It has a different aesthetic than many of the nation’s older, more traditional Flemish Renaissance, Art Deco, Georgian cum French Renaissance city halls: it’s edgy contemporary. Personally, I think the exterior needs a good steam cleaning  — interiors, too! But our I.M. Pei-designed Dallas City Hall, which has been around and talked about since 1978, was just named one of the top five city halls in the U.S. by CURBED, and for very god reason.

Plans for a new city hall in Dallas, Texas, had been in the works since the 1940s, but they didn’t come into fruition until after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. In an effort to revitalize Dallas’s reputation after the tragedy, the city launched the Goals for Dallas program which included new city and federal offices.

The fifth iteration of Dallas’s City Hall opened in 1978, and the city tapped the renowned modern architect I.M. Pei to design the building. The result was a concrete and angled structure that remains controversial today. Giant oval columns support an inverted pyramid of concrete and glass, and the building also provides shade during the hot summer months.

Some dislike the concrete and somewhat austere aesthetic; others praise the building for its innovation and creativity.

It is a unique city hall. City halls, says CURBED, “are often located at the cultural and physical nexuses of urban centers, creating large gathering places for everything from celebrations to protests. These are some of the most beautiful—and interesting—structures in the city.” 

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This was one of our most popular posts in 2016, and you can clearly see why. From round beds to the turquoise bathroom to the pristine pink Caddie in the driveway, oh yes and the Kip’s Big Boy by the pool, this home was listed for $665,000 and has been reduced now to $630,000. The home, built in 1954, garnered a huge following and thousands of page-views. We know other sites and publications love to copy us, too, and this one was stolen by practically everyone. Think of 11016 Pinocchio tonight when you are ringing in the New Year, especially if you do so in a mid century modern with martinis!

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Museum Tower (3)

Word just in that the ink is dry on yet another contract pushing Museum Tower’s sales up over the 60% point, as I predicted it would soon be back in May, when we did our PartyLine show there.

“With homes closed and in escrow, Museum Tower is over 60% sold on both sale-able square foot basis and unit basis,” says Steve Sandborg, Managing Director, Sales & Operations.

Meanwhile, the Dow is coming back up as we realize that Brexit isn’t going to be so painful, not to us at least. Shall we take a wager on when MT hits 70% in sales? I’m gonna say around September 30….

 

 

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I read about this Tuesday: why would the city spend $4.6 million to put a hideous pedestrian walkway connecting an empty lot to an auto parts store across the street? Is this what our city geniuses envision for Preston Center?

Robert Wilonsky did some heavy digging on the “bridge to nowhere” for the Dallas Morning News, and says it’s pretty awful. So I went over to take a look for myself late Wednesday afternoon.

He’s right, it’s awful and ugly. Wilonsky says he lives nearby — he lives in Sparkman, near where we used to live on Ainsworth, between Royal Lane and Walnut Hill near Marsh. So I kind of know this area, or what it used to be. Used to drive Harry Hines to take my daughter to gymnastics, and my husband still likes some high cholesterol breakfast place over there we used to frequent during Parkland residency/skinnier days. And once upon a time a Chinese family who were his patients fed us royally at the Happy Family restaurant on Walnut Hill Lane. Happy story — their daughter is now a physician in Houston. The area really hasn’t changed that much, good food, still seedy. This pedestrian walkway bridge is anchored on the east by a dilapidated shopping center where I used to take my typewriter for repairs.

There, that’s aging me! That store is long gone.

In fact, as I drove by today, I thought gee, maybe there’s some Medical District type residential dirt turning going on over here I’m missing.

Across the street from the bridge, south west corner, is a cemetery.

The ugliest part of it is the handicap ramp that zig zags down on either side to be ADA compliant.

IMG_2144Who thought of this thing? Why is it here? (more…)

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It was high steppin’ time for a Dallas Realtors to hit the runway September 23 at Allie-Coosh, a high end ladies boutique store in the heart of Snider Plaza. Allie-Coosh is owned by the beautiful Paulette Martsolf, who has been in the SAME location, offering customized, designer retail to Dallas women for 23 years! If you know anything about retail, that is nothing short of a miracle. Plus her designs and fabrics are incredible. Not only does Paulette offer custom clothes (and these are outfits you will not see on everyone else at the Kidney luncheon), she has amazing (functional) handbags, stunning scarves, the most incredible jewelry (necklaces!) and even couture bridal design services for the bride, mother of the bride and brides maids.

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Sponsors Devin Rambie LegacyTexas Title, Dwell With Dignity Founders Lisa Robinson & Kim Turner, Bob and Jennifer Johnson, Wallick & Volk Mortgage
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Kelly Logsdon Rush, Ebby Halliday

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Originally posted on December 7, 2011, when this blog was just a toddler, PaigeBrooke Farm remains one of the most amazing properties in North Texas. Not only is it a ranch house originally designed by one of Dallas’ most famous architects, it was commissioned by a prominent Dallas family. Even more: the home was lovingly restored in 1977 after it was wrapped and moved in six pieces to its present land location — that’s right! This 4500 square foot house was wrapped up like a delicate holiday ornament in Tyvek and moved on steel beams where it was put back together, melded, enhanced, and perfected in a beautiful, country like setting on 18 acres. You have no idea you are near civilization. As one writer described the setting: it’s an “ahhh experience”. The most amazing listing in Dallas/Fort Worth: PaigeBrooke Farm in Westlake. I drove out to see this spread on one crisp, fall day and am still in a trance – maybe why it took me 1500 words to describe. And I could write 1500 more. Then listed with Maribeth Peters of Allie Beth Allman, it is now listed with Jeff Watson of Briggs Freeman-Sotheby’s International Realty for $7,900,000.

Who moves homes to preserve them? Scott and Kelly Bradley, that’s who.

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PaigeBrooke is minutes from D/FW Airport and a brief jog from Westlake Academy. The rambling, half-timbered structure was designed by Charles Dilbeck in 1938, and is chock full of artisian handiwork and delightful surprises in almost every room — VERY Dilbeck,  who said each room in a home should have a surprise element. There are surprises, and Dallas history everywhere. The home was built originally for Ted Dealey, a publisher of the Dallas Morning News and member of a Dallas publishing family dynasty.

Dilbeck, of course, is the architect known for romantic Tudors and French country homes sprinkled in the Park Cities and a few in North Dallas: Harry Potter style before Harry was a Potter. His homes have a signature English farmhouse feel to them, and are built rambling, as if they have been added onto. Dilbeck, for example, always said that in authentic cottages you could always find the original log cabin that the home started from. (PaigeBrooke has one.) He also designed homes without hallways, so you have to go into one room to get to another, as if the house had been added on to randomly. It creates a very organic feel.

PaigeBrooke is classic Dilbeck, built with rustic brick, stone, tile and wood. There are those signature Dilbeck features such as rounded chimneys, overhanging balconies, cupolas and turrets — even a bell tower. Dilbeck was an eco-friendly architect before green was vogue. He favored salvaged and recycled materials. Hence, the pinkish stone throughout this house came from an old slaughterhouse in Fort Worth, and the handhewn beams were made from original Union Terminal timbers in Fort Worth.

Dilbeck designed several country estates. PaigeBrooke’s owners, Scott and Kelly Bradley, remain close friends with his widow, Pat Dilbeck. She and her daughter Elaine Dilbeck MacIntire say Paigebrook is their favorite of Dilbeck’s houses, and it was his favorite, too:

“I believe this was my husband’s favorite home,” Pat Dilbeck told The Dallas Morning News (subscription recquired). “He created so many pretty homes, but this one was so beautiful, being out in the country in such a lovely setting.”

A Dilbeck grandson even asked if he could propose to his fiancee on the property, to get in a little family history. (more…)

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Update 10:59 a.m: Kelly tells me the CBS producers have postponed the story for a week or two, because they didn’t want to cut the piece to fit into a shortened time slot. We will keep you posted!
This is a home that has never left my heart, and never will. I have always thought that homes are like lovers — you have relationships with them over the years, and each one builds your heart, creates a page in your life book. Some are novels — like a long, solid marriage — some are short stories, some are horror stories. Some are lovers you just admire from afar and think wistfully, what if?

Paigebrook is that house for me. Apparently, Charles Osgood thought so, too. It’s an historical North Texas home/ranch that was so loved and revered by it’s owners they moved it, all 4500 plus square feet, piece by piece, wrapped in Tyvek, for a whole lot of money to keep the historical integrity intact and give it a new breath of life. That’s why the owner, Kelly Bradley, tells me Charles Osgood is doing a feature on Moving Houses Sunday morning and her Charles Stevens Dilbeck home is in that segment.  It runs on the CBS Sunday Morning News program at 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.

“We’ve lived in this home for 38 years now,” says Kelly, “and loved it so much that we moved it in order to preserve it, from one Westlake location to another, in our same town.”
It’s an incredible story, probably one of the most incredible house moving stories in the nation.

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Confab

 

It’s not too late to get yourself over to the Dallas City Performance Hall (park at One Arts, easier) for CONFAB: A Dallas parks Foundation Conversation. Sponsored this year by the fine folks at The Advocate Magazine, this is the third annual Arts District worthy conversation series about parks, trails and public spaces – all benefiting the Dallas Parks Foundation.

This year’s speakers include John H. Alschuler from New York with Friends of the High Line, and he’ll be joined by Elissa Hoagland Izmailyan, for a chat about the economic impact of trails.

Willis Winters with Dallas Parks & Recreation will talk about plans to create a massive circuit of Dallas trails. Which means I can get on my Northaven Trail and go just about anywhere in Dallas. On foot. With proper shoes. Which is how God meant us to walk — not in Loubie’s!

The event starts tonight at 7pm in the City Performance Hall. Tickets are available at www.ticketdfw.com or buy at door.

 

CONFAB: A Dallas Parks Foundation Conversation

Thursday, May 14, 2015 – 7PM

Tickets: $13

Dallas City Performance Hall

2520 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201

Cash Bar | Casual Cocktail Attire

$5 surface parking available near DCPH