If you’re going to have a Siglo de Oro (or Spanish Golden Age) story like the one in “Man of La Mancha,” you need a suitable backdrop. That’s just fact.

So when Lyric Stage told us that they’d be staging the musical, which tells the classic canon of Don Quixote, we knew we should find a home to match.

But what should that look like? After all, a lot of Spanish architecture during the Siglo de Oro could be rather austere. Juan de Herrera, who is one of the more recognizable names of the time period, was known for his purist structures with sober decoration, so much so that Herrerian and clasicismo are pretty much synonymous. 

But then, we found our match in El Escorial — a historical residence of the king of Spain in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The El Real Monasterio El Escorial is rather sober. But La Granjilla de La Fresneda, the royal hunting lodge? Let’s just say its got a lot in common with this listing we found Old Preston Hollow. (more…)

The AD EX — formerly the Dallas Center for Architecture — launched its new digs at Republic Center to go with its new name Dec. 8. (Photo: Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA)

There’s a new spot for your architecture and design fix in downtown Dallas from a source you’ll recognize. The AD EX — formerly the Dallas Center for Architecture and short for The Architecture and Design Exchange — had its official launch on Saturday, Dec. 8. The organization held the celebration with Downtown Dallas Inc. and the Better Block Foundation in its new digs located at Republic Center, which is near Thanks-Giving Square. Even with the new name and location, the Ad Ex will have the same great programming, including diverse exhibits, weekly free Lunch Learning Sessions, and guided architecture tours.

If you’re already intrigued, you can stop by between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, with late and weekend hours of 8 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Photo: Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA

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Costa Christ Presenting a home for sale is a process. The market today is 100 percent visual. That means if you have a home that does not show well, your chances of selling quickly for a great price  are significantly diminished.

It takes a village to sell a home. A Realtor that knows your neighborhood demographics and is deeply networked is only the first step. You also need an excellent stager and a great photographer. We’re lucky to have a great pool of photographic talent in Dallas, and we are exceptionally  fortunate to have the skills of Costa Christ who is raising the bar to a new level in real estate photography.

Costa Christ

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It’s not mere hyperbole — the worlds of architecture, urban planning, and construction are lacking in representation of people of color.

In fact, the American Institute of Architect’s 2016 “Diversity in the Profession of Architecture” found that the one thing most architects — regardless of race — could agree on was that people of color are underrepresented in that field. Similar studies have found the same is true in urban planning and construction.

(graph courtesy AIA)

Interestingly, just about every discussion in all three industries regarding diversity involves strengthening the industry’s presence among students through outreach programs with high schools, etc.

Michael Ford, a Detroit-based architect, brought the whole issue of diversity to the forefront with a 20 minute TED Talk last year. In his talk, he uses lyrics in hip-hop songs to show how they can serve as a very effective way to evaluate the good and bad of modern urban architecture. (more…)

When you design a building, what’s the first thing you think about? Is it scale? Is it use? Is it presence? 

What about how the building and the way it is designed is part of a larger goal of engaging a community? All of these questions and more can be discussed at the next AIA Dallas summer happy hour panel, “Designing in Active Voice: Avenues for Professional Advocacy.”

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Why consider renovating an old house in Corsicana?

The small town off of Interstate 45 between Dallas and Waco is familiar to some Dallasites, if only for the stigma-defying fruitcake at its Collin Street Bakery.  But recently, Corsicana has been enjoying quite a different sort of buzz — a downtown art center, 100 West, or 100W, as it is known, is calling attention to the community, and in a good way. An artist and writer’s residency program offers space and support for promising creatives. Gallery space is springing up. Shops and restaurants are being cultivated in the historic downtown.

Corsicana was a thriving metropolis in oil boom years of the early 1900s. Wealthy residents built lovely houses. Many still exist and are good prospects for renovation. It’s a chance to get in on the ground floor of the promising renaissance of a small town. See an example of a house which would make a lovely bed and breakfast, or second home under an hour away from Dallas-Fort Worth. Read more on SecondShelters.com now.

Logo Sign - PRINT 16x16

If you like the idea of having a home on the range but can’t imagine living in the middle of nowhere, you might take a look at Corsicana. The first oil boom town in Texas, it was founded in 1848 and by the early 1900s it was one of the top 10 cities in the nation with the most millionaires. It’s stuck to its small-town roots ever since.

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Steve Dumez

Steve Dumez

Award-winning architect, lecturer, mentor, and civic leader Steve Dumez will speak to the Dallas Architecture Forum next week. Dumez is a partner and Director of Design at the New Orleans-based firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, named 2014 National Firm of the Year by the American Institute of Architects. This was for a body of work that is deeply committed to community development and has included projects to rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina.

“Eskew+Dumez+Ripple believes in more than simply designing good buildings — they want to create better communities,” said Nate Eudaly, Executive Director of the Dallas Architecture Forum. “Under the leadership of Steve Dumez, their architects commit to the civic realm as well as a sustainable future, by devoting time to numerous initiatives that advocate for quality in the design of the built environment, including teaching, research, speaking engagements, and public advocacy.”

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