Architectural walking tours are something we generally participate in when we travel to Europe. Learning about the culture and history of a city from a local allows for a more exciting and intimate experience. It’s also a more enriching way to learn about a place than you’d get from a travel guide or, God forbid, in a huge tour group.

Jay Cantrell

I just returned from Prague and Vienna. On a day trip to Bratislava, I took an architectural walking tour that was a highlight of the trip, and it got me thinking about Dallas. We live in an architecturally significant city. However, we seldom take the time to treat our home town with the same respect we treat other major cities of the world. Then I remembered, Jay Cantrell is trying to rectify that.

Cantrell is an architecture teacher, artist, and entrepreneur who lives in the Kirby Building. To say he is deeply passionate about Dallas architecture is putting it mildly. Cantrell is intent on changing the perception of architecture in Dallas.

Almost a year ago, just before Thanksgiving, he launched Architectural walking tours of downtown Dallas.

“I’d done a fellowship in Paris and regularly took my colleagues to tour the beautiful architecture,” Cantrell said. “I missed that and thought if I could do it in Paris, I could do architectural walking tours here.”

The seed was planted and took root on social media. He created a Facebook page for people to sign up. It was an immediate success.

“I was not expecting it to be this big,” Cantrell said. “There happened to be a reporter on the first architectural walking tour, so word got out!”

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The Kirby Residences on Main are one of 11 historic downtown buildings where you can live the loft life in Dallas.

The Kirby Residences on Main are one of 11 historic downtown buildings where you can live the loft life in Dallas. Photo: Kirby Residences

This is the first installment in a two-part series looking at loft living in historic downtown Dallas buildings, originally published July 29. Part two will publish tomorrow. Be sure to check back!

The loft life never looked better than in downtown Dallas’ historic buildings. With 11 of them converted for residential living, residents have lots of options, in terms of amenities and location.

Part of the appeal of loft living is the flexible spaces, says Ashley D. Stanley, owner of Ashley’s Apartments, a long-time downtown loft dweller with her young son, and a go-to expert apartment locator for downtown Dallas apartment rentals.

“I love the open feel and I think most people do,” she said. “Some people might section off a little area of their loft for a sitting area, but the key is you have the creative freedom to walk into an open area and make it your own.”

Another reason people choose loft living? A sense of connection to the city.

“I love knowing the story behind my building — I live in the The Wilson, which is the oldest building being used as a multi-family place,” she said. “People have a sense of pride while living in a building that’s been around for 100-plus years and you feel a part of history. Also, you’ve got the options of exposed ductwork and brick walls. I’ve even got three kinds of flooring (wood, concrete, and marble). It’s the coolest thing to have such a unique place to live.”

All of these are rental properties, and we’ve given the approximate price-per-square foot*, as well as info about the building’s background and current options in the renovated spaces.

(more…)

The Kirby Residences on Main are one of 11 historic downtown buildings where you can live the loft life in Dallas.

The Kirby Residences on Main are one of 11 historic downtown buildings where you can live the loft life in Dallas. Photo: Kirby Residences

This is the first installment in a two-part series looking at loft living in historic downtown Dallas buildings. Part two will publish next week. Be sure to check back!

The loft life never looked better than in downtown Dallas’ historic buildings. With 11 of them converted for residential living, residents have lots of options, in terms of amenities and location.

Part of the appeal of loft living is the flexible spaces, says Ashley D. Stanley, owner of Ashley’s Apartments, a long-time downtown loft dweller with her young son, and a go-to expert apartment locator for downtown Dallas apartment rentals.

“I love the open feel and I think most people do,” she said. “Some people might section off a little area of their loft for a sitting area, but the key is you have the creative freedom to walk into an open area and make it your own.”

Another reason people choose loft living? A sense of connection to the city.

“I love knowing the story behind my building — I live in the The Wilson, which is the oldest building being used as a multi-family place,” she said. “People have a sense of pride while living in a building that’s been around for 100-plus years and you feel a part of history. Also, you’ve got the options of exposed ductwork and brick walls. I’ve even got three kinds of flooring (wood, concrete, and marble). It’s the coolest thing to have such a unique place to live.”

All of these are rental properties, and we’ve given the approximate price-per-square foot*, as well as info about the building’s background and current options in the renovated spaces.

 

(more…)