Sinatra

This gorgeous Malibu view once belonged to Frank Sinatra and it could be yours for $12.9 million.

Whether you want a beachy retreat or a swank pad you can pick out in episodes of Mad Men, Frank Sinatra hung his hat in two homes that are on the market at the same time, for nearly identical price points.

If Malibu is your bag, one estate was designed by architect Ted Grenzbach and Sinatra and his wife, Barbara in 1992. When the Sinatras lived there, a veritable who’s who of Rat Pack era celebrities visited, from Dick Martin, Jack Lemmon, Gregory Peck, and Dick Van Dyke, and more.

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Craig Ellwood wasn’t always Craig Ellwood, but the Clarendon, Texas, native became renown under that moniker as he made a name as a premiere modernist architect. His homes, often considered works of art (and rightly so), are perfect blends of spare, midcentury German Bauhaus architecture and the more informal California sensibilities of the state he called home longer than the Lone Star State.

Born John Burke in 1922, his family left Texas and found themselves in Los Angeles by the mid-1930s. After joining the Army Air Corps in the forties, he, his brother, and two friends set up shop as contractors under the name Craig Ellwood. Not long after, Burke changed his name to Craig Ellwood, and began night classes in structural engineering.

He opened his own firm, and began to make a name for himself. Despite never having a license as an architect, he was a sought-after guest lecturer and continued to create residential and commercial masterpieces until he closed his shop in 1977 and moved to Italy. He died in 1992.

One of those masterpieces is The Smith House in Los Angeles. Built in 1958, it was restored this year under American Institute of Architects fellow (and former Ellwood associate) Jim Tyler’s guidance. It is now on the market, and we have the details on SecondShelters.com.

Photo courtesy Flickr/Arul Irudayam

Photo courtesy Flickr/Arul Irudayam

I’ve been working on this deep dive into national and local policy and data regarding discipline for almost a week now, ever since trustee Miguel Solis introduced a proposal to ban most suspensions at the pre-K through second grade level, and place a moratorium on them in the third through fifth grade level at a recent Dallas Independent School District board of trustee briefing.

I’ll be honest – I’ve been reading ahead. I’ve been reading ahead since taking a series of classes on the state of public education, an activity that predates last week’s board briefing by a whole year. I’ve been waiting for someone to address this.

Sometimes, I forget that other people aren’t raging policy wonks who consider US Department of Education materials and other data light reading, so the pushback surprised me. The meeting yielded a whole lot of “who moved my cheese” responses. The comments on subsequent stories written about that meeting yielded much more.

But it was a response from an actual teacher that tells me we all really could benefit from not only a good dose of reality but also a whopping dose of “how did we get here.” I hope to provide some of that today by sharing what I’ve learned about suspensions and elementary students. (more…)

Once upon a time every visitor who came to Dallas had to run to Southfork to snap a photo in front of JR Ewing’s house. Now, however, they are running over to 5439 Swiss Avenue, home of Carlene Cockburn (yes, that is really her name)  on the new ABC Series “GCB”, based on the book by local celeb and realtor Kim Gatlin. Or maybe they’ll snap up Aldredge House, home of the Dallas County Medical Alliance. Either way, it’s pretty great that the show’s producers went out of their way to find some beautiful, classical homes in Dallas to showcase, NOT McMansions!

The pilot was shot on location, though Los Angeles doubles for Dallas in the series. “It was not an easy task as Dallas is known for its large expanses of property, many without high fences or security and lots of brick architecture,” she adds. “Los Angeles is full of palm trees that don’t do well in Dallas. We were able to find several wonderful houses and a great church in the L.A. basin that serve as the exteriors for our show.”

Although Dallas certainly earns its bigger-is-better notoriety — Aspen’s housewife character has a French Country-style kitchen with a countertop deep fryer and three double ovens — Dugally notes that the houses they saw there weren’t McMansions. “Dallas is the most cosmopolitan city in Texas. Most of the money is old money,” says the designer. “I said, ‘Let’s give our characters taste.’ We made a very conscious decision that the look be over-the-top but still elegant.”