English Country Tudor

When you think about the perfect English country Tudor manor, it’s filled with beamed ceilings, stone walls, beautiful hardwood floors, antiques, lovely wallpaper, and gardens — miles and miles of gardens.

These elegant, stately homes are few and far between in Dallas, so I’m beyond thrilled to let you know that for the first time in a couple of decades, one of the best is on offer in Highland Park.

I haven’t been this excited about a home for sale in a long time. Not only is it gorgeous, but the provenance of this house is also incredible. It was built at 3712 Alice Circle in 1925 by architect Clyde H. Griesenbeck for Dr. Sam Webb Jr. This was back when Highland Park was brand new. Alice Circle was named for John Armstrong’s wife. Armstrong was one of the developers of Highland Park.
English Country Tudor

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514 Blair Boulevard is currently listed by Heather Van Curen of the Will Woods Team at Magnolia Realty for $415,000.

A little franken-tastic fun never hurt anyone. Experience Halloween like never before from this historic Hollywood Heights gem! It’s located minutes from the Santa Fe Trail, Lakewood Country Club, White Rock Lake, and puts you right in the middle of all the Halloween action.

In fact, Hollywood Heights resident Renee Strickland tells us:

“On Sunday afternoon, Hollywood Heights hosts the annual Spooktacular Halloween party in Lindsley Park, with a chili cook-off, cake walk, costume contests for kids and dogs, and fun games, like the severed head toss. On Halloween itself, we get a good number of trick-or-treaters because our houses are smaller and therefore closer together, which makes it easy for little legs. Probably about 350 to 500.” 

Sounds like a howling good time to us! Let’s take a look inside and see why this bewitching beauty is the perfect Friday Four Hundred.

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This is about to become a common sight in our beloved Bishop Arts District neighborhood. In fact this sight is just off Bishop, across from the Laughing Willow. There are demo’d vacant lots in the middle of neighborhoods all over North Oak Cliff’s most popular entertainment district. I’ve found three new ones within the last week. Here’s the skinny on the last 10 projects under construction now, for a grand total of 27 individual projects.

“How did this happen?” you might ask. Perhaps it was the local option election that made North Oak Cliff “wet” in 2010? Or the nearby Trinity Groves’ explosion into Dallas’ culinary scene? Or Bishop Arts’ own explosion onto the ‘great neighborhood’ scene? Maybe the Bishop/Davis Rezoning Plan in 2010 or the Oak Cliff Gateway zoning changes in 2014 (and then updated in 2015)? Or did it all start in 2002 with the Bishop Street reconstruction? Maybe it’s a bit of all of this — and great neighbors who throw great, big annual events. For sure, that.

Your favorite restaurants and shops need your support more than ever before — with all the construction, sales are down about 30 percent across the board.  Seventeen (and counting) separate construction sites are underway within a half-mile of the district! From now on you need to make weekly trips — to gauge progress on these, have a bite to eat, and find something you can’t live without. There are some GREAT new shops opening too — ALL owned by Dallas and Oak Cliff locals. Legit.

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In Part 1 we covered the big development projects under construction immediately around the Bishop Arts District (projects numbered 1-8 on the map.) Part 2 covered the projects mostly west of Bishop Arts (projects 9-16.) Here are projects numbered 17-26 below. (Yes! 26! Though more like 28 actually….) Note that project numbers correspond to the map above.

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2501 South Blvd.: One of the great homes available in this historic area

Ever wish you’d bought on Swiss Avenue in the 1970s and 1980s, long before you needed nearly a million smackers to buy a mansion?  Well, step right up …

If Part One was a bit of a Cliff Notes version of the South Blvd and Park Row historic neighborhood, then this column gets you into the game.  While purchasing one of the current listings can’t be considered the “ground floor” of this burgeoning area, there’s still plenty of sweat to be turned into equity. For those truly seeking the ground floor, keep your eyes peeled one of the area’s derelict properties to hit the market.

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Historic Craftsman style home in Winnetka Heights. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Historic Craftsman style home in Winnetka Heights. (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

One of the hardest things in the world is finding the perfect neighborhood and home to call yours. When I moved back to Dallas from Arizona, I wanted what I had there — diversity, architecture with character, and a place that I could grow a garden. Yes, I’m an urban gardener. Guilty as charged!

I was about to give up on my search until I happened to drive past a big old building that looked like a YMCA — stucco, flat roof, and trees. It took almost a year to make it happen, but my dreams came true in Oak Cliff.

My neighborhood is still “emerging,” but I’ve been lucky enough to have the Winnetka Heights gang adopt me as one of their own, and now I don’t plan on ever leaving my own Home Idea Factory.

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5638 Gaston Front

When Vlora Alberga bought the home at 5638 Gaston in 2006, she had been living in Dallas just a year, scouring the city for the right home. When she walked inside this stucco clad 1920s Mediterranean revival, the pigeons that had taken roost descended upon her. To say it was a fixer-upper would be a vast understatement.

The first thing she did was renovate the 640-square-foot guest cottage in the backyard, which is an income-producing property with a full bath, full kitchen, and washer and dryer. She moved in and began the long process of restoring the dilapidated home into the incredible property it is today. Surely you’ve driven by and admired the lovely yellow door and beautiful, rolling front lawn.

Since the laborious restoration, Alberga’s home has become a magnet for magazines and home tours, making the cover of Dallas-Fort Worth House and Home in 2008 and the Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour the same year, the 2012 D Magazine list of “Most Beautiful Houses in Dallas,” and the 2013 Junius Heights Home Tour. Visitors have always been amazed by this colorful home with engaging details and Alberga’s “French Carribbean” style.

Alberga is not only a pilot, but she’s the first-ever Jamaican pilot for an American airline, and through her work travels and her cultural heritage she has infused this jewel box of a historic home with vibrant color and art. Listing agent Elizabeth Mast Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty offered me a private tour of the home, and of course I jumped at the chance. There are so many amazing details that you will notice something different everywhere you look. Jump to see more!

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5803-swiss-ave-dallas-tx-MLS-2

Listing Photos: Shoot2Sell

I met up with Elizabeth Mast at 5803 Swiss Avenue, the beautiful brick home where Neiman Marcus founder Carrie Marcus Neiman lived her last days. This home built by Carrie Marcus and her then husband, Abraham Lincoln Neiman, which sits at the corner of Swiss Avenue and Skillman, may not have the columns and beams of some of the other Swiss Avenue estates, but it has its own subtle presence that melds very well with the brand of its original owners.

The home was purchased by its previous owner from the estate of Carrie Marcus, Mast told me, and now it’s being sold by that person’s estate. So if you’re keeping track, that means that this four-bedroom, four-full-and-one-half-bath home with more than 5,100 square feet has only had two owners. Isn’t that incredible?

The home has seen some renovations over its 93 years, most of them during the 1950s. Mast, who specializes in the Swiss Avenue Historic District and has another fabulous listing at 6243 La Vista (the Stubbs Home, if you recall), does a ton of research on all of her listings, and was able to dig up some old photos of this home’s interiors.

Jump to take a look back in time!

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Feel festive this week at the seventh annual Dallas Woman’s Forum Holiday Home Tour at the historic C. H. Alexander Mansion, just blocks from the Dallas Arts District. The tour is part of a month of fun at the mansion, called “One Enchanted Christmas,” which will continue later in the month with a European Tea Room.

Photo courtesy C. H. Alexander Mansion

Photo courtesy C. H. Alexander Mansion

The Holiday Home Tour, Dec. 4-7, will take visitors through the spectacular rooms of the first floor of the mansion, cheerfully decorated for Christmas. Upstairs, guests can shop among 20 merchants in a gift boutique, offering antiques, jewelry, handcrafted home decor, candles, chocolates, teas, jellies, stationery, and vintage clothing. There are also tasty treats to buy at the Bake Shoppe, and tickets are available in advance for lunch at a Holiday Bistro.

“One Enchanted Christmas” will continue with a European Tea Room in the mansion Dec. 11-14 and 17-20 at noon each day. A traditional three-course tea will begin with passed champagne and will include the Alexander Mansion private blend tea, Caramel Almond Bliss. Reservations are required. (more…)