Modernist Masterpiece

I got a bit giddy when I came across this Highland Park Modernist masterpiece designed by the legendary Bud Oglesby. As I go in search of a home for our Monday Morning Millionaire each week, I try to find something that is not only in the ultra-luxury price range but also has a story to tell.

Dallas has some of the finest residential architecture in the world. That fact often makes me pause and wonder why buyers so often settle for the mundane white box when there are homes like this Modernist masterpiece for sale. Architect-designed homes are timeless. Sure, you may need to update a bathroom or a kitchen, but you should do that on any house over 10 years old.

An architect-designed house is going to last forever, if — and that is a big if — there is a buyer that understands and values that home. It takes a certain level of taste, experience, and intelligence to appreciate a marvelous Modernist masterpiece. Fortunately, this is Dallas, and we have a lot of tasteful, intelligent buyers.

This Modernist masterpiece at 3709 Lexington Avenue was built for the Deals, who were patrons of the Dallas Museum of Art. It is widely believed to be the last residence Oglesby designed. In the 1993 Dallas Morning News obituary for Oglesby, architecture critic, David Dillon wrote the following:

“Honesty in materials, simplicity of form, sensitivity to place, this was the Oglesby canon, and it changed very little over the years.”

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Bluffview soft contemporary

When you can score an award-winning home, constructed by one of the best builders in Texas, move fast. Our Monday Morning Millionaire is a gorgeous Bluffview soft contemporary that was built by Phillip-Jennings. It’s also Phillip Fristoe’s (the Phillip in Phillip-Jennings) home.

Remember how often I tell you that homes owned by a builder, architect, or designer are deal sealers?
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Dilbeck Bluffview Estate

Nestled deep in the rolling hills of Bluffview lies one of the most enchanting homes you’ll ever find in Dallas. This Charles Dilbeck Bluffview estate has retained the whimsical charm that defines the architect. Built in 1935 with Dilbeck’s hallmark walk-in fireplaces, unique brick patterns, and vaulted and beamed ceilings, 4731 Wildwood Road is an architectural encyclopedia of detail. (more…)

Idyllic Reinvented Colonial Revival

Two famous architects, decades apart, have created an idyllic reinvented Colonial Revival home that oozes charm from every corner. Originally built by Hal Thomson in 1921, 3926 Potomac Avenue in Highland Park is one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever seen.

As the go-to architect of the era, Hal Thomson built many significant homes in Dallas. He was a master of every style, from Spanish Eclectic and Italianate to, of course, Colonial Revival. Of all the Thomson designs I’ve had the pleasure to write about, this is my favorite. It is such a classic fairytale of a home that it appears purpose-built for a movie. If you look up the location used for the original Father of the Bride, it shares a lot of the same romantic ambiance and incredible detailing.Idyllic Reinvented Colonial Revival

As the years pass, any historic home needs a refresh. Sometimes the respect for original architecture takes a back seat when owners have specific needs. When the current owner purchased this idyllic reinvented Colonial Revival, there was a singular focus on not just bringing it back to its former glory days, but also on renovating it into a family home that children would love.

Enter J. Wilson Fuqua, one of the leading architects in Dallas.

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luxury Craftsman

You would have never given 3816 Miramar Avenue a second look a few years ago. It was a 1915, plain-Jane, Prairie-style home that had been remodeled multiple times. It would have inevitably faced the wrecking ball if it were not for buyers that saw the potential and knew who could fulfill their vision. They hired the architectural team of Domiteaux & Baggett to reinvent this home entirely and make it into a luxury Craftsman that takes your breath away.

Before we get into the fantastic renovation, there’s an interesting bit of history on one of the former owners.

A well-known railroad man, W.G. Crush lived here until 1943. He is credited with the establishment of the Katy Railroad’s Highland Park Station. Yes, there was a railroad station in Highland Park!

Before the transformation. Plain-Jane indeed!

“When we met with the owners, they knew they did not want to tear down the home,” Mark Domiteaux said. “They were very involved in the research and wanted this home to be all it could be. We had them look at resources like California architects Greene and Greene’s work at the turn of the century, and that inspired what you see today.”

Domiteaux worked with The Robert Hopson Construction Group to turn this home into what is now a timeless luxury Craftsman. When they got started, they quickly realized they’d have to gut not only the entire interior, but also rebuild the exterior.

Domiteaux reminded me that during the Depression era, homes were seldom built to the highest standards as money and resources were scarce. Unfortunately, the brick and mortar on this home were disintegrating.

“We stripped it all off and rebuilt the house better than it ever was,” Domiteaux said. “We got the opportunity to make the house what it wanted to be originally.”

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Spanish Eclectic

When I spotted this Highland Park Modern Spanish Eclectic mansion I was, as they say in Britain, completely besotted. Although that’s a word generally used about people, we feel pretty deeply about the homes we write about at CandysDirt.com. So it’s not unusual for us to be utterly infatuated with a property like this gorgeous home at 3656 Stratford Avenue.

Entering this house is like stepping into one of the Santa Barbara Spanish Eclectics that have defined that area architecturally. Dallas has embraced this style since legendary architect Clifford Hutsell began building Spanish Eclectic homes in the 1920s. Since then we’ve seen the influence of Spanish Revival in practically every neighborhood in the city. Getting it right is another story. There are countless suburban examples of what I call “Mediterranean gone mad” that are truly awful. However, our Monday Morning Millionaire is a perfect example of the right way to design and build a modern Spanish Eclectic.
Spanish Eclectic

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Texas Modern masterpiece

How would you like to live in the heart of Highland Park and yet be so completely concealed from sight, your privacy is absolute? Take a peek behind the tall hedges of 3212 Dartmouth Avenue for a glimpse of a Texas Modern masterpiece with a rare provenance.

The legendary architect Frank Welch originally designed this home in 1978. As if that’s not enough to turn your head and make your heart flutter, this Texas Modern masterpiece was reinvented about ten years ago, by another famous Texan — AIA award-winning architect Max Levy.

In the 1970s, architects were pushing the envelope all over America. We saw the construction of innovative styles like Shed and A-Frame homes. It was an exciting time in architecture, and there were plenty of clients eager to be on the cutting edge. We’re lucky in Dallas that not only do some of these homes still stand, but owners maintain and improve the designs. One of the boldest moves made with this property was capturing the lot next door. Rather than expanding the home, the owner added to the privacy and sanctuary-like feel with stunning gardens.

That privacy was thoughtfully constructed by internationally-recognized landscape architect David Hocker, principal of Hocker Design Group (HDG). Hocker is noted for indigenous gardens. If you have been in Dallas for any length of time and value landscape design, you’ll know Hocker for his award-winning work on the 1926 Dallas Power & Light electrical substation which became an indoor and outdoor art exhibition space, guest artist’s residence, and not-for-profit organization.

There are so many things I love about this Texas Modern masterpiece, and the backstory is one of them. Listing agent David Griffin told me the current owner was looking at high-rises and could not find anything that suited him.

Then he saw this Texas Modern masterpiece.
Texas Modern

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Georgian mansion

Photography by Costa Christ Media

Our Monday Morning Millionaire is a grand, 1928 historic Highland Park Georgian mansion designed by Hal Thomson.

It’s getting harder and harder to find a historic home in Dallas that has avoided the bulldozer. People are so quick to tear down without thinking through why a house is still standing almost a century later.

It takes a sophisticated buyer to understand what provenance brings to the party and to realize you can no longer afford to build homes like 4209 Lorraine Avenue. This beautiful Georgian mansion is not only a masterpiece of original design, but it has also had a series of owners that have kept it up to date over the years.

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