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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 Historic Spanish Colonial

There are homes in my Hollywood Heights neighborhood that we all keep an eye on. That’s because we secretly long to own them. I’d venture to say pretty much everyone I know has lusted after this historic Spanish Colonial at 918 Valencia. The charming 1938 white stucco home trimmed in blue could just as easily be on Ibiza or in one of the white villages of Cadiz and Malaga. It’s that authentic.
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Eagle Ford

Photos: Courtesy Preservation Dallas

When we come across a preservation success story like the Eagle Ford School, we take heart that Dallas is regaining its historic soul. There’s honestly not enough champagne to drown our sorrows over the homes and buildings we’ve seen recklessly torn down.

But, today we are celebrating the imminent granting of landmark status to the Eagle Ford School. So, we are going to regale you with some tales that include Model Ts, a legendary train robber, and the notorious criminals Bonnie and Clyde.

Eagle Ford

The Eagle Ford School was in a dramatic state of disrepair.

There is much that is historically significant about this little schoolhouse built in 1923 atop Chalk Hill Road in West Dallas. To give you an idea, the application for landmark status is 28 pages long. It was written by preservationist architect Marcel Quimby who summarized the importance of the school beautifully:

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Historic Texas Ranch

If there were ever a case for preservation, this 1932 University Park historic Texas ranch at 3805 McFarlin Boulevard is it. 

Legendary architect David R. Williams designed the home, which sits on 1.15 acres overlooking Turtle Creek, for then University Park mayor Elbert Williams. It’s been referred to as the Williams house for decades. You can decide which Williams it’s named after.

Historic Texas Ranch

The front stair is an exposed structural beam masterpiece.

Williams, the architect, is known as the father of Texas Regionalism, and this historic Texas ranch is the most notable example of this style. Texas Regionalism came about because Williams was observant, and recognized the beauty of simplicity.

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In the mid-1940s, not long after World War II ended, a woman moved into the Munger Place home at 710 Dumas Street. Her two sisters lived on the same block.  She would remain there seven decades until leaving for an assisted living facility last year.

When she moved out, the 1921-built home still had many of its original elements, including double-hung windows with wavy glass, and beveled glass exterior and interior doors.  It was also in need of significant repairs, making it an ideal project for Steel Toe Stiletto, the general contracting company owned by Tam Pham.

“Tam is a true custom builder,” Allie Beth Allman & Associates’ Gia Marshello said. “What makes her unique is that she goes into these dilapidated properties and makes them gorgeous.”

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Tudor Manor House

This historic Tudor manor house in Lakewood is what I refer to as a once-in-a-lifetime home. When you are lucky enough to purchase an architectural wonder like this, you don’t leave. The house has changed hands only three times since being built in 1926. It’s now for sale, and I genuinely envy the lucky person that nabs this beauty. It’s one of my all-time favorite homes.

We’re particularly lucky in Dallas to have incredible residential homes designed by notable architects, yet some still rise above the rest. This Tudor manor house is one of them. It has an unmatched pedigree.
Tudor Manor House

Sir Alfred Bossom designed the house for Arthur Kramer, president of A. Harris and Company, one of the many great department stores of downtown Dallas that is now just a historical footnote. In the 1920s Lakewood was considered the countryside, which is one reason the movers and shakers of the city, such as Stanley Marcus, built homes here.

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Italian Renaissance

We all know restoring a historic property like this Italian Renaissance mansion takes deep pockets. Dallas has plenty of those. What it is lacking, however, is enough of those pockets that also have the dedication, education, and drive to preserve architecturally significant homes. Thankfully we do have what I like to call architectural angels.

These are the men and women that get it. They know why a historic home needs to remain standing and they figure out, not only how to keep it in place, but also how to improve it. I cannot think of a better example of perfect preservation and restoration than 3601 Beverly Drive.

Italian Renaissance

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Bud Oglesby Townhomes

When two Bud Oglesby townhomes in Turtle Creek hit the market, I was thrilled because we at CandysDirt.com are a bit obsessed with Oglesby. In fact, Candy thinks an Oglesby house may be considered the ultimate Dallas home. After all, they are sleek, modern, simple in form, and intelligent in function. His use of light was masterful whether the house was a multi-million-dollar estate or an urban townhome.

We are always thrilled to see Bud Oglesby projects are not only still standing in our fair city, but are also being appreciated by a whole new generation of buyers. It requires intelligence, sophistication, and an appreciation for the modernist aesthetic to understand why anything designed by The Oglesby Group is a keeper.

Although some people have not learned the lesson of preservation, so we’ve lost iconic Oglesby homes like 1003 Strait Lane. We still mourn the loss of that beauty. But, we take heart because we believe these architect-designed homes are finally being more fully appreciated.

There is a reason these townhomes have stood the test of time.

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