Gabriel Barbier-Mueller

The Barbier-Mueller family, from L to R: Alexis Barbier-Mueller, Niña Barbier-Mueller Tollett, Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, Ann Barbier-Mueller, and Oliver Barbier-Mueller at the the Samurai Collection traveling exhibition in Quebec City. All photos: Gabriel Barbier-Mueller

Many diners at Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar and passers by admire the Virgin de Guadalupe monument standing outside, a tile-and-brick structure that murmurs the history of the area.

This Harwood Avenue location was Dallas’ first school for Hispanic children, the 1927 St. Ann’s school house. It was located in the heart of Little Mexico, in what is now the Harwood District of Uptown, the signature development of Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, Founder and CEO of Harwood International.

After buying the historic schoolhouse, Barbier-Mueller’s company brought in an art preservationist to refurbish the tile mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They kept the original brick school building and transformed the interior into a sophisticated-yet-comfortable eatery in 2010. The second level houses The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection, an assemblage of samurai armor and related objects that is one of the largest and most complete in the world. Outside, the patio is one of the biggest and most lovely in the city.

This is just a tiny part of the Harwood empire, which spans the globe and has offices and developments in select parts of Dallas, Beverly Hills, Sunnyvale’s Gold Coast, Geneva, London’s West End, Paris, and Zurich’s Golden Triangle. But it speaks to Barbier-Mueller’s vision and European sensibilities when it comes to his work.

It’s not “out with the old, in with the new,” but rather a reimagining of space, with a focus on robust capital investment, energy conservation, leading-edge technology, green spaces, and designs that are built to stand the test of time.

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Snavely Front

What do go-go boots, big hair, and color-coordinated appliances have in common? They were all popular in the 1960s. You’ll only see one of these things in our Midcentury Masterpiece of a Friday Five Hundred, though. We already talked about this amazing home during the legendary estate sale in January, when Janelle Stone Estate Services helped liquidate the incredible collection of designer bits, bobbles, and furnishings that Alice Snavely, personal secretary to Neiman Marcus founder Stanley Marcus, had amassed.

Snavely Front Entrance Snavely Living Dining Snavely Kitchen Snavely Kitchen Keeping

Now Snavely’s incredible time warp of a home at 6540 Cliffbrook Drive is on the market, listed by Coldwell Banker Park Cities Realtor Sandra Melmed for $575,000, a steal considering how many amazing architectural details this home has. As you can imagine, Snavely had an eye for quality, and that is absolutely reflected in this 1962 ranch. It has four bedrooms, three and a half baths, and more than 3,500 square feet.

Some wonderful details you’ll be enamored with include Asian-style carved wood screens, stained glass panels featuring bamboo motifs. But the kitchen is where you’ll be truly amazed, with incredible Midcentury Modern cabinetry, unique hardware, bright orange Formica, and the coolest color-coordinated wallpaper made to look like a woven reed chair bottom. It’s just fantastic!

Snavely Master Bath

Snavely Garden Snavely Pool

This incredible home was also featured on Retro Renovation with all of the photographs from Shoot2Sell.

Yowza, another stunning time capsule house: This  1962 Dallas, Texas mid century modern home, listed for sale by Realtor Sandra Melmed, features stunning Asian-influenced decor throughout, most all of it in untouched original condition. The house has an interesting provenance. The original owner was longtime executive assistant to Neiman Marcus chairman and family heir Stanley Marcus, and it’s clear she had fabulous taste.

We actually recall sharing the link to the estate sale for this house on our Facebook page — it was quite something to see all the designer decor, not to mention the fantastic clothes and shoes.

With amazing light fixtures, dramatic fireplaces, a true Japanese-style garden with an incredible water feature, and an oasis of a pool, this home should be preserved, and I hope the new owners will keep as much of it intact as possible.

 

Snavely Estate 5

I call dibs on the couches! Look at those beauties!

Seriously, this is a not-to-be-missed estate sale in Northwood Hills, folks. Just from glancing at the photos on the Janelle Stone Estate Services website, I can see that there are tons of great antiques and furnishings on offer in the estate of Alice Snavely, personal secretary of Neiman Marcus founder Stanley Marcus.

Snavely Estate 3 Snavely Estate 2

I guess good taste is a prerequisite when you work for one of the best-known luxury retailers in the world. Antiques and jewelry whose designs span the globe, with a significant stop in Southeast Asia with all of the gilded Thai Buddhist figures, there are just tons of fabulous finds in this estate. As Janelle Stone put it, “The quality and quantity are unequaled. She only bought the best of the best. Neiman’s was her playground.” You can tell. This incredible woman, who was loyal and driven and trusted, has some of the most beautiful things. She will certainly be missed!

Alice SnavelyThe furnishings are high-quality midcentury-modern style couches, chairs, and setees from Baker and Henredon. Gorgeous fabric and upholstery. The lime green ones with the rust-colored piping are just fantastic. I have a serious case of the wantees for those couches, and they’re in immaculate condition. Snavely also had an enviable collection of fabric and clothes. You will have to pick your jaw up off the floor when you see the list of what’s on offer. AMAZING!

The home is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today (Friday 1/31) and tomorrow (Saturday 2/1). There will be plenty of security, and the home is not handicap accessible. Bring your own paper and boxes for wrapping up your treasure!

 

Snavely Estate 5

I call dibs on the couches! Look at those beauties!

Seriously, this is a not-to-be-missed estate sale in Northwood Hills, folks. Just from glancing at the photos on the Janelle Stone Estate Services website, I can see that there are tons of great antiques and furnishings on offer in the estate of Alice Snavely, personal secretary of Neiman Marcus founder Stanley Marcus.

Snavely Estate 3 Snavely Estate 2

I guess good taste is a prerequisite when you work for one of the best-known luxury retailers in the world. Antiques and jewelry whose designs span the globe, with a significant stop in Southeast Asia with all of the gilded Thai Buddhist figures, there are just tons of fabulous finds in this estate. As Janelle Stone put it, “The quality and quantity are unequaled. She only bought the best of the best. Neiman’s was her playground.” You can tell. This incredible woman, who was loyal and driven and trusted, has some of the most beautiful things. She will certainly be missed!

Alice SnavelyThe furnishings are high-quality midcentury-modern style couches, chairs, and setees from Baker and Henredon. Gorgeous fabric and upholstery. The lime green ones with the rust-colored piping are just fantastic. I have a serious case of the wantees for those couches, and they’re in immaculate condition. Snavely also had an enviable collection of fabric and clothes. You will have to pick your jaw up off the floor when you see the list of what’s on offer. AMAZING!

The home is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today (Friday 1/31) and tomorrow (Saturday 2/1). There will be plenty of security, and the home is not handicap accessible. Bring your own paper and boxes for wrapping up your treasure!

 

10-nonesuch-rd-dallas-tx-1-High-Res-1I may have forgotten to tell you that 10 Nonesuch Road, the stunningly significant Dallas Landmark and Lakewood mansion that once belonged to the late Stanley Marcus, in fact, was designed and built by Stanley Marcus, has left the Hip Pocket world and entered the world of the MLS. Dave Perry Miller agent Nancy Johnson is the listing agent.

And, in time for the holidays, it has take a bit of a price chopper chop to nudge it along to its next owner. The home had come on the market at $4,990,000, which I still think was pretty darn fair for the vast amount of land and superbly updated amenities.

Now 10 Nonesuch is listed for $4, 490,000. That’s for 9558 square feet, and one of Dallas’ first examples of modern architecture. If the walls could talk: this estate was host to many of the world’s rich and famous from President Lyndon Johnson to Grace Kelly and Liz Taylor. The home sits on a secluded three acres plus 1 acre of surrounding creek, and includes main house, guesthouse, pool & lush grounds.

I wonder if the walls know the truth about the Kennedy assassination?

We have written about it before, and we hope to write about it again, soon, when we tell you who the new owner is.

Will MLS help this magnificent property get sold? What do you think of the price reduction? Come on folks, this is one of the most significant homes in Dallas… in North Texas. Should it be staged next? How so? We vote for Blu Sky Living. Who do you vote for? Inquiring real estate minds want to know…

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10 Nonesuch, a famous neighbor

10 Nonesuch, a famous neighbor

P.S.  We may re-post the original for your Thanksgiving viewing pleasure!

Home of the Week 6 Nonesuch

You may have heard a lot about Nonesuch Road in Lakewood these past few weeks, ever since the current owners of the fabled Stanley Marcus house, Mark and Patty Lovvorn, put their estate on the market… for sale yes, but not in MLS. You may recall how we told you that Stanley and Billie Marcus wanted to build a home in Dallas to raise their three children. About 7.5 wooded Lakewood acres, three blocks from White Rock Lake, plus creek, were given to the young couple by Stanley’s father, Herbert, who lived nearby. Stanley Marcus himself was born in The Cedars. His original home on Westlake behind the current Marcus estate sold a few years ago and is still standing strong, being redone by the owners as we speak.

Platting can be complex, so bear with me here. The current Marcus estate is on about three of those original acres (including an exclusive creek). There are two lots at 8 and 12 Nonesuch, which also enjoy creek usage in addition to their platted lots. Then there are more homes on the remaining 2.6, replatted in 1994, and one of them just came on the market like yesterday, listed with my favorite former Mayor Pro Tem, Mary Poss.

6 Nonesuch GR 6 Nonesuch foyer 6 Nonesuch foyer 6 Nonesuch FR6 Nonesuch is way more traditional, and in no way compares to, the Marcus estate. Perched on almost an acre (approx .9 acre surface use of lot) in the gated portion of the Marcus estate subdivision platted 20 years ago, and, like many houses in that area, it is in the “Stanley Marcus Addition.” Built in 1997, the 5318 square foot home has two stories, a dramatic entrance with arched front door, stone and hardwood floors, beautiful vaulted, triple-beamed timbers in the soaring great room, gourmet kitchen with granite and one of those charming built-in “mom” desks we used to see so much of. I love those desks, why are we not building those anymore? The kitchen has a breakfast room I would actually turn into a morning room because of the incredible wooded view and window seat, and there is a great breakfast bar. There is a family room off the great room with pocket door closure. The master is also wonderful, large (18 by 16) and the bath has a his and her suite with a room off the deal that could be an office, a nursery or a man-cave. While it’s not 2 baths to every bedroom Los Angeles-style, with a total of 5 bedrooms, 6 full baths and 1 half bath, nobody will ever be seeking a loo in this home. I like, too, that the master is down, along with another bedroom and study. Upstairs are three more bedrooms with en suite baths, plus a third living area/media room and exercise room. One other plus: there are quarters, complete with a kitchenette and full bath. And there is a three car garage.

6 Nonesuch kitchen 6 Nonesuch planning desk 6 Nonesuch breakfast bar 6 Nonesuch study 6 Nonesuch master 6 Nonesuch master bathThis home is priced at $1,745,000. No pool, no creek access. The Marcus estate, next acre over, is at $5,400,000. Rest assured you will be buying on one of the the best streets in Dallas, but not getting the most expensive home on the block. Which will make the folks at Inwood Mortgage very happy indeed when you work with them on your jumbo mortgage.6 Nonesuch patio 6 Nonesuch yard

 

 

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Why is preservation important? That’s a question that can be answered differently depending on where you live, what you do, and your personal taste. To me, I think preserving historic architecture allows a city a shared sense of history, as well as a barrier from becoming homogenous.



Mark DotyFor Mark Doty, a staff member with the city of Dallas Historic Preservation office and author of Lost Dallas, a city’s past is written in its streets and buildings, its neighborhoods and its public spaces. They stand as everyday monuments to the people who lived and worked within them every day.

Doty took some time out of his very busy schedule to share his thoughts on the significance of 10 Nonesuch Road, the famed estate of retail magnate Stanley Marcus, and how the Lovvorn family’s work can serve as an example of how preservation isn’t a fixed equation. Jump to read more …

CandysDirt.com: In 2008, the Lovvorns set off a huge citywide debate over historic preservation when they set out to demolish 10 Nonesuch Road in order to build a more energy efficient home in its place. What were your thoughts on the proposal?

Mark Doty: At first I was disappointed that the property owners were seeking demolition, which is why the city of Dallas initiated historic designation over the owner’s objection in order to at least begin the conversation with the owners about the value in landmark designation. Through the initiation process, the Lovvorns understood the constraints and benefits to designation and our office was able to work with them to craft a document that protected the main facades of the historic structure, but also gave them flexibility on the rear and the interior to make any changes they deemed appropriate for their lifestyle.

However, what this particular discussion did was to highlight again the fact that there are many structures and entire neighborhoods within the city that have no protection. The preservation community at large should take a more proactive approach to starting a conversation with either property owners or neighborhoods to have these buildings or neighborhoods protected or to reach an understanding to not object when they are threatened with demolition or inappropriate changes.

The entire community was lucky that the Lovvorns were open to other suggestions besides tearing the structure down. They should certainly be commended for their hard work and patience.

CD: As author of Lost Dallas, I am sure you are thrilled that the Lovvorns chose to renovate the Stanley Marcus estate instead of demolish it. Can you tell us your thoughts on the home’s historic significance?

Doty: To say the least I was thrilled! This is a home that was one of the first International Style residential structures built in Dallas and one that is associated with a Dallas icon, Stanley Marcus. I mean, Grace Kelly, Eleanor Roosevelt, not to mention scores of fashion royalty spent time in this house. So the significance goes far beyond the physical. It is a cultural touchstone and really speaks to Dallas’ place in fashion history.

CD: We’ve posted photos of the interior of 10 Nonesuch Road, showing that the renovations not only preserved much of the home’s character, but added modern amenities and earth-friendly features. Do you see this home as being a model for how a historic structure can meet modern demands without losing its soul?

Doty: Absolutely. I think there is such a rush these days to build things as quickly and cheaply as possible that there is a lost opportunity to take a step back, truly review what makes an historic structure special or unique and then make changes that increase a structure’s value and function without sacrificing its history or heritage.

CD: The Lovvorns and W2 Studio spared no expense to preserve 10 Nonesuch Road. What is your favorite feature of the home after its renovation?

Doty: Unfortunately, I have not been able to view the house since the renovation was completed. However, I may try to sneak into one of the open houses to see it for myself! [Editor’s Note: Someone get this guy a private tour!]

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Photos: Shoot2Sell

You have heard of this home, it’s a landmark Dallas estate fresh from an architecturally sensitive, three-year long renovation. The address is 10 Nonesuch Road. There are 10,000 square feet, which now includes four living areas, three bedrooms, four full and two half baths, totally new kitchen, laundry room and bathroom updates, library, study, office, sauna and a catwalk to a new two-bedroom, two-bath guest home of 1,200 square feet that sits above the three-car garage. The home has just been listed with Nancy Johnson of Dave Perry-Miller. It includes the original pool and a creek that surrounds the estate.

10-nonesuch-rd-dallas-tx-1-High-Res-2 10-nonesuch-rd-dallas-tx-1-High-Res-3 10-nonesuch-rd-dallas-tx-1-High-Res-4 10-nonesuch-rd-dallas-tx-1-High-Res-5 10-nonesuch-rd-dallas-tx-1-High-Res-6 10-nonesuch-rd-dallas-tx-1-High-Res-7 10-nonesuch-rd-dallas-tx-1-High-Res-8I would say this about only a handful of homes: There is absolutely no other home in Dallas like 10 Nonesuch Road. Built in 1937, it has only been owned by two families, the Marcuses and the Lovvorns, who bought it from the retail genius in 1994. It is a home filled with history and stories of famous visitors, weddings, parties, those beyond-wild Neiman Marcus Fortnights, signifying the epitome of a retail era we no longer know. It is also a home that reflects the evolution of our city and sophistication, as Neiman Marcus clearly put Dallas ahead of any other Texas city in terms of glamor. And 10 Nonesuch represents Dallas’ aesthetic march towards Modern architecture, which our city is known for, but it also stands for the Neiman Marcus lore.

When he and his wife built it, Stanley Marcus believed that it was the very first fine contemporary home in Dallas. It has other “firsts” as well: the library, for example, has a leather floor that was made of the same imported leather once used for a display wall in the Neiman Marcus shoe department — the configuration entirely Stanley Marcus’ idea. StanleyMarcusLibrary-203x300The original projection booth is still in the home where he entertained the likes of Grace Kelly, James Dean, Eleanor Roosevelt, Christian Dior, Lyndon Johnson, Nelson Rockefeller, Estee Lauder and distinguished designers from all over the world. The same mahogany wood used in the expansive his and her master closet is there, custom built by Stanley Marcus to best preserve and house the fruits of his empire. There is the same large, winding driveway for a multitude of cars and valet because the Marcuses entertained, to put it mildly, frequently, abundantly. Once the Queen of Thailand came on a visit with Issey Miyake of Tokyo with an entourage of 30! Now there is a brand new kitchen, sleek new plumbing fixtures in all six bathrooms, a new laundry room more reflective of a self-help age and water conservation, a circle drive off that winding driveway, a second walk-in closet in the master and a private roof-top deck, and a catwalk to a 1200 square foot two bedroom, two bath guest house with kitchen.10-nonesuch-rd-dallas-tx-1-High-Res-10 10-nonesuch-rd-dallas-tx-1-High-Res-9

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Go down Abrams, head east on Westlake Drive to Lakehill Preparatory. There you find the land of the Nonesuches. I have always wondered about the name of the street, and of course it comes from the marketing genius of Marcus himself. Mark Lovvorn tells me Stanley Marcus named the street Nonesuch. During the days of constructing his house, it took the city so long to complete the connection of Llano Road to the Lakewood area and the Marcus property, that he himself decided to call the road “Nonesuch Road.” There are also other personal connections to the selection of this name. Along with his vast art collection, Stanley Marcus collected miniature books as a hobby and began publishing those in 1975.  Corresponding to the address of the residence, he called this publishing activity “Somesuch Press.”

Like most young affluent couples, Stanley and Billie Marcus wanted to build a home in Dallas to raise their three children. Six and a half wooded Lakewood acres three blocks from the water were given to the young couple by Stanley’s father, Herbert, who lived nearby. (Stanley Marcus was born in The Cedars.) As he tells it in his autobiography, “Minding the Store”, they did what any building couple does — create a budget and find an architect. And here is where another famous name in architectural history puts his imprint upon this house. Frank Lloyd Wright selflessly offered to design the Marcus home — “why take an imitation?” he modestly proposed to the Marcuses.

“In 1936 my wife and I paid a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright at his home, Taliesen, in Spring Green, Wisconsin for the purpose of inquiring whom he would recommend to design a contemporary home for us is Dallas. When I asked whether he recommended Richard Neutra, the California architect, or Bill Lescaze, the Swiss architect resident in New York,  Wright replied, “Why take a substitute when you can get the original?” writes Marcus.

It was the thick of the Depression. The Marcuses had budgeted $25,000 for construction, a huge amount back then and significantly more because of the land gift. In an insightful description of the architect, Stanley Marcus describes Wrights’ architectural plans based on the one day he visited Dallas in January, 1934, when it happened to be 70 degrees.

“When his first preliminary sketches arrived, we noticed that there were no bedrooms, just cubicles in which to sleep when the weather was inclement. Otherwise, ninety percent of the time we’d sleep outdoors on the deck. We protested that solution on the grounds that I was subject to colds and sinus trouble. He dismissed this objection in his typical manner, as though brushing a bit of lint from his jacket, by assuring us that I wouldn’t get colds if I slept outside.  Finally, though, with great reluctance, he did enlarge the bedrooms.”

Wright had other headstrong ideas about the Marcus home. He provided little or no closet space, saying “closets were only useful for accumulating things you don’t need” — this to one of the nation’s great retail giants!

Wright dragged the plans on, occasionally even asking Marcus for a loan. Ultimately, a local Dallas architect named Roscoe DeWitt, who the Marcuses had hired to act as a sort of “local agent” for Wright, got the job. DeWitt had already designed one contemporary model home for the Texas Centennial celebration at Fair Park, the home moved to 6851 Gaston thereafter and remaining one of four or five Art Modern in the city, according to Douglas Newby. DeWitt, a Dartmouth and Harvard grad, also specialized in building courthouses and hospitals and ultimately designed two Neiman Marcus stores. It is interesting to note, and gives great insight into the brilliance of Stanley Marcus, that he and his wife were clearly firm with Wright about their preferences. For example, they noted the “sweating walls” while visiting Taliesin and told Wright they wanted under no circumstances sweaty walls in Dallas. They wanted good acoustics with high ceilings. Though they had raised the original building budget up to $30,000, Wright’s preliminary estimates came in at $90,000 to $150,000.

Billie and Stanley Marcus in the doorway of their new home, 1938, courtesy of Allison Smith

(Billie and Stanley Marcus in the doorway of their new home, 1938, courtesy of Allison Smith.)

The home was finally built in 1937. In his autobiography, Stanley Marcus says DeWitt wrote him later that all great architects have their “betes noir”. In Wright’s case, it was his roofs. For Mies van de Rohe, it was his posts. Apparently Dr. Farnsworth had to buy sheep to keep the weeds down around Farnsworth House in Illinois!

In 2008, the current owners, Mark and Patricia Lovvorn, asked the city of Dallas to “remove the Structure by demolition … in order to build a more energy efficient new home on the property and to occupy the new home as our permanent residence.” That didn’t happen. Robert Wilonsky, a reporter then at The Dallas Observer, spent two days in the DeGolyer Library at SMU, devouring papers and files related to the construction of the Nonesuch house. Somewhere in all that, I think he was smitten by 10 Nonesuch and didn’t want to see her go. Neither did Dallas or state preservationists. The Lovvorns quickly changed their minds and kept the house, vowing to restore it with every ounce of historic integrity. W2 Studio spent two years refurbishing the house, adding merely 400 square feet to the original 9,558. It is listed for $5.4 million dollars with Dave Perry-Miller’s Nancy Johnson, known as the “queen” of Lakewood real estate. It is on what is left of the land from Herbert: 2.99 acres tucked in a private shared gated acreage with three other graceful homes, none historic.

When Mark Lovvorn wrote an editorial in The Dallas Morning News in August of 2008 explaining why the couple wanted to raze the home, he pointed out that even Stanley Marcus, entrepreneur extraordinaire, had thought ahead to the profitability and future of the Nonesuch dirt:

“When Stanley Marcus began to market the property in 1993, it was zoned R7.5 (single family residential), but had yet to be platted. Recognizing the economic attraction that the property might have to a land developer, Mr. Marcus engaged an engineer to draw a preliminary sketch, which demonstrated how a prospective purchaser could easily yield 24 lots from the seven-acre estate.”

True to their word, the Lovvorns have nurtured the home and given her a new life. Now they care to downsize. As for the historical papers, sketches and drawings, including the original plans by Wright, those will remain with Mark and Patricia Lovvorn. Agent Nancy Johnson says the sellers plan to make copies of some and present to the buyer provided, of course, that the price is right. Here is what Nancy told Robert Wilonsky on Friday AFTER he saw my tweet:

“They spent a lot of time and energy trying to honor the house — and at an enormous expense,” she says. “Once they made the decision this was the way to go, they really embraced it. A lot of people will appreciate that.” The new owner, she says, will be a “discerning” one. A wealthy one too. She suggests the next owner of the Nonesuch house might want to add, say, a tennis court or other amenity somewhere on the surrounding three acres. They likely won’t need much more.”

The History of the Marcus House