Thomas Phifer Dallas

Thomas Phifer’s Dallas projects include the Klyde Warren Park Pavilion and Savor Restaurant.

Thomas Phifer

Thomas Phifer

Thomas Phifer has been called the “master of meticulous modernism,” whose work ranges from the Corning Museum in New York, the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, and the San Francisco corporate headquarters for LinkedIn, to Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park Pavilion and Rachofsky House. The New York City-based architect will be in Dallas to speak to the Dallas Architecture Forum.

Phifer is the Dallas Architecture Forum‘s featured lecturer at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23 at the Dallas Museum of Art. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for DMA members, and $5 for students.

That modernism is evident in his use of light “within a deceptively simple yet elegant design,” Forum Executive Director Nate Eudaly says, describing Phifer’s ability to connect people in man-made environments to their natural surroundings. “His widely celebrated and vast experience spans every scale of design and construction from large public institutions to personal residences,” Eudaly says.

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José Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City. Photo Courtesy of The Dallas Architecture Forum.

Celebrate architecture, design, and the urban environment alongside modern visionaries like internationally celebrated architect Alberto Kalach, Principal and Co-Founder of TAX Architects of Mexico City, September 11, 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Angelika Theatre at Mockingbird Station. The event is an exciting start to The Dallas Architecture Forum’s 2018-2019 season, and landing Kalach is a major coup for The Forum. He is an expert in the urban planning challenges of his native Mexico City – one of the largest cities in the world – which is of particular interest as Dallas attempts its first Comprehensive Housing Plan.

Alberto Kalach. Photo Courtesy of The Dallas Architecture Forum.

“Alberto Kalach is a visionary who has over thirty years of experience in studying the complex ecology and workings of his native Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world. His work explores the balance of the needs of society with nature and history, and seeks to create equity among neighborhoods of varying income levels, and to seamlessly merge communities with their surrounding environments,” stated Forum Executive Director Nate Eudaly.

“We believe Mr. Kalach’s vast experience and insights in urban planning and the design of various building types will be of great interest as Dallas attempts to implement its first comprehensive housing program, and North Texas experiences continued growth as one of the largest metropolitan areas in North America.”

Kalach is also known as the designer of the award-winning José Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City, which is the largest public library in Latin America.

For art and design lovers: Mark your calendars for Carol Willis on September 25 at the Dallas Museum of Art. She is the Founder and Director of The Skyscraper Museum in New York City, and her presentation will be in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition, Cult of the Machine: Precisionism and American Art. 

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Rehabilitation of the historic Knights of Pythias building in Deep Ellum is already underway, but developers are asking the City of Dallas to provide tax incentives to make the project more affordable. (Courtesy Photo)

For as long as I can remember, the Knights of Pythias building was a large painted gray mass of Beaux Arts architecture, hulking on the west end of Deep Ellum, boarded up and idle. When the historic rehabilitation began, it was wonderful to see the light gray paint give way to the gorgeous brick and stone underneath, unveiling the true character of this building. 
 
Of course, rehabilitation of historic structures isn’t cheap, and in the fight to maintain Dallas’ character, one of the best tools that cities have at their disposal are historic preservation tax exemptions and credits. While we bemoan the rash of teardowns and our city’s toothless measures to stay their razings, the key is making rehabilitation more economically viable than destroying the historic fabric of our city’s built environment. 
 
That’s why Preservation Dallas has put out the call to support tax exemption for the Knights of Pythias developers, Westdale Properties.
 

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Photo by Simon Luna photography

Corsicana invites you into their booming downtown and onto the porches of their historic Carriage District this weekend with their Inaugural Porchfest and Crafternoon. You may have heard of the Porchfest craze sweeping the nation musicians playing on grand porches of neighborhood homes for a family-friendly afternoon of socializing and entertainment. (more…)

Pictured: Surrey Circle Residence. Photo Credit: Dallas Architecture Forum

Now is your chance to see what goes on behind the curtain. The Dallas Architecture Forum will host its annual 365 Modern Living Cocktail Party Series starting Tuesday, June 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. Each evening will include a cocktail reception, hors d’oeuvres, and the rare opportunity to meet the design team behind some of the most significant modern residences in Dallas, including a very special property inside Urban Reserve near Lake Highlands, and the Rock Cliff and Surrey Circle Residences in Preston Hollow. Valet parking is provided, and business or cocktail attire suggested. Attendance is limited so guests are encouraged to purchase tickets early to reserve their spot.

Let’s take a closer look at the homes and the award-winning teams responsible for them.

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Drunk Brick

I’ve walked my dogs by this house at 1006 Clermont Street in Hollywood Heights for well over 20 years and always wondered about the brick mason that was in charge of the project. Was he wildly creative, or perhaps drunk on the job? That led me to do a ton of research trying to figure out this style of brickwork. It turns out the style is called Drunk Brick! (more…)

Original Hillcrest State Bank building peels back its skin

In 1930, the Hillcrest State Bank was formed. Doing well, as banks do, by 1938 they were able to open a George Dahl-designed location on Hillcrest Avenue between Daniel and Haynie avenues. In 1981, Hillcrest State Bank changed its name to Texas Commerce Bank.  In 1998, the name was changed again to Chase Bank of Texas and was folded into Chase Manhattan Bank in 2000.  In 2004, Ohio’s Bank One was acquired by Chase foreshadowing the bank’s headquarters move to Ohio in 2004 where it remains today.

As you can see, for all the name changes, this building never actually changed hands until the bank had abandoned it.  First to try redevelopment was Dallasite Albert Huddleston who envisioned a mixed-use project that never gained traction with University Park officials or neighbors.  After a decade he gave up and in 2015 local developer Jim Strode decided to try his luck, which eventually succeeded.

Along with ownership and name changes, there have been structural changes.  As the picture above hints, over the years there was some pretty major tinkering to this building.

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Join us Wednesday, July 19, 3:00 to 5:00 pm at 5350 South Dentwood

There is something about this house that just touches my soul. Maybe it’s that the man who built the home, Grady Vaughn, was the founder of the Dallas Petroleum Club, and he died just about the time I was born. Maybe it’s the parties that were thrown here in the 1950’s and 1960’s, with Hollywood celebs and flocks of live doves, which have left a perennial uplift to the air. Perhaps that is why my post on house reunions,

House Reunions: Yes, You Can Go Back Home… as Long as the House is Still Standing

won a NAREE award (National Association of Real Estate Editors) at last month’s annual conference in Denver. Here is the award winning post, written in the fall of 2016, about how the listing agents for 5350 South Dentwood oh-so-creatively created a family reunion, of sorts, to let the only two families who have ever lived in this magnificent home meet and wander down the terrazzo floors of memory lane.

Those agents would be Alan Press and Mark Woodling of United Real Estate Group. 

5350 South Dentwood, which is right across the street from former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller and Steve Wolen’s Old circa 1952 Preston Hollow estate, was built in 1951, by oilman Grady Vaughn who commissioned architect Robert Goodwin of Goodwin & Cavitt to design his waterfront dream home in  the honeypot of Preston Hollow. Here is much more about this magnificent estate, written by Sam Childers:

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