Now, this open-house tour takes things to a whole new level. Tomorrow, October 20, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is flinging open the doors to almost 200 homes across North Texas — from Fort Worth to Dallas to Southlake to Lakewood. The prices swing, too, from $229,000 to more than $9 million — proof that it’s not just all museum-quality offerings from the luxury boutique firm founded here in 1960.

But our favorite part of tomorrow’s tour? A baker’s dozen of the homes are priced above $3 million. Those are some prime properties, dear readers, and a way to see luxury living at its bubbly best.

5940 Watson Avenue, represented by Jennifer LeLash

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magnificent Mediterranean estate

I always enjoy researching the luxury homes of Dallas. When I started digging last week, I found some extraordinary information on our Monday Morning Millionaire. Long before this magnificent Mediterranean estate was built, the original structure at 3601 Lexington Avenue was the first house constructed in Highland Park, “a model suburban city.”

Mr. and Mrs. S.W. Marshall built the original home in 1908, and it was considered a showplace. There were no other homes in sight, except for a couple of distant farmhouses.

Let me take you back in time for a minute with this snippet from The Dallas Morning News archives:

“When Mrs. Marshall and I moved into our home, we had no neighbors north of the Katy Railroad, although at least one other house, that of Hugh Prather, was under construction,” related Mr. Marshall. “Knox street was then an unpaved, unkempt country lane on the outskirts of Dallas.”

The Marshalls were also parents of the first child born in Highland Park, a daughter, named Eleanor.

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Uptown

What do you do when every lot around you is redeveloped? In a single-family neighborhood, you hold out for last, assuming your lot gets more valuable with each sale and rebuild. However, when you’re in a commercial area, waiting too long often has a price, not a reward.

As you can see highlighted above, one lot is surrounded by the Gables Uptown Trail apartment building. You know that Gables tried desperately to acquire that Uptown parcel well before it came online in 2011.

Today, a new Marriott is under construction by Alamo Manhattan. When it was first announced, there was a lone holdout on the corner of their half-block parcel. It was an old house-turned-art gallery. Ultimately Alamo Manhattan persuaded the owners that selling was better than being an orphan on a tiny, un-developable lot.

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