Bosco 2

Milan, Italy’s award-winning Bosco Verticale homes. Magnificence not seen in Dallas architecture.

Shortly after the deadly March 4 Preston Place fire, I wrote about several options for redevelopment within current restrictions. To recap, Preston Place is within the Planned Development District 15 (PD-15) that is subject to its own development limitations, outside city zoning.

The PD-15 documents were most recently updated to reflect the added units for an unbuilt high-rise on the Preston Place plot in the 1970’s era. Today, it’s those additional 80 units that are available to any lot within PD-15 to increase density, so long as they do not exceed 52.4 “dwelling units” per acre.

After that column ran, one commenter said they’d heard the Preston Place owners were already discussing rebuilding. My answer was that sure, they may rebuild, but it won’t be brick-for-brick the same building. Opening that can of worms with 60 separate owners will result in change. “As long as we’re starting from scratch…” will be the opening of many conversations.

Also, several readers questioned what could happen if a developer went to the neighborhood and city to change the PD-15 documents for expanded growth…and was successful.

A lot.

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To describe it as a masterpiece seems like an understatement. We’ve featured the Philip Johnson House before and it never fails to take our breath away. Set on nearly seven acres at 10210 Strait Lane, the estate of Naomi Aberly and Larry Liebowitz is listed at $27.5 million and is the only Phillip Johnson house to have been built in Dallas. It’s a beloved architectural landmark and an example of what a fastidious restoration can achieve.

“I’m honored to list what I believe to be one of the most significant architect-designed homes in the country,” said Faisal Halum, executive vice president of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. “The fact that it has already been meticulously restored, yet completely updated for the way a modern family lives today makes this a once in a lifetime opportunity.  This is a dream home for a true admirer of great architecture. It is truly unique, in a setting that will never be duplicated.”

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Looking up into Thanssgiving Tower. Photo: John McStravick via Creative Commons

Looking up into the iconic spiral of the chapel in Thanks-Giving Square. Photo: John McStravick via Creative Commons

A new Kickstarter campaign is looking to replace worn, outdated, and vandalized signage in Thanks-Giving Square, a serene three-acre park, non-denominational chapel, and museum in Downtown Dallas.

The iconic spiral chapel in Thanks-Giving Square is one of the most prestigious stained glass windows in the world, inviting visitors to enter for reflection or prayer. The museum is rich in history of gratitude and thanks for the leaders and supporters throughout the years, and the bells in the square chime hourly. Thousands of people interact with this space each year, and it has become an active, urban gathering place.

thanks-giving square

Photo: Noah Jeppson

This landmark space in the heart of Downtown Dallas was designed by architect Philip Johnson and opened to the public in 1977. Decades of continuous wear and vandalism have resulted in a confusing visitor, says Noah Jeppson, board member of The Thanks-Giving Foundation, a private nonprofit that owns and operates Thanks-Giving Square.

“While multiple pathways located in the Square lead guests to different attractions, there is little to guide them along the way,” he said. “This summer, our most current project will help raise important funds that will allow us to replace the out-of-date, missing, and confusing signage with a functional signage system that engages neighboring residents, tourists, and office workers and helps them understand this landmark gem. This important project relies on contributions from supporters around the world, and the campaign offers several ways in which the community can get involved.”

The fundraising goal is $11,500, and as of today, they have 33 backers pledging $4,024.

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The Jackson House is a classic updated English-style estate on Strait Lane by Hal Yoakum.

The Jackson House is a classic updated English-style estate on Strait Lane by Hal Yoakum.

Of course we “ooh” and “ahh” over new homes and the latest design features, but a lot can be said for homes that stand the test of time. Some estates become standard-bearers for architects and designers, evoking a time and place like no other home can.

These are exactly the types of properties that are showcased in Saturday’s “Grounds For Preservation” home tour hosted by Preservation Dallas. This home tour is an extraordinary opportunity  to see the sprawling estates of Dallas designed by well-known architects.

“Our tour this year highlights iconic historic houses in Dallas, and this tour is unique because it highlights estates and their grounds,” said Donovan Westover of Preservation Dallas.

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10210 Strait Front

(Photos: Matthews Nichols Group at Allie Beth Allman)

Alan Peppard (heart heart) breaks the news on this one: the architecturally significant home of  Naomi Aberly and Larry Lebowitz at 10210 Strait Lane hits the market this week.  This is the home that the New York Times has called a “mega-version of the Lake Pavilion that Johnson designed on the grounds of his Glass House in New Canaan, Ct.” You may know it as the house with arches, east side of the street closer to Walnut Hill Lane, a huge white contemporary. Alan says it has hosted President Obama not once, but twice. The estate is listed for $27.5 million with David Nichols of the Mathews-Nichols group at Allie Beth Allman and Associates. I will be bringing photos your way as soon as they go live in MLS. Trust me, you will want to see the interiors — here’s what Alan says: “Between 2002 and 2008, Aberly and Lebowitz meticulously restored and modernized the house including a complete re-landscaping of the 6.45 acres by the Massachusetts firm of Reed Hilderbrand. The Dallas architectural firm of Bodron+Fruit did the renovation and designed the pavilion for the new swimming pool.” I’m getting chills already! (more…)