home tourWe’ve been giving you all kinds of reasons to buy your tickets for the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association’s “Homes for the Holidays” home tour this Friday, but maybe you still haven’t purchased your tickets (a little birdie told me, by the way, that you can still get advance tickets online through Wednesday).

We’ve shown you the houses and highlighted all the good things the home tour does for public education in Highland Park ISD, and we’ve introduced you to a family whose home is featured on the tour.

This year’s co-chairs are Chelsey Baker, Nina Sachse, and Jane Wallingford. This year’s tour is Friday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Want to purchase tickets? Click here for more information.

But for once, your procrastination may pay off, because we have two tickets to give away for the home tour. Want to know how to win? Jump with me, won’t you? (more…)

Home tour

The Simpton family’s year-old home on University Boulevard is one of the homes featured on the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association’s “Homes for the Holidays” home tour, which is Dec. 7. (Photo courtesy Gittings)

Stephen and Abby Simpton’s home on University Boulevard, which is one of the homes in this year’s Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association’s “Homes for the Holidays” home tour,  is the seventh home the couple has built.

Abby, you see, really loves building homes. When they moved to San Antonio to Dallas, they began looking for the site for their next family home, and found it — with a 1951 cottage in poor condition sitting on it.

“We moved to Dallas about four years ago,” Abby said. They bought the lot while they were living in a townhome at first, and then moved into the home briefly while plans were being drawn for their new house. “Then we moved to a rental home in the Disney Streets while it was being built,” she said. “It took about 10 months to complete, so we were really pleased with the timeframe.”

The Simptons are a family of six — Stephen and Abby have four children: Luke, 17; Emma, 15; Julia, 14; and Anna Grace, 10.

But don’t expect the home you tour next month to be the Simpton’s final foray into the wide world of home building — Abby has plans for more.

“For 13 years, we owned and ran dental practices, and I spent a lot of time downstairs on my computer doing that. but now that we’ve sold them all, I get to do more of what i want to do — which is build houses,” Abby said. “In fact, we’ve started another project down the street with Ellen and Rob Grasso (of Ellen Grasso & Sons, who also built this home) — we’re building another home on University, and we’ve got that lot cleared, and the foundation framed.”

And from the 13” tall baseboards, the screened back porch, the 7” wide-plank white oak floors, and the shiplap and trim work throughout the home, you can immediately detect the theme the Simptons were going for — Southern Coastal.

Photo courtesy Katie Nixon

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home tourBuying a ticket for the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association’s Homes for the Holidays home tour  is not only a chance to tour some of the most beautiful homes in Highland Park ISD, it’s also a chance to support things like kindergarten Spanish program, instructional materials, books, teacher workshops and more with every step you take through the gorgeously decorated homes.

And it stands to reason that since the tour is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the annual event has also become one of the must-dos of Dallas, just like the Trains at NorthPark, lighting the tree, and queuing up for Santa.

But for the initiated, the ABPA is a nonprofit that supports current and future families of Armstrong and Bradfield elementary schools, through social, community outreach, and fundraising programs. That fundraising supports the kindergarten and first-grade classes at the two schools.

More than 400 member families take part in the association, too. And the ABPA Home for the Holidays Home Tour is the main fundraiser — 97 percent of all the money raised goes to the two schools.

Last year’s tour raised $75,000 for kindergarten and first-grade classes at both schools, with half the funds going to support the kindergarten Spanish program at Armstrong, and the other half purchasing instructional materials, books, technology, math manipulatives and teacher workshops for Bradfield.

This year’s co-chairs are Chelsey Baker, Nina Sachse, and Jane Wallingford. This year’s tour is Friday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 at the door. 

This year five amazing homes have been chosen for the tour, and we’re going to give you teeny sneak peeks at four of them, and a bigger look at another one (and the family that lives there), next week. Ready?
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 Dilbeck Triplets

6726 Lakewood Boulevard (All photos courtesy Jenifer McNeil Baker)

Every year we are completely amazed at what The Lakewood Early Childhood PTA (LECPTA) is able to deliver. Finding homes people want to tour, convincing owners to get their homes into tour-worthy shape, and let hordes of folks wander through — well, it’s a tall order. Yet, LECPTA has pulled it off for 42 years, and we can’t wait for this year’s Lakewood Home Festival because, let me tell you, it’s a humdinger! This year they have managed to score the famous Dilbeck Triplets for the first time in tour history!

We’d be excited to see any one of these Dilbeck Triplets on the Nov. 9-11 Lakewood Home Festival, but three at once has our hearts racing. One of the loveliest aspects of these Dilbeck Triplets is that the owners understand what they have purchased. They embrace these historic homes with open arms, hearts, and checkbooks! Each one of these Dilbeck Triplets has been lovingly cared for, updated, renovated, and received seamless additions. If you want to know more about Charles Dilbeck, one of Dallas’ most famous architects, check out our Dilbeck archives on CandysDirt.com.

If you want to see these beauties up close and personal — and you know you do — you can still purchase tickets to the Lakewood Home Festival, which features the annual auction party sponsored by Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate on Nov. 9, the candlelight tour on the evening of Nov. 10, and the Lakewood Home Festival tour on Nov. 10 and 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tour tickets cost $20 in advance, or you could win a pair on CandysDirt.com — stay tuned for the ticket giveaway next week!

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Junius Heights

The historic Junius Heights Church is just one stop on the Junius Heights Historic District’s Home Tour, which will be held Sunday Nov. 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 180 acres that make up the Junius Heights Historic District are rife with brick and mortar exemplars of Dallas history — and its annual home tour is always popular because of that. This year’s tour, which will be held next weekend, is no exception.

The tour will boast two homes that are on the National Register of Historic Places, a former hippie commune, a church, and a busy arts and crafts fair for anyone looking to get a jump on their holiday shopping by supporting local artists. The tour will be held Sunday, Nov. 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (more…)

Kessler House. Dallas, Texas. Image license: RG/D+B, Inc and Gayla Interiors Inc. © Copyright 2017 Benjamin Benschneider 

When Rene Gracia bought his Kessler Parkway home, everything was completely wrong with it. The floor plan didn’t work for modern family life, and the home itself didn’t take full advantage of the hilltop lot and treetop views it afforded. Not wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak, Gracia enlisted his firm, RG/D+B, and set to work to make the tired 1950s-era ranch into a modern home fit for family life.

The results speak for themselves, as Gracia’s work has netted his family’s home a spot on this weekend’s AIA Dallas Tour of Homes, the only citywide tour in Dallas curated exclusively by architects. The tour, which is slated for Saturday and Sunday, October 20-21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will include seven residences in neighborhoods all over the Dallas area. Oak Cliff, the Park Cities, Preston Hollow, Lake Highlands, and East Dallas will host the stops of this two-day, open-to-the-public tour highlighting the work of some of the city’s most talented architects and the area’s most innovative and outstanding residential design. 

Want to win one of two pairs of tickets courtesy of CandysDirt.com? Keep reading!

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Drawing property of UT Alexander Architectural Archives

By Donovan Westover
Special Contributor

The 1935 Walton House has always perched on the center of its vast Bluffview Estates lot, the landscape and grounds cascading down around it with a natural flow. Carol and James Walton selected a huge lot in Bluffview for their impressive 1930s home. At the time, Walton owned and ran City Wrecking and Trading Co., an early Dallas architectural demolition and salvage company.  He later expanded into supplying steel building products. It leads me to wonder if Charles Dilbeck did not use City Wrecking for his rustic architectural elements.  It would make sense.

Photography by Carolyn Brown

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Photo: Carolyn Brown

By Donovan Westover
Special Contributor

When I began working with Dilbeck connoisseurs Willis Winters and Jann Patterson Mackey on house selection for Preservation Dallas’ October 27th Fall Architectural Tour – Charles Dilbeck In Dallas, they stressed the need for us to feature a Cochran Heights home.  The neighborhood recently received a Texas Historical Commission marker recognizing it as a significant part of Texas history, based upon the numerous Dilbeck designed houses in the neighborhood.

 

Photo: Carolyn Brown

The entire neighborhood is fun and peculiar to immerse in, and the house we focused on is a super intact library of Dilbeck’s quirk.  So much so that the house still has the 1936 kitchen and bathroom!  While it may be the tour’s most modest Dilbeck house, it delivers a powerful punch.  The current stewards have taken incredible care of this little gem as only the third owners, and I can hear the cameras clicking away to capture all the surprising details.

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