Petite Beauty in Mount Vernon Heights Packs Big Style Into 1,000 Square Feet |

Just east of Love Field Airport, you’ll find the petite beauty that is our Tuesday Two Hundred at 4731 Linnet Ln. With just over 1,000 square feet, it’s a smaller footprint, but recent renovations have packed a lot of function and style into that space, located near Lemmon Avenue and West Mockingbird Lane. 

This home has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1,014 square feet on one story, built in 1947.  


And it would be a Mark Molthan creation over near Strait Lane, on a cozy, secluded little court off of one of the most famous (and rubbernecked) streets in Dallas bearing the homes of Brint Ryan, Ross Perot, Phil Romano, Kenny Trout, and Dirk Nowitzki.

First, however, we start with a book. Most homes are marketed with sheets called graphics — either a piece of plain paper onto which is printed information about the home, or a glossy brochure depicting the home with mancured photos and vital statistics like 36-24-36.

Well 4939 Manson Court, baby, gets a book!

The Hunter Dehn Group is the real estate arm of Mark Molthan’s Platinum Home Builders. Hunter has created an i-book to market this pad that I think will soon be replicated by all the tip-top ‘gents in town, a total new standard to appeal to luxury buyers. Of course, Mickey Munir has been doing this for years with his homes, I love his books. 4939 Mansion Court was built by Mark Molthan in 2011 and boasts almost 30,000 square feet of the ultimate living space including so many extras I have to devote a paragraph to each one. This is truly the most unique home in Dallas in 2012. When we top it, well, I’ll be there and bring you in.

The home was designed by starchitect Robbie Fusch with gorgeous soft interiors by Ashley Astelford. There are nine bedrooms, nine full baths and four half baths. In addition to all the usual components of an over-the-top luxury home — multiple formals, casuals, study, library, gourmet kitchen, keeping room (that’s a morning noon and evening room), three wet bars, pantry the size of Sam’s (the owners have five kiddos, do the math) outdoor kitchen and living area, media room, garages, pool and pool house —  you get some true firsts for Dallas.

There is geo thermal cooling and heating, and open cell foam insulation, used by only the very best builders in Dallas, like those on our Candy’s Approved Builder list, for the most energy efficiency possible. This is how these boys build these giants but keep the heating and A/C bills low even in August.

Even the attic space in this palace is insulated.

A half regulation-sized indoor basketball court.

A master bedroom suite of 2,200 square feet, larger than the size of the average American HOME! The spa-esque master bath suite has one for him, one for her, and was patterned after Mark’s Luxe Showhome over in the Creeks of Preston Hollow.

Not just eight bedrooms, but eight deluxe bedroom suites, or children’s retreats. What is a children’s retreat? So glad you asked! These suites are bigger than any master you’ve ever had, try 30 feet by 20 feet with features like study nooks, sitting rooms, spa baths. Let me put it this way: any Dallas socialite would kill to have one of the kid’s rooms in this house. The model airplanes flying in the boys room look like little Lears in mid flight.

Outdoor tiled pool the size of the one at the Four Season with firepit and pool house.

Nanny and guest quarters, and even guest quarters for the nanny.

An underground media room for total sound absorption. Only the rabbits and moles will hear the surround sound.

A 3700 square foot garage that holds 14 cars and is twice the size of the average American home. For God’s sake you could hold the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance here.

A secondary generator so you will never, ever lose juice while sitting at the computer.

Exquisite finish out in every molecule.

Almost four verdant green acres with surprise water fountains in an inner courtyard.

The home will have a coming out party of sorts for the top 40 agents in Dallas later this week, and I will be there to bring you even more fabulous details so stay tuned, stay very tuned! Asking price is $29,900,000 which is, as of this moment, the most expensive real estate listing in Dallas.

John and Teresa Amend’s Mount Vernon at 4009 West Lawther Drive was snapped up in this week’s second version of Global Real Estate on Steroids, aka “Mansion” in the Wall Street Journal. You see it on the second page of the special section, then you see it here on the on line report.

“Dallas estate asks $24.9 million.” (Not sure if this is paywall or not, since I subscribe.)

They group it with “houses you know you can’t afford”. Well, that’s for sure. But the story makes it sound like it’s just been listed — not true. Mount Vernon was first put in MLS last February at $29.5 million, as I reportedThe price was reduced to $24.9 million in September. Here’s what the Journal editors wrote today:

“A historic Dallas estate has listed for $24.9 million. Completed in 1930, the 10-acre estate is a replica of George Washington’s Mount Vernon and was the home of oil tycoon H.L. Hunt and his children—including Lamar Hunt, creator of the Super Bowl—from 1930 to 2000. On White Rock Lake, eight miles from downtown, the property has a 10,500-square-foot Georgian Colonial with five bedrooms and nine bathrooms. There’s also a 4,800-square-foot air-conditioned car showroom that doubles as a ballroom, and a 5,000-square-foot bowling center with a four-lane bowling alley and a lighted tennis court. A 2,400-square-foot lower level has a 10,000 bottle cellar, accessible by elevator.

“The current owners are John and Teresa Amend, who bought the home in 2000 and have since renovated and expanded it, including adding a four-bedroom guesthouse. Mr. Amend is a commercial-real-estate consultant. The home has been quietly shopped for about a year without an asking price.”

Even better, when I checked MLS, Mount Vernon had been listed with Allie Beth April 6, 2010 for a whopping $32,500,000. Seems they took a little break, then put her back on the market about a year later. How quiet is that shopping?

UPDATE: Confirmed with Allie Beth Allman. She is listing Mt. Vernon (not yet in MLS) at a sales price of $29,500,000.

Breaking news. This is NOT CONFIRMED yet with Pierce or Allie Beth, but I’ve been burning the phone lines asking. I just saw a press release come across my screen indicating that Allie Beth is once again listing Mount Vernon, the beautiful, stately, historic Dallas estate on White Rock Lake built by oilman and Dallas icon H.L. Hunt and owned by John and Teresa Amend.

On the market AGAIN you say? Yes, there is quite a bit of scuttlebutt not only to the estate, but the sales history. Flash back to 2008 when the Dallas Morning News first reported that the Hunt estate was up for sale. Think asking price was $50 millionish. ( no kidding!) The News was told that it would be listed by Eleanor Mowery Sheets. Then, the News had to recant that story because, as it turns out, Mt. Vernon was NOT listed with EMS. (The Sheets’ PR agent at the time, Keith Nix, told me Nicky Sheets had told him it was their “hip pocket”. But they were having all those tax issues, etc. etc. please let’s not go there.) Here is the link to the recant but it won’t go anywhere because of the DMN paywall. Then last April, 2010, we heard that Mt. Vernon was listed with Allie Beth for $32.5 million, making it the most expensive house on the market at the time and ever in Dallas.

Well, it was on the market, but then it was off. The reason was quite simple as Teresa Amend told me herself: she wanted the home for their son’s wedding. We were so happy for that wedding because last fall, the Amends generously handed Mt. Vernon over to Glenn Close for a magnificent event to raise funds for what will be her signature work, Albert Nobbs, a feature film adaptation of George Moore’s  Irish short story of the same name.  (Full disclosure: Glenn is related to us through marriage.) Glenn said when she played the role of Albert off Broadway twenty years ago, she felt a connection that never left her. The story, she said, blind-sided her, and it will blind-side everyone who sees it.

“It’s a story about what people do to survive,” she told me, “About what faces we put on to survive… and there’s an element of redemption.”

Nobbs will start rolling in November in Dublin, Ireland, and also stars Amanda Seyfried and Orlando Bloom. The bulk of the funding for this movie came from Dallas, and it all started right there at Mt. Vernon.

While there may only may be a handful of Dallas rich who could afford to buy Mt. Vernon, I suspect it might be an out-of town billionaire moving to Texas for our economy and lack of a state income tax. The home also beats out Troy Aikman’s $24 million Highland Park wonder at being the priciest piece of dirt in town. My guestimate: $28 million. Never mind that DCAD has it appraised around $11 million: John Amend is in real estate!

The Press release:

January, 1938, legendary oilman H.L. Hunt moved into the neoclassical Georgian home built in 1930. Additions during the six epochal decades of the Hunt family included air conditioning, one of Dallas’ first residential swimming pools, pool house, tennis courts, guest house and garage. Ever the visionaries, the Hunts planted specimen live oak and pecan trees, that continue to provide grace and splendor to the property all these years later.

Current owners John and Teresa Amend began total and meticulous renovation of the main house and outbuildings in 2000, completing the extensive project in 2002. With the vision of creating an unmatched versatile site for entertaining on any scale, a new two story guest house and showroom garage were also built. And in 2004, a spectacular bowling center was added on the grounds.

The warm and inviting fourteen room manor comprises approximately 10,500 square feet plus a 2,700 square foot basement with controlled wine storage, large laundry area, and an expansive storage area, served by the mansion’s elevator.

A few feet north of the main house, the charming 4,200 square foot two-story guest house has a media room, separate wine tasting and dining room on the first level, four bedrooms with baths and full kitchen on the second floor.

Adjacent to the guest house, is a 5,000 square foot air conditioned showroom garage and event venue. Styled as a carriage house and designed with cathedral ceilings, this event center features scored, stained and buffed concrete floors, with capacity for 16 vehicles or seated dining for 250 guests as well as two collapsible and removable NCAA glass basketball goals. Upon completion of the estate renovation in 2002, the Dallas Historical Society hosted a black tie seated dinner in the new carriage house, where members of the Hunt family shared their memories of Dallas’ most famous home.

West of the main house, a wide stone walkway leads past the lighted tennis courts to a 1,200 square foot pool house. The shared patio has an outdoor kitchen with grill, large fireplace and professional wood fired Renato pizza oven.

Next to the pool house is the incredible 5,000 square foot bowling center, among the largest, private professionally equipped centers in the nation. Built with guidance from the Brunswick Corporation, this fabulous entertainment venue has four regulation lanes, state of the art automatic pin setters and electronic scoring, multiple flat screen televisions, and a digital photo-booth. Additional amenities include two Enomatic four bottle Argon gas wine dispensers and a Touchtunes digital jukebox, currently with over 500,000 songs available through a concert hall quality sound system – two firsts in private residential installations. Over 400 events have been held in this popular and unique venue.

Following its inaugural opening event in 2004, Dallas retail legend Neiman Marcus sought permission to feature the unique bowling facility as the exceptionally exclusive and highly publicized “His and Hers” gift in their famed Christmas catalog. Neiman Marcus then chose Mt. Vernon as the host site for its spectacular Christmas Wish Book launch event.

The pool area, with an expansive limestone deck, is another fabulous picturesque setting for entertaining or relaxing. Bordering the pool site are a putting green, limestone fireplace and a romantic gazebo.

“The original Mount Vernon in Virginia is the most popular historic estate in the United States,” said Ms. Allman. “This larger replica is among Dallas’ and Texas’ preeminent estates – and rightfully so. Many tales from the nation’s mythological oil industry originated within these walls.”

The current owners’ enduring commitment to tradition and quality means that essential elements of the original structure remain, including foot-thick concrete walls, marble fireplaces and murals, while daily comfort is assured with technology and amenities for the next century. With its majestic unobstructed view of landmark White Rock Lake, the setting and tradition are irreplaceable.

My daughter and son-in-law in Mt. Vernon's bowling alley

Mt Vernon classicWow, big day for Lakewood real estate news. First broker peak at the Stanley Marcus house, and word that Allie Beth Allman has dramatically lowered the asking price of Mt. Vernon. It is now a cool $19 million. That’s a whopping ten million less than the estate’s original asking price of $29 million. No, wait. In April 2010, Mt. Vernon had an asking of $32, 500,000. So that is a $13,500,000 drop! What with Troy’s home on Highland sold, which was NOT in MLS, Mt. Vernon is now one of the highest priced listings in MLS. Only higher: 4939 Manson Court off Strait Lane at $29,995,000 and Dans Bois Crete over on Inwood at $19,500,000. The Crespi Estate, owned by Tom and Cinda Hicks, is still the highest priced home by a longshot in Dallas at $135 million, but it is NOT in MLS. Doug Newby has been marketing the Crespi estate bigtime to folks with private jets. Mt Vernon long shot

4009 West Lawther is a landmark Dallas estate on ten acres overlooking White Rock Lake. The main home has 10,511 square feet that were totally renovated and expanded in 2002. There are elevator accesses on all three floors, five bedrooms (the master is 20 by 20 feet), 9 and a half baths, myriad living areas, a 2,400 square foot basement with wine cellar and storage, a two-story guest house, heated pool, pool house, four-lane bowling center, a 16 car concours auto facility aka a very fancy garage, lighted tennis courts, putting green, gazebo, outdoor grill and kitchen area with two fireplaces and pizza oven.

Mt Vernon classic Mt Vernon bowling

Mt Vernon LR

Mt Vernon study

Mt Vernon putting

Mt Vernon pool

Mt Vernon master

Mt Vernon reading

Mt Vernon family

My friend John Burgdorf, who writes the North Texas Luxury Blog and is one of the sharpest real estate minds out there, says that around 11am Sunday morning, Dallas Fire Rescue crews responded to 4009 W. Lawther Drive in Dallas along White Rock Lake for a report of a structure fire.  Oh boy, that’s  “Mount Vernon”, the original H.L. Hunt estate just listed by Allie Beth Allman for $29,500,000. Yikes! I just got the photos!

Luckily, John says the report was only a report, nothing else.  The Dallas Fire Rescue Active Calls sheet did not list the structure fire as “working”, confirmation that the 10,702 sq. foot residence was not on fire. The home is not on MLS not on the website just yet. But I spoke with Allie Beth Allman last week and it is indeed on the market!


Troy Aikman just purchased this home on St. Johns for $4.3 million. 

This just in from the lovely, amazing, and talented Alan Peppard: Troy Aikman has bought his second Highland Park home in three months, this time opting for the 6,000-square-foot former home of reporter and author Jane Wolfe.

The mansion on St. Johns was purchased by Aikman for a confirmed $4.3 million. Aikman’s last purchase was an 11,000-square-foot Mount Vernon manse built by Tatum Brown on Normandy that is just incredible inside and out, with beautiful landscaping by Harold Leidner.

3801 Normandy


Aikman’s home on Normandy was built by Tatum Brown and features a lush landscape by Harold Leidner

While the home is gorgeous and has entertained and hosted notables such as former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, the 73-year-old red brick estate may not be long for this world. From Peppard:

Aikman has long expressed to friends his plan to build a new home and the Wolfe home sits on a stunning promontory overlooking the Connor Lake section of Turtle Creek.

Even more interesting is how the transaction between Aikman and Wolfe was completed. Wolfe, whose family owns the Columbus Dispatch and is considered the first family of Ohio, is also a well-known author and definitely has a flair for the dramatic.

It took an exchange of autographs to seal the purchase. Wolfe is the author of The Murchisons, a book chronicling the family of Dallas Cowboys founder Clint Murchison Jr.

“When we were back and forth negotiating the price, he asked me to sign a copy of my Murchison book,” she says. “I asked him for a signed Troy Aikman jersey.”

To celebrate the closing, Troy and Jane and her daughter, Lee Harris, had dinner at Fireside Pies.
“He gave me a big, beautiful jersey,” Jane says, “and I gave him a big Murchison book inscribed, “To the best Cowboy ever.”

Fabulous story! And now we must wonder, will Troy hire Tatum Brown, a Approved Builder, to construct his new Highland Park home overlooking Turtle Creek? In the meantime, check out these photos of Wolfe’s beautiful home, complete with mirrored ceilings and leopard-print carpet on the staircase!

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Dallas real estate agents, take note! Now is your chance to win complimentary airfare and a five-day stay at a luxury hotel on the Amalfi Coast. All you have to do is bring the buyer who will appreciate the views from this Chapel Hill listing. It’s a brilliant strategy from seasoned real estate agent Susan Baldwin with Allie Beth Allman.

She is pulling out all the stops to market her gem of a listing at 4636 Chapel Hill.  The six-bedroom, six-full-and-four-half-bathroom custom estate sits on 1.6 acres of prime White Rock Lake frontage with ambiance and views reminiscent of – you guessed it – the Amalfi Coast. According to Baldwin, the stipulation for the giveaway is as follows:

“For the agent who brings the buyer, and closes a successful sale in 2019, airfare and hotel for five days at a luxury hotel. Someplace restful and peaceful, with beautiful views!”

In fact, Baldwin is hosting a rather special Amalfi Coast event at the estate this weekend, exclusively for friends, family and people who are interested, particularly agents. Want to get in on the action and take a page from Baldwin’s book? Read on for all the juicy details in our exclusive interview on how this fantastic marketing idea came about, plus details on how to snag an invite to her fabulous event.