Candace Evans, Cole Smith, and Sherry Hayslip Smith

It saddens our hearts to report that Dallas, indeed the entire U.S., has lost one of its most significant architects: Cole Smith.

Cole was born in 1926 and died August 25. He was married to interior designer extraordinaire Sherry Hayslip Smith, who rightfully called her beloved husband “a national treasure.”

“Cole Smith’s life and work have been inseparable. Dedicated to preserving and promoting craftsmanship, he has mastered many crafts and found patrons to underwrite the work of others,” she said. “A lover of history, he has woven it into his architecture. Compelled to infuse design into everything he does, his philanthropies, hobbies, and pleasures involve creating unique and beautifully crafted structures and objects, or preserving existing ones.”

It is going to take some research to write about all the homes he has designed in Dallas, significant homes, classic homes, beautiful homes. I believe he was one of the most prolific architects of our time. Cole designed more than homes, he designed great buildings that will live on in this city and beautify North Texas long after we are all departed. And they were not all mega-mansions.


GetMedia.ashxOne of Dallas’ Real Housewives and her LA-house flipping spouse, Travis,  just snatched the bargain of the century on a house that may well be the most notorious dirt in town. I am talking that famous spread on Turtle Creek Drive originally built by Braden Power, as you may recall, back in 2005. The home was famous for, among other things, the swimming pool in the main foyer! Built of the highest quality materials, the home is exquisite: when Braden thought one element was wonderful, he put in ten and added swans! The master closet rivals the couture department at Neimans size-wise with a sitting room, wet bar and desk. Oh and a place to watch TV. The jacuzzi spa is indoors and part of the upstairs media room. Yes, that is the point: you sit in or out of the oversized spa while watching the tube, clothes completely optional. Mais oui. (Must have been a blast on election night!) Sixty percent of the upstairs is devoted to the master suite, including a whole room for a shower, that indoor spa jacuzzi with television, a separate bathtub room, coffee/wine bar and of course, the room where you actually sometimes really sleep.

Downstairs there are two kitchens, formals, the pooled foyer, and a fabulous infinity exterior pool and yard overlooking Turtle Creek.

We have loved Turtle Creek since she was a gleam in her daddy’s eye. She even has a name: Casa Bellamini and was featured on HGTV’s Million Dollar Room. Once Braden built the home, he tried to sell it but the market did not cooperate — remember Lehman Brothers? First Erin Mathews listed it back in early 2010 for $6,900,000, getting it again in July 2010. No go. Even Marilyn Hoffman had her hands on this deal, raising the asking to $7,900,000. In January of 2011, a Chris Lowdon listed it for $7,900,000 or $929.41 a square foot. Yeow! And then, sometime in between all these agents, Braden covered the pool in the foyer.

You always want to be the first-born, the second wife and the third agent: Along comes Doris Jacobs to the rescue. She sells the home on March 24, 2011 for a whopping $7,900,000 to none other than Lee Bailey, then the fresh ex-wife of restaurateur Ed Bailey. Lee proceeds to make the home respectable: no more wild parties, talks to both Sherry Hayslip, whose husband, Cole, designed the home, and Trisha Wilson about the interiors, and takes the cover off that pool in the foyer!

Fast forward to 2016: Lee Bailey wants to sell, she enlists Doris again who lists the home at $8,895,000 after more than a million dollars in renovations, and in a much healthier market. In June, shocker: Lee changes agents to Kelly Watson with Keller Williams Urban, a lovely woman from Zimbabwe, South Africa. Then shocker of all shocks: Lee and Kelly bring on Concierge Auctions, who, as you know, can get the job done lickety split. (“TKTK Turtle Creek is for the elite and someone who really loves to entertain high end black tie, but also casual AFFAIRS”). Well Turtle Creek Drive is going, going, GONE on November 14, 2016 for, are you ready because it’s LESS THAN DCAD…

3203 Princeton extWhere oh where do cheaters go, besides the White House? They end up in glorious places like 3203 Princeton, yeah, in Highland Park. Check out this home, on the market for a mere $1,499,999 for 4129 square feet, .17 of an acre, built by Cole Smith in 1986. There are four cheatin’ bedrooms upstairs, formals down, a pool and spa, guest quarters over the garage, even a wine cellar. That dining room looks like some serious cheating took place there, all that passionate red. I cannot figure out why everything is painted so sherbert-y, unless that is like hinting about “dessert”. The home, unlike a marriage, is super easy maintenance and you just just lock and leave this home — cheaters love that!

3203 Princeton floorplan 3203 Princeton foyer 3203 Princeton LR 3203 Princeton studyThe home was designed by the architecture firm of Cole, Ekblad, and Associates, one of the reasons why the current owner bought the place.

Also, he loves to cheat.

Katy Trail access is prime, and you are walking distance to Knox Henderson, yet still on a quiet, private street. You are not, however, close to a Mortons The Steakhouse, where most cheaters dine.

3203 Princeton kitchen 3203 Princeton master bathroom 3203 Princeton bar 3203 Princeton master3203 Princeton dining room 3203 Princeton wine cellar 3203 Princeton pool 3203 Princeton rear

Cheaters need quiet and privacy. But they also need places to meet their “dates”, their “buddies”, their “friends with benefits.”

Now don’t get your hopes up, don’t go marching on over to this house and thinking it’s single. You’re not going to get a ring. The owner is Bobby Goldstein, founder and producer of the show, Cheaters.

I was just giving him a taste of his own medicine.

One of the most deliciously beautiful estate settings in Preston Hollow has sold. The Ginsburg, formerly Heath (as in BeautiControl) property at 4707 Park Lane closed last week. This hefty sale just may be an omen of what the Dallas spring market will be like: on fire. Actually, that’s a bad choice of words, I guess, because 4707 Park was once the stunning estate home of Dallas billionaire Scott Ginsburg, Chairman and CEO of DG FastChannel as well as Founder of Boardwalk Auto Group. Unfortunately, a devastating fire broke out and totaled the home in 2003.  The fire department had a tough time getting in because of the massive locked gates. Scott lived in an interim house, then he and his darling wife Gina bought 3500 Beverly Drive in Highland Park and the lot next door, in June of 2010. 3500 was the largest and most expensive spec home ever built in Dallas, originally listed for $17.5 million. Scott snatched it up for a wee bit over $11 million.

The 4.66 acre estate at 4707  Park Lane was originally listed at $10.25 million dollars, then reduced to $8.5, then $7.2.
Ginsburg tore down the main residence but retained the guest house (above), tennis court, pool, and 5 car garage.

Ginsburg bought 4707 Park from Dick and Jinger Heath, the founder of BeautiControl Cosmetics, on March 7 of 2000. Ellen Terry handled the sale and it was the most expensive residential sale of a home in Dallas at the time: $22 million. The record was broken, of course, when energy transfer magnate Kelcy Warren snapped up the Lacerte home a little east on Park at 5323 for just under $30 million. That home had been listed for as high as $45 million, listing agent was darling Ralph Randall. Mr. Warren has been busy naming parks and buying real estate in Roatan, Telluride CO and elsewhere, I’m told.

So I know what you all want to know: how much? Everyone around the sale is keeping quite mum, but word on the street is that the entire package went for not quite six million with maybe some other creative thingees from Mr. Ginsburg tossed into the deal — a car, other property? As one observer said: it was the most creative deal I’ve ever seen. Buyers are a lovely family from Arlington Irving who snapped up the estate to build one of their own — he a self-made man who made his fortune in the restaurant business — and to be closer to their children’s private schools in Dallas. From what I’m hearing, the plans are for a contemporary mansion.

The home that burned was a classically styled residence, designed by renown architect Cole Smith who also, of course, created the Lacerte/Warren estate with Orangerie down the street. Designer Sherry Hayslip, tells me it was an incredible moment in her career.

“I was working with an astonishing architect who led us all in understanding the nuances of creating a period building without copying anything,” she says. “It was the real beginning of my learning about classical detailing.”

Some years later, she married that architect. The clients expected excellence, she says, and it was exciting to deliver it. There was also a lot of passion and some hot tempers on all sides but in the end, the final product was a sensational classically detailed house, very elegant. A French architectural specialist, in Dallas to lecture, toured 4707 Park Lane and declared it comparable to a great Parisian residence. The view from the home gazing at the stair-stepped waterfall was one of the most spectacular ever — I’m privileged to have seen it.

Warren's Park Lane estate

Why is everyone so surprised over energy billionaire Kelcy Warren buying the naming rights to Woodall Rogers Park? It’s not like I haven’t been telling you this is a man who REALLY likes dirt. On February 18, Cheryl Hall at the Dallas Morning News had a dandy exclusive story about Warren’s (rumored) $10 million purchase of the naming rights to Woodall Rogers Park, our venerable 5.2 acre greenbelt park over the freeway that will frost the Arts District in green. He is naming it after his nine year old son, Klyde, who will have to intern there until he’s 21. Cool story, but it’s not as if I haven’t been telling you for years that Kelcy Warren is a cool, self-made man who likes him some real estate and also, apparently, music. While Warren did not make many changes to the Cole Smith designed home of Joyce and Larry Lacerte at 5323 Park Lane he bought in June 2009 for about $29 million, he did add a private, secret music studio hidden off a shoe rack in the spacious master closet. It is designed to be soundproof and that closet is the size of most apartments.

The beautiful Preston Hollow estate was built by computer software magnate Larry Lacerte, and is still Dallas’ largest home sale to date. Well, at least until Troy’s home and Mt. Vernon sell. 5323 Park has entertained scores of dignitaries and raised millions for Dallas charities.  The 26,620 square foot home is set on almost 9 acres of land in the honeypot of Old Preston Hollow and was constructed circa 1991-1993 by a dream team including architect Cole Smith, Smith/Ekblad & Associates, Sherry Hayslip-Smith, Hayslip Design Associates and Cole Smith, Jr., Crowbar Contractors. At the time of sale, it contained a racquetball court, exercise room and locker rooms adjacent to a near Olympic-sized natatorium, bowling alley, wine cellar with tasting room, an Orangerie conservatory overlooking interlocking Koi ponds loaded with about a million dollars worth of Koi, tennis court, baseball diamond and a private lake. Dave Perry-Miller (Ebby Halliday) agent Ralph Randall represented the Lacerte family. They are, by the way, building in Highland Park.

5313 Park Lane was originally listed in 2008 for $45 million, then lowered to just under $40 million as the nation’s real estate bubble went bust. According to my sources, it sold for about $29 million-ish, and sharp Kelsey asked for an outside appraisal. His buyer’s agent was Rosie Waters of Allie Beth Allman and Associates, who is married to football legend Charlie Waters, who works for Mr. Warren.

Warren's Bootjack Ranch

The Warren (former Lacerte) home has entertained Prince Edward, former President George W. and Laura Bush, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Jaap van Zweden, and Caroline Rose Hunt, among others, plus feted countless Dallas charity galas and pre-galas. While the social patter over there has been a little more subdued with Kelcy and his new wife, Amy, at the helm, it could be because they just travel so darn much to their other properties via a fleet of private jets: a private island in Roatan, Honduras and Bootjack Ranch near Telluride, Colo. I saw one of the Warren’s private jets at the FBO in Crested Butte, CO. last summer. Let me tell you —  nice wheels!

Kelcy Warren Estate

My sources tell me the Barrett mansion is going to set a new standard for luxury in Dallas — make that Preston Hollow. I can hardly wait!

“Nona and Richard were in not too long ago and I saw the plans for the new estate. It’s some kind of house! According to Nona, the kitchen will have a 25 foot long island with the ceiling three stories above and giant windows looking out across the lawn.”

That’s some lawn — over four acres! And I think a 25-foot long kitchen island would be divine — think of all he laundry you could fold on it, gifts to wrap.

Oh, what’s that you say? There’s a laundry room the size of my house, and likely a wrapping room. OK.

“The house will be full of malachite and marble floors – malachite columns, topped with bronze, rose quartz lines one of the bathrooms entirely, and marble everywhere in the others.”

Of course! I was not thinking linoleum, were you! But get this, here’s a new one for Dallas:

“They will have an orchestra room – I think also called the Malachite Room that will seat 100.”

Folks, this place tops the Lacerte/Warren house that is just a few blocks away. Remember that house closed June 16, 2009, one of Dallas‚Äô largest homes at 26,620 square feet that entertained scores of dignitaries and raised millions for Dallas charities. The seller‚Äôs agent was Ralph Randall of Dave Perry-Miller, an Ebby Halliday Company. The home is set on almost 9 acres of land in the honeypot of Old Preston Hollow, so a larger lot than Barrett’s. The estate was constructed circa 1991-1993 by a team including architect Cole Smith,¬† Smith/Ekblad & Associates, Sherry Hayslip-Smith, Hayslip Design Associates and Cole Smith, Jr., Crowbar Contractors.¬† It contains¬† a racquetball court, exercise room and locker rooms adjacent to a near Olympic-sized natatorium, bowling alley, wine cellar with tasting room, an Orangerie¬†conservatory overlooking interlocking Koi ponds loaded with about a million dollars worth of Koi, tennis court, baseball diamond and a private lake. So Ralph Randall now rules as the high priest of Dallas‚Äô most expensive real estate STILL. Agent to the John Muse family, he participated in the sale of the most expensive home in Highland Park when he helped John and Lyn acquire their lot at 4800 Preston Road.

Skuttlebut: 5323 Park Lane was originally listed in 2008 before the crash for $45 million.¬† According to my sources,¬† it sold for under $30 million-ish, and the buyer, Kelcy Warren,¬† asked for an outside appraisal to be dead sure he got his money’s worth.¬† He also bought some properties behind the estate, which had been occupied by the Lacerte’s parents.

The Lacerte-now-Warren home has entertained, among others,¬† Prince Edward, former President George W. and Laura Bush,¬† Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Jaap van Zweden, and Caroline Rose Hunt, among others, plus feted countless Dallas charity galas and pre-galas. It has everything BUT an Orchestra Room! That’s why I love writing about celebrity homes — there’s always a new gizmo right around the corner!