Our Monday Morning Millionaire is a beautiful Bachman Creek contemporary with quite the story. We kick off our tale with the architect and designer, Mr. Dallas.
John Astin Perkins was a nationally recognized architect and interior designer for over 70 years. It was during the height of his popularity in the 1960s and ’70s, that he was dubbed “Mr. Dallas.”
Perkins was the darling of the movers and shakers of the city. His client list included Ross Perot, Perry Bass, and Clint Murchison, as well as high-end specialty retailers and country clubs. His work was featured in just about every design magazine you can imagine, including Architectural Digest and House Beautiful.
This is the most extraordinary historic Craftsman bungalow you will find in Dallas. It’s such an excellent example that it was one of the nominating houses which helped to secure historic district status for Winnetka Heights in 1981.
This historic Craftsman bungalow was built for J.P. Evans in 1911. Evans is what we refer to in Texas as a “big butter and egg man.” He was an attorney, and according to several sources, a secretary to the mayor and a vice president for the board of the First Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas. So, it’s not surprising Evans could afford what was the most popular style of home at the time. He and his wife Margaret raised seven children in this 2,163-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. I think it’s a safe bet that it was not this large in 1911 and most likely had only one bathroom. The Evanses added onto the back of the house as their brood grew, and lived here until 1952.
This historic Craftsman bungalow was constructed by a local builder, J.W. Palmer, and is the only home in the Winnetka Heights Historic District to have five different exterior elements. A rarely seen combination of river rock and clinker brick was used to create the front wall. The house is a combination of stucco, shingles, and wood siding.
There are a lot of beautiful homes in Dallas, but when you see as many as I do, you tend to get a bit jaded. So, it takes something special to make me sit up and take notice. And this University Park Country French home did just that.
What it has, in spades, is character. That is what is so sadly lacking in new construction today. The big white box home that is so popular now is attractive, of course, but there is simply nothing of note in a white house with white marble, white cabinetry, tile, and white walls. It’s clean and lovely, but somewhat sterile.
When we think about where to go on vacation, we seek out interesting, often quirky hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals. We do that because they are charming and have character. So, why not live in an environment that gives you what your vacation property offers? This Country French home will make you feel as if you are on vacation every day!
I drive by Coram Deo regularly, just to stare at it. I’ve seen a lot of stately homes all over the world, but this one continues to fascinate me.
Coram Deo was built for Donald and Mary Catherine Huffines in 2005. Yes, the same Don Huffines who was a Texas state senator and runs Huffines Communities with his twin brother, Phillip. The Huffines named their home Coram Deo, which means “in the presence of God” in Latin.
If you are not familiar with the architectural style, it’s because we seldom see a Richardsonian Romanesque mansion today. It’s an expensive style to build, so it’s generally seen in large public buildings. The Trinity Church in Boston, The American Museum of Natural History in New York, and our own Old Red Courthouse are all excellent examples of the style named after architect Henry Hobson Richardson.
Because this is a style that offers a strong sense of stability, permanency, and individuality, it was not long before it became popular among the titans of industry in the late 1800s. The Cupples House in Saint Louis, Missouri, or the James J. Hill estate in St. Paul, Minneapolis, could well have been the inspiration for Coram Deo.
Architectural walking tours are something we generally participate in when we travel to Europe. Learning about the culture and history of a city from a local allows for a more exciting and intimate experience. It’s also a more enriching way to learn about a place than you’d get from a travel guide or, God forbid, in a huge tour group.
I just returned from Prague and Vienna. On a day trip to Bratislava, I took an architectural walking tour that was a highlight of the trip, and it got me thinking about Dallas. We live in an architecturally significant city. However, we seldom take the time to treat our home town with the same respect we treat other major cities of the world. Then I remembered, Jay Cantrell is trying to rectify that.
Cantrell is an architecture teacher, artist, and entrepreneur who lives in the Kirby Building. To say he is deeply passionate about Dallas architecture is putting it mildly. Cantrell is intent on changing the perception of architecture in Dallas.
Almost a year ago, just before Thanksgiving, he launched Architectural walking tours of downtown Dallas.
“I’d done a fellowship in Paris and regularly took my colleagues to tour the beautiful architecture,” Cantrell said. “I missed that and thought if I could do it in Paris, I could do architectural walking tours here.”
The seed was planted and took root on social media. He created a Facebook page for people to sign up. It was an immediate success.
“I was not expecting it to be this big,” Cantrell said. “There happened to be a reporter on the first architectural walking tour, so word got out!”
When you think of the Lakewood Home Festival’s annual tour, what comes to mind? For me, I envision stately Tudors, charming Austin stone cottages, and maybe a classic Colonial. But a modern treehouse never crossed my mind — until today.
Hang on to your Stetsons, y’all. This is a modern treehouse that will blow your mind.
Hollywood Heights draws people that love to remodel, update, improve, and of course, preserve history. This stone-embellished Tudor cottage is a perfect example of that.
Here’s a little back story, in case you are reading about Hollywood Heights for the first time. This neighborhood is home to one of the largest collections of 1920s stone-embellished Tudor cottages in America. It also has Craftsman, Minimal Traditional, Monterrey, Spanish, and French Eclectic houses, and two fabulous and extremely rare Pueblo-style homes.
An enormous ivy-covered stucco wall is all you can see from the street. Behind it lies not only a secret garden but also perhaps the most mysterious abode you will ever find in Dallas.
Once inside the massive, carved wooden door, you cannot help but be delighted. A courtyard leads to the home, which is almost completely wrapped in glass. While it may seem to be a bit of a contradiction to be both transparent and mysterious, it most definitely is both.
The house was built in 1988 by the owner of a glass manufacturing company. I can’t help but think he must have read The Secret Garden as a child and kept it in mind when constructing this mysterious abode. The exterior stucco wall was created to provide maximum privacy. Few people have any idea of what is behind it or who lives there now.
But I’m going to tell you. And you no longer have to imagine what lies behind the wall, and what’s inside.