Articles by

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson lives in a 1961 Fox and Jacobs home with her husband, a second-grader, and Conrad Bain the dog. If she won the lottery, she'd by an E. Faye Jones home. She's taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Online News Association, the Education Writers Association, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She doesn't like lima beans or the word moist.

09/29/19 9:55am
Dallas Heritage Village

Photos courtesy Dallas Heritage Village

Last week, the Dallas Heritage Village announced that it was closing the Blum House indefinitely until it could be repaired and rehabbed, causing a flurry of questions — and rumors — about the organization and the state of the Blum House and the other structures at the Old City Park that comprise the museum.

We sat down for a lengthy interview with DHV executive director Melissa Prycer to talk about the state of the Blum House, the intricacies of caring for historic structures, and how the organization’s funding has changed since its inception.

CandysDirt: Unlike your run-of-the-mill home that needs maintenance, these homes are museum pieces and have to be maintained and rehabbed differently. Is that where the bigger price tag comes in to play?

Prycer:  “Yes absolutely. So this is true of every structure at Dallas Heritage Village. We can’t buy anything off the shelf. So whenever we are replacing wood, generally speaking, we’re having that specially milled. And you know we’ve got a great relationship with Davis-Hawn Lumber, and they do provide a discount, but they still do you know, charge us — it costs them money too. There are a lot of misconceptions about historic preservation, but I think the biggest one is that we can just go to Home Depot to get, say, the siding for one of our historic homes.

Even the really basic lumber is not going to be the right dimensions to match what is there. So then when you have a house like the Blum House with a lot of really intricate gingerbread work and of course each of those porch spindles is fancy it adds up. And the other thing is that the roof is metal shingles which interlock, and they’re not super common. (more…)

09/28/19 9:45am

mockingbirdThe M Streets are popular — it’s not unusual to see homes in the area snapped up quicker than they can get listed. And while its proximity to Lower Greenville is part of its selling point, we posit that the other selling point is its neighborhood school — Mockingbird Elementary.

What do parents love about Mockingbird? When we asked, the diversity was mentioned a lot. The school’s commitment to the hearing-impaired community through its partnership with the Dallas Regional School for the Deaf is also often brought up as well. All of that contributes to what many feel to be a terrific campus culture that culminates in the school’s motto, “Friendship.”

And many parents and alumni will also mention the school’s garden, which has morphed from its more humble beginnings in 1996 to a 20,000 square foot outdoor science lab complete with gardens, wildscape, greenhouse, pond, and more.

(more…)

09/28/19 9:00am

State ThomasPerched right at the edge of Uptown and State Thomas, this two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath brownstone townhome on North Hall Street is close to plenty of fun, but also gated and safe. 

It’s also a healthy 1,909 square feet of living space, making it a pretty spacious option for anyone looking for the zero maintenance of a townhome but the roominess of a detached home.

And, according to Realtor Kelly Gurnee with Clay Stapp + Co., it’s turnkey — you can back that moving truck up, unload and arrange the furniture, and be ready to go, with no honey-dos to wade through before it’s yours.

One of the biggest selling features is the massive rooftop deck with downtown views and plenty of room for conversational seating, dining, and even that grill.  (more…)

09/25/19 9:00am

starterI’m gonna call it, and you’re probably gonna argue with me, but this week’s Wednesday WTF is a listing for a great starter home where the Realtor has done something that has been done to death.

So, meet this cute little starter home in Florida. As with everything in Florida, it seems normal until it’s not normal but yadda yadda yadda, real talk, it’s normal for once.

And it stays normal.

“So why is this normal starter house in the WTF this week?” you ask.

Because of this. (more…)

09/23/19 9:55am

It’s only been on the market for 10 days, but it’s hard to imagine that someone won’t be ready soon to snap up this Santa Barbara-style Mediterranean on Beverly Drive — it’s just that inviting an oasis.

The five-bedroom, eight-bath home at 3204 Beverly Drive was originally built in 2002, but in 2015 it was completely reimagined by Los Angeles-based Maienza-Wilson, who redesigned the home, Caroline Summers of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s said, “from foundation to fringe.”

(more…)

09/23/19 9:45am

cookbooksWe checked out Amazon for Texas (or Texas-inspired) cookbooks perfect for the person who loves hitting the kitchen. Note: CandysDirt.com may collect a small commission or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are priced correctly and in stock at the time of publication.

Whether it’s a new kitchen (or new to them) kitchen, one of the best housewarming gifts you can give the person whose eyes glaze over when they hit Sur le Table and can’t pass a Wusthof display without slowing to a stop is a cookbook. And when that kitchen is in Texas, what better way to say welcome than a cookbook conceived in the Lone Star State?

While there are many, we found a few that are already on our bookshelves. Do you own any of these? If not, it might just be time to treat yourself, too. (more…)

09/22/19 9:55am
Blum

Photos courtesy Dallas Heritage Village

  • The Blum House has suffered ongoing deferred maintenance, Dallas Heritage Village says
  • It will cost around $650,000 to repair and restore it, according to estimates

Preservationists and history buffs awoke Saturday to alarming news — The Blum House, which sits at the Dallas Heritage Village in Old City Park — was being closed to the public indefinitely due to deferred maintenance.

Although DHV executive director Melissa Prycer posted the news Friday on the organization’s blog, most didn’t actually find out until Saturday morning, when the blog post and pictures of the decaying structure were shared on Facebook.

In the blog post, Prycer said that the staff has been concerned about the deterioration of the rapidly aging Victorian.

(more…)

09/21/19 9:40am
Marsalis

Photo courtesy Dallas ISD

On Friday, 20 Dallas ISD schools — including Marsalis Elementary — got extremely exciting news: They had been chosen for a $50,000 innovation grant that would allow them to start new programs and utilize new education models.

We first told readers about the  Innovation Engine Grant Program last month, when the district announced it was accepting applications from schools. The grant, which was specifically for neighborhood schools, allowed the Office of Transformation and Innovation to choose 20 schools to receive the seed money for their programs.

Marsalis Elementary, which will explore STEAM instruction programs, also just recently added a debate team for its fifth-graders after becoming one of 16 schools selected to pilot the new elementary debate program. (more…)