Thomson Tudor

Why is it that some architecturally and historically significant homes stand the test of time, as if they were ageless vessels of grace?

A case study might well be 4209 Bordeaux — primo Highland Park dirt, a Tudor mansion that goes light on the steepness of the pitched gable roofs, got a bit playful (but not obsessive) with masonry on the chimneys, embellished doorways, grouped windows, but used a light hand on decorative half-timbering — all hallmarks of great Tudor design.

Perhaps it has to do, too, with those who have had a hand in the home’s upbringing. This one was designed by Dallas master architect Hal Thomson, and has had a succession of improvements by reputable craftsmen all done sensitively, tastefully, with respect to the original vision of Thomson.

“It’s more a Tudor-inspired design,” says Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s listing agent Ralph Randall. “It doesn’t have the heavy cross timbers you usually see. The home is mainly a beautiful, classic red brick with a Tudor influence, which I think has really helped keep it clean over the test of time. It’s a horizontal house that gets natural light from all sides.”

Like we say about so many of his designs, the home looks as if it were custom made for the large 140- by 195-foot lot.
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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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Idyllic Reinvented Colonial Revival

Two famous architects, decades apart, have created an idyllic reinvented Colonial Revival home that oozes charm from every corner. Originally built by Hal Thomson in 1921, 3926 Potomac Avenue in Highland Park is one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever seen.

As the go-to architect of the era, Hal Thomson built many significant homes in Dallas. He was a master of every style, from Spanish Eclectic and Italianate to, of course, Colonial Revival. Of all the Thomson designs I’ve had the pleasure to write about, this is my favorite. It is such a classic fairytale of a home that it appears purpose-built for a movie. If you look up the location used for the original Father of the Bride, it shares a lot of the same romantic ambiance and incredible detailing.Idyllic Reinvented Colonial Revival

As the years pass, any historic home needs a refresh. Sometimes the respect for original architecture takes a back seat when owners have specific needs. When the current owner purchased this idyllic reinvented Colonial Revival, there was a singular focus on not just bringing it back to its former glory days, but also on renovating it into a family home that children would love.

Enter J. Wilson Fuqua, one of the leading architects in Dallas.

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historical Colonial mansion

I’ve been waiting, patiently, for us to come out of the holidaze to show you this drop-dead gorgeous historical Colonial mansion at 4224 Armstrong Parkway. We see a lot of über luxury homes each day, but this one ticks every single box I can think of that a multi-million-dollar home should offer and some I’d never considered!

First and foremost, hats off to owner Torie Steele, the visionary behind the transformation of this historical Colonial mansion. So many buyers would have razed this baby, and we’d have written a sob story about how Dallas has no soul and doesn’t value historical properties. But here comes Steele to save the day and save it to a degree of perfection we seldom see. But then Steele is a perfectionist in many areas. If you know anything about fashion, Steele was an industry leader in the 1980s. She started her first eponymous boutique on Rodeo drive and was the first to bring multiple European designers together under one roof. This was way before department stores even considered carrying big name designers. If you keep up with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show every year, you’ll have seen her wire fox terrier, Sky, win Best in Show a few years ago. She’s been breeding them with great success for over a decade. Striving for perfection and succeeding is in her DNA, and we’re delighted she turned her talents to saving this extraordinary home.

When you renovate a home to make it appealing and appropriate for the way we live in 2019, thoughtful and careful decisions must be made. This historical Colonial mansion has a provenance you don’t want to screw up. The original architect was Hal Thomson. For our newbies to Dallas, he was one of the most prolific architects of the era and designed many of the iconic homes on Swiss Avenue and in Highland Park.

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Italian Renaissance
Our Monday Morning Millionaire at 3601 Beverly Drive  is an iconic, architecturally significant, Highland Park Italian Renaissance mansion that has a rich dramatic history. Designed by legendary architect Hal Thomson in 1923, this house has so many stories to tell you better grab a big cuppa, turn off the phone, and sit down.

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Neoclassical MansionWe are over the moon with excitement because this gorgeous historic Highland Park neoclassical mansion at 3800 Beverly Drive is back on the market and was just listed by Compass Real Estate’s Jonathan Rosen. It’s one of our favorite homes in Dallas.

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Highland Park Colonial Revival
When I think of a Highland Park Colonial Revival home, the words that come to mind are traditional, stately, classic, and gracious. The Colonial Revival has been and continues to be the most popular style in America. You’ll see it reimagined and reinvented by some of the best architects and builders in the country because it’s what people want.

It is the very essence of home.

I was thrilled to see this historic home hit the market because it ticks all the boxes for anyone looking for a family home, in a great neighborhood, that appreciates history, and wants to put down deep roots.

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Highland Park Estate

Photos: Full Package Media

Luxury real estate in Dallas is like musical chairs. No one stays put for long, and if you don’t move fast, someone pulls that chair out from under you. Iconic Highland Park estates like 4412 Lakeside Drive are few and far between. You might think they linger on the market for years, but you’d be wrong. The fact that a property like this doesn’t come along often means if you are in the market, don’t assume it will stay around. (more…)