were reconfigured.

What arose from the dust was a majestic Mediterranean mansion with pristine white stucco walls topped off by that traffic-stopping bright blue tile roof.

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Susan created a refreshingly clean interior with a white base to showcase her marvelous art collection and gloriously eclectic sense of style.
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The formal dining room overlooks Turtle Creek.
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The music room retains all of the original doors and hardware.
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An addition to the back of the home took it up to 6,521 square feet, doubling the original size. It allowed for a large family room, and a principal suite upstairs. There are now four bedrooms and eight bathrooms. There is also a guest suite above the three-car garage.

It was important to keep as many of the original features as possible. To their credit, the couple was dedicated to that task.

“They had Casci Ornamental Plaster rebuild damaged molding and found the antique staircase railings at Nick Brock Antiques,” Compass listing agent Mark Godson said.

That staircase railing has a story as well. It’s signed by Hyman Blum. According to a decade-old article in the Dallas Morning News, Blum’s work can also be found in the Louvre in Paris. So, it’s an exceptional addition to this magnificent Mediterranean mansion.

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The principal suite features a sitting room, as well as double baths and closets.
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The backyard features a putting green and has plenty of room should you determine a pool is part of your future.

The Batens should be proud. The result of their hard work is the simple but significant fact that this magnificent Mediterranean mansion has become a Dallas architectural icon. D Magazine even selected it for their “Most Beautiful Homes” feature in 2017.

There is no doubt the Baten’s will miss their home.

“They have coffee on the big front patio every morning,” Godson said. “You get to know your neighbors as they jog by or walk dogs, and they have really enjoyed that front porch lifestyle.”

Godson has this magnificent Mediterranean mansion at 4001 Turtle Creek Boulevard, listed for S3.797 million.


Karen Eubank

Karen is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years and a professional writer for over 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying for his masters at The New England Conservatory of Music. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap.

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