charming classic cottage

Laura Bowden and her husband, Michael Shake, have preservation imprinted on their hearts. Their charming classic cottage in the Kings Highway Conservation District is a testament to that.

“I need a T-shirt that says, ‘Save All the Old Houses,’ ” Bowden said. She and her husband are from the Southeast, and Bowden grew up in a home with a historic designation, so she has always had an appreciation for old houses.

The couple was drawn to the Kings Highway Conservation District because of the beautiful topography, and of course, the older homes. When they spotted this charming classic cottage, it felt like home. The enormous southern magnolia in the front yard sealed the deal.

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Ford midcentury modern

Photos: Steven Reed Photography

Want to catch lightning in a bottle? You have the rare opportunity to buy an O’Neil Ford Midcentury Modern that just hit MLS. If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a thousand times: When you have a chance to buy an architect-designed home, do it!

Preservation Dallas deemed the home to be one of O’Neil Ford’s most important designs in Texas. So, with that stamp of approval, you cannot go wrong. First, a primer on O’Neil Ford:

O’Neil Ford is widely recognized as one of Texas’ most celebrated 20th-century architects. He designed most of the University of Dallas campus in Irving; Braniff Memorial Tower, the Braniff Graduate Center, the Gorman Lecture Center, parts of the art village, the Haggar University Center, and the Haggerty Science Building. San Antonio, his home base, is covered in his work: the renovation of La Villita, the campus of Trinity University, the campus of Saint Mary’s Hall, the University of Texas at San Antonio Main Campus, and the Tower of the Americas.

He also created buildings for Skidmore College in upstate New York and for Texas Instruments. O’Neil Ford completed the design of the building of the Museum of Western Art in Kerrville in the Texas Hill Country, shortly before his death in 1982. His sturdy structures always utilized brick, glass, and wood, and were brilliantly attuned to their physical settings.

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Lakewood Hutsell Mansion

When John Angell emailed me photos of this iconic Lakewood Hutsell mansion yesterday morning, I almost spit out my coffee. Yes, I was that excited. You see, these architecturally significant, historically important, and delightfully eclectic homes are not often for sale.

I was sure I had written about this Lakewood Hutsell before because I’ve seen and written about a lot of homes designed by this amazing architect.

I was wrong.

What had me fooled was the rarity of the outdoor curtains that hang on either side of the large arched stained glass window. And the balcony, and the piqué assiette courtyard floor, and the stained glass. Let’s face it. This beauty is almost the sister of the Hutsell at 7035 Lakewood Boulevard, making it a close copy of the home the architect built for himself. I’m not at all surprised that an old Hutsell fan like me was fooled, because repetition is present in all this genius designed.

Lakewood Hutsell Mansion

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Queen Anne Victorian

You know a home is special when Preservation Dallas deems it worthy of an award. This Queen Anne Victorian home in the Peak’s Suburban Addition neighborhood of Old East Dallas is one of the winners of the 20th annual Preservation Achievement Awards this year.

However, Dallas is the real winner.

Preserving Dallas homes is an uphill battle. Generally, the value of the dirt a home sits on in this city supersedes any regard for history. But with great institutions like Preservation Dallas, talented builders, and owners that understand why preservation and restoration are crucial to our city, we are making strides. One of the best examples is this lovely Queen Anne Victorian at 1007 Moreland Avenue.

It was built in 1902 for Jacob Ullman, a well-known Decatur and Dallas businessman who immigrated from Germany. He and his wife Nettie lived in this Peak Suburban Addition Queen Anne Victorian — known today as Ullman House — with their young daughters. Ullman died in 1913, and his family continued to live in the house until 1919.
Queen Anne Victorian

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American Foursquare

There homes that define America. The Colonial, the Ranch, and the American Foursquare come to mind immediately. The American Foursquare was popular from the 1890s to the 1930s and is arguably the most iconic of American styles. And do we have a beauty for you today!

… a square house of dependable proportions and solid, honest construction in a country where a square deal was offered by then- President Theodore Roosevelt. From it’s very beginning, it was perceived as an American type and style.

The American Foursquare is like the perfect vanilla cake. The batter is rich, always flavorful, and turns out a dependable base for decoration. It was one of the most popular homes in the early 20th century because it was so simple. American Foursquares were also energy efficient and economical to build.

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midcentury cottage

The groovy swing is the perfect touch!

When I spotted this 1961 midcentury cottage in Sparkman Club Estates, I could not summon an immediate connection to a Dallas architect. That’s because it was designed, as many homes are, by a builder.

We remember architects. It’s the builders of our city that are often overlooked, or completely forgotten. I’m going to rectify that today and tell you a bit about not only this adorable midcentury cottage but also this excellent builder — Gordon Nichols.

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Highland Park Spanish Revival

This historic Highland Park Spanish Revival could have been bulldozed. Thankfully, a smart builder saved it.

Several of the homes on Fairway Avenue have met unjust fates, and that’s a shame. Preservation is never out of the question. It simply takes a builder that has insight, integrity, and inspiration.

Fortunately, for this Highland Park Spanish Revival, at 4538 Fairway Avenue, that builder was Josh Zielke, owner of Josh Zielke Homes. Zielke also builds new homes, but he is known for spotting great old houses and saving them.
Highland Park Spanish Revival

Let’s step you back in time a bit. Frank Witchell built this house. Witchell was a partner with Otto Lang. Their firm, Lang and Witchell, was a leader in construction in Dallas during the first half of the twentieth century.

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American Craftsman

Breanna and Matt King didn’t realize they were urban pioneers. They just know what they want, and they go for it. So 10 years ago, when they saw this classic American Craftsman in Arlington Heights at 1841 Hillcrest Street, they took a leap of faith. They knew this was a diamond in the rough.

Rough may be putting it mildly. The exterior was all painted the same muddy white, so none of the craftsman detail showed up. The previous owners were smokers, which brought a whole raft of problems. Popcorn ceilings and fabric walls completed the picture.

“My dad begged us not to buy this house,” Breanna said. “But we had a vision!”American Craftsman

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