Coram Deo

I drive by Coram Deo regularly, just to stare at it. I’ve seen a lot of stately homes all over the world, but this one continues to fascinate me.

Coram Deo was built for Donald and Mary Catherine Huffines in 2005. Yes, the same Don Huffines who was a Texas state senator and runs Huffines Communities with his twin brother, Phillip. The Huffines named their home Coram Deo, which means “in the presence of God” in Latin.

If you are not familiar with the architectural style, it’s because we seldom see a Richardsonian Romanesque mansion today. It’s an expensive style to build, so it’s generally seen in large public buildings. The Trinity Church in Boston, The American Museum of Natural History in New York, and our own Old Red Courthouse are all excellent examples of the style named after architect Henry Hobson Richardson.

Because this is a style that offers a strong sense of stability, permanency, and individuality, it was not long before it became popular among the titans of industry in the late 1800s. The Cupples House in Saint Louis, Missouri, or the James J. Hill estate in St. Paul, Minneapolis, could well have been the inspiration for Coram Deo.


Mysterious AbodeAn enormous ivy-covered stucco wall is all you can see from the street. Behind it lies not only a secret garden but also perhaps the most mysterious abode you will ever find in Dallas.

Once inside the massive, carved wooden door, you cannot help but be delighted. A courtyard leads to the home, which is almost completely wrapped in glass. While it may seem to be a bit of a contradiction to be both transparent and mysterious, it most definitely is both.
Mysterious Abode

The house was built in 1988 by the owner of a glass manufacturing company. I can’t help but think he must have read The Secret Garden as a child and kept it in mind when constructing this mysterious abode.  The exterior stucco wall was created to provide maximum privacy. Few people have any idea of what is behind it or who lives there now.

But I’m going to tell you. And you no longer have to imagine what lies behind the wall, and what’s inside.


Once you’re through the iron gates of this glorious Coppell estate, you’ll never want to leave. Take in the grandiose exterior and imagine how glamorous you will feel each day walking past the trimmed hedges and custom limestone fountain to your handcrafted front door. Of course, you can always pull up to the elegant porte-cochère when you’re feeling more casual, but really there is nothing too casual about this luxurious home. Ravishing indeed, this listing with creeks on three sides is a rarity on the market you don’t want to miss. 

Since Clay Nelson Architecture was at the helm for design and luxury builder Street Custom Homes made their dazzling vision come to life, luxury and quality craftsmanship are a guarantee at this spectacular abode. The 9,564-square-foot home is a masterpiece full of eye-catching spaces, and it all starts in the exquisite grand foyer entrance. 


North Dallas Torando

6442 Chevy Chase

Where do you go when you’ve been displaced from your home by the North Dallas tornado? Hotels are booked solid up and down North Central Central Expressway, and frankly, they’re nowhere to keep kids and pets for more than a couple of days. What do you do?

You turn to a savvy Dallas Realtor, of course! Our Realtor community is pulling together like crazy to help those affected by the North Dallas tornado get to a new normal, fast.

“My phone started ringing Sunday night,” Compass Real Estate principal Jonathan Rosen said. “People are calling to ask if a seller would be open to leasing a home, especially a staged home so they can move in immediately. We are doing everything we can to get people into houses and help in any way we can. We’ve also had calls on what’s available for purchase.”

When you consider the area of town most affected by the North Dallas tornado, it makes perfect sense to move into a staged luxury home, if you can. The homes getting the most traction are listed at anywhere between $2 and $4 million.


Rooftop terrace at Ritz-Carlton Residences Townhouse 4

Minutes before I left town for a spell, I was able to squeeze in a viewing of the final Ritz-Carlton Residences shell townhouse all duded-up and immaculately finished by Approved Builder Mark Molthan of Platinum Series Homes. Since I’d rather hobnob than shutterbug at these events (I happened meet someone with more shirts than me), I returned to the MLS to grab some pictures to show – and I learned something.

I typed in “pearl” figuring if I started with the most expensive, I had to catch 2555 Pearl Street, right?  I mean it’s a 6,079-square-foot Ritz Residence comprising three bedrooms with four full and one-half bathroom listed with Kyle Crews from Allie Beth Allman for $6.7 million. How could there be a pricier pearl?

There was.



If I had to guess, I’d say this lovely Spanish-Mediterranean was designed by leading Dallas architects Marion Fooshee and James Cheek. Let me know if you think otherwise. But I do my detective work, and I can support my theory pretty well, so here goes!

Foshee & Cheek were well-known for their eclectic Spanish-Mediterranean style, including Dr. Hugh Leslie and Lydia Bowen Moore’s home at 4200 Beverly Drive. Their most significant design was Highland Park Village, the first self-contained shopping center in America. They were also involved in the design of the Hall of State and Aquarium buildings in Fair Park. Foshee lived at the duplex on 4441-4443 Westway Avenue, and Cheek lived at the duplex at 4417-4419 — right next door!

I think it makes for a natural assumption Foshee & Cheek are responsible for this wonderful Spanish-Mediterranean. So, I’m going with that!


This historic Spanish-Mediterranean is in Westpark, one of the last residential additions built in Highland Park. It includes Fairway Street, Westway Avenue, Lomo Alto Court, and Lomo Alto Drive.



John Canterbury is now affiliated with Allie Beth Allman & Associates after spending the past two years with Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.  He says he joined Chris Pyle and the Haven Group because of their sales record and the fact that they always have outstanding listings. Until now Canterbury has been focused more on buyers so he hopes this move will help him grow the other side of his business.

“Coldwell Banker was fantastic for me, I learned a lot and I still have a lot of great friends over there. And I always will,” he said. “I felt the move to Allie Beth would just push my future endeavors and desire to get into more listings.”


Kyle Crews and Ken Schnitzer with Allie Beth and Pierce Allman

If there’s one thing that luxury real estate agents and brokers love more than high-end houses, it’s high-end automobiles. Merging the two, the third-annual Park Place Luxury and Supercar Showcase will have a VIP lounge sponsored by Allie Beth Allman and Associates. The one-day event, which kicks off at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Sept.28, at the Four Seasons at Las Colinas, is sure to be catnip for those in the ultra-luxe market.