Rehabilitation of the historic Knights of Pythias building in Deep Ellum is already underway, but developers are asking the City of Dallas to provide tax incentives to make the project more affordable. (Courtesy Photo)

For as long as I can remember, the Knights of Pythias building was a large painted gray mass of Beaux Arts architecture, hulking on the west end of Deep Ellum, boarded up and idle. When the historic rehabilitation began, it was wonderful to see the light gray paint give way to the gorgeous brick and stone underneath, unveiling the true character of this building. 
 
Of course, rehabilitation of historic structures isn’t cheap, and in the fight to maintain Dallas’ character, one of the best tools that cities have at their disposal are historic preservation tax exemptions and credits. While we bemoan the rash of teardowns and our city’s toothless measures to stay their razings, the key is making rehabilitation more economically viable than destroying the historic fabric of our city’s built environment. 
 
That’s why Preservation Dallas has put out the call to support tax exemption for the Knights of Pythias developers, Westdale Properties.
 

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Discover Art Deco in Dallas with Spring Architectural Tour | CandysDirt.com

A most distinctive architectural style, Art Deco is a rarity in Dallas, especially in residential design. Discover and appreciate five unique Art Deco residences here this Saturday, May 19, on the Preservation Dallas 2018 Spring Architectural Tour. 

“Art Deco is one of my favorite historic architectural styles and it will be exciting to see an amazing collection of residential examples of the style on the tour, of which there are not many in the country or Dallas,” said David Preziosi, executive director of Preservation Dallas. “This style broke away from the revival styles of the past and chartered a new course for modern architecture with simple geometric forms, flat roofs, clean lines, corner windows, curved walls, and geometric detailing.”

The house pictured above, 6843 Lorna Ln. in Lakewood, is just one of the unusual properties featured. Jump to read more and find out about tickets — you have to have a reservation to attend! 

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Chateau Des Grotteaux at 6941 Gaston Avenue has a very colorful history.

By Donovan Westover
Special Contributor

For years, I have observed my friend restore the castle exterior and grounds at Chateau Des Grotteaux with such precision, that when I heard he was selling his super iconic Lakewood home, I did a spit take with my morning commute bourbon. Most drivers-by are familiar with the French Normandy style home’s turret and slate roof poking above the stone wall, while ducking below the tree canopy along Gaston Avenue.  The 1928 house, being constructed by builder Edwin Cox, was intended as a speculative residence for the Pasadena neighborhood which boasted “Pasadena Perfect Homes.”  However, the house was purchased prior to completion by R.L.Thornton after seeing it advertised in a State Fair of Texas brochure.  Thornton brought in Dallas’ only landscape architect at the time to lay the footing for the grounds.  There is lots of history associated with the “House of the Cave” including the cave itself, which went to White Rock Lake, and as folklore has it, was used to transport liquor during prohibition.

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blue house

The Blue House has begun its trek seven blocks away to a new lot, after years of neglect and a couple of years of hard work by preservationists (Photos courtesy Preservation Dallas).

It took a bit, but the Blue House is almost completely safe now.

Almost, because windy weather has held up the removal process, so it sits on two lots — its original on Griffin, and the new lot at Beaumont and Browder.

It may take a while for the entire house to make the trek over to the new location, Dallas developer Mark Martinek told me last week.

We’re still moving it,” he said. “It’s kind of half on the original location, half on the new location.” (more…)

Get ready for the bargain of the century. The Grady Vaughn house at 5350 South Dentwood, nestled deep in the heart of Preston Hollow and right across the street from former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, started on the market at $6.9 million back in 2017. The home is on one of the most lush lots in Dallas — huge trees, a serene swimming pool that is ageless, even a private pond and rock creek. The home is a whopping 9,500 square feet built when square footage like that was a rarity.

This home is in an estate. It has only been occupied by two families, the Vaughn family that commissioned it to be designed and built, and the Allan Zidell family. In 1951, when Dallas was just beginning to embrace the midcentury modern design movement, oilman Grady Vaughn, Jr. commissioned architect Robert Goodwin of Goodwin & Cavitt to design his waterfront dream home in what we now know as the honeypot of Preston Hollow. This neighborhood commands the most expensive dirt prices in Texas, and the neighbors are a veritable Who’s Who. 5350 South Dentwood has been designated an endangered home by Preservation Dallas. The home has six bedrooms, seven and a half baths, several living areas on one of the most heavily treed lots in this majestic part of town. The acreage is unbelievable: 1.36 acres.

On February 20th, next month, this home will go to auction with a starting bid of $2.9 million!

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We have a soft spot for architect Charles Dilbeck, and we have a special affinity for the Greenway Parks neighborhood, so we’re excited to bring you our Inwood House of the Week at 5522 Waneta Drive today. The neighborhood is built in a traditional English manner, with houses surrounding a parkway, which the Brits refer to as a “commons.” One of the best aspects of this is that it affords an architect the opportunity to create two facades, one facing the greenbelt and the other facing the street. This home is a Charles Dilbeck Spanish Colonial Revival, and an excellent example of a double facade house. (more…)

HTC

The tax reform proposal by the House Ways and Means Committee would eliminate the Historic Tax Credit. The Statler was a local project that benefited from the credit (Photo courtesy Hilton Hotels)

A plan to eliminate the Historic Tax Credit by the House Ways and Means Committee as part of its proposed tax reform bill will likely stymie efforts to continue preservation projects large and small, advocates said this week.

The committee’s vote to eliminate the HTC is part of an effort to simplify the tax code and pay for other tax cuts, ranking committee members said.

“While not unexpected, this policy proposal deals a significant blow to historic preservation,” the National Trust for Historic Preservation said.

The credit was passed in 1976 and had a fan in a Ronald Reagan. It was designed to encourage private investment in historical buildings. The National Trust says that more than 42,000 projects have been completed thanks to the HTC. (more…)

Celebrate Historic Oak Cliff Living with this Winnetka Heights Craftsman Bungalow | CandysDirt.com

If you come across the residential handiwork of award-winning preservation contractor Ron Siebler, take note! This talented craftsman has long history of the highest quality restorations of historic homes in North Texas. 

It shows in our Thursday Three Hundred at 315 S. Windomere Ave., a 1913 Winnetka Heights Craftsman bungalow with recent renovations by Siebler and huge overall appeal. 

Sited on an elevated lot with rolling front lawn and waterfall steps, the Craftsman’s curb appeal is completely lovely. Exterior highlights include a pretty gable-covered front porch, tapered columns and brick bases, vertically divided upper window panes, and flared skirting. 

This home has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas, two dining areas, and 1,816 square feet on one story. 

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