Prairie Foursquare

Preservation is not just about saving a wonderful old home like this beautiful Prairie Foursquare. It’s also about preserving the stories of those that have called these houses home. That story may be about who built it or who owned it in the 1900s. Each of those stories lends a rich layer to a home’s history.

Digging through The Dallas Morning News archives is like taking a trip down memory lane. You can find anything. When I started searching for information on this Prairie Foursquare, I was delighted to find several stories on the gentleman that lived there most of his life, W.J. Newcom, known as the fiddling cowboy. One that gave me a chuckle referred to him as, “An old cowhand from the Rio Grande.” After his years as a trail driver on the Old Chisolm Trail, he settled down in this Prairie Foursquare with his wife, raised six daughters here, and celebrated his 100th birthday in this Old East Dallas house.


SamsCityplaceWhile I was in West Virginia, I read Steve Brown’s report that a Sam’s was coming to Uptown East at Cityplace, courtesy of Trammell Crow. I thought maybe I had altitude sickness or something. Total head scratcher. Here I have been interviewing builders and developers on how Uptown development is splashing over east of central, where we are starting to see some great multi-family developments taking shape close in to the urban core.  They are even starting to call this area “Uptown East.”



I think Joanna wrote this house up back in the spring perhaps, but I needed my modern fix today. What do I do when I simply must have modern? I toodle over to Miss Claire Dewar at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s and see what’s happening.

This goddess at 4610 Wildwood was built by former Trammel Crow exec J. McDonald Williams. Williams, who was once the chairman of Trammel Crow Company and founded the Foundation for Community Empowerment and the J. McDonald Williams Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas, hired Bodron+Fruit Architecture, Mesa Landscape Design, and contractor Elite Homes by John and Stephen Hardy to construct 4610 Wildwood Road in 2009. And oh construct they did. This masterpiece of contemporary architecture was built in synchrony with the surrounding Bluffview environment. Boasting Cottonwood limestone, mahogany, and copper exteriors, rift cut white oak and Gascoigne marble floors, custom cabinetry, an expansive library, a marble-clad Rumford fireplace, and 14-foot ceilings, the interiors are stunning and actually cool me down a few degrees on this oh so warm day.

4610 Wildwood opener 4610 Wildwood ext 4610 Wildwood ext 2 4610 Wildwood LR 4610 Wildwood library 4610 Wildwood library 2This home has just under 7,000 square feet, three bedrooms, three and two half baths, four living areas, on 1.3 acres. As you can imagine, the floor plan is composed of large, open spaces with near seamless connections to the exteriors. But the home feels most inviting. Maybe it’s the 5000 volume library, the great room, Bulthaup kitchen with abundant storage and wood cabinetry, floating cabinets, the easy, spacious den, screened porch, a ground level master suite with office which is the best thing since sliced bread, the most luxurious master bath in the city, long lap pool, cabana, two guest rooms and a place for everyone to keep their weight whittled down: the exercise room.

The price is $9, 750,000. This is one that any mortgage company would be proud to have not just in their mortgage pool, but in their vault!4610 Wildwood kitchen 4610 Wildwood master bath 4610 Wildwood patio

4214 Swiss LR longTo say Paul Adelson lives art is an understatement. The sixty-something collector of 20th century modern art feels strongly that art should complement, not match the architecture. He should know: Paul has been a consultant on public art collections for more than 25 years, with such clients tucked under his belt as Chase Bank, Coca-Cola, Kraft General Foods and Trammel Crow, all of whom have commissioned art from his Design District studio, Select Art, on Levy Street. “There’s a difference,” says Paul, “between what art goes in your home, and what goes in a public space.” A contemporary building, he says, has no room for traditional art. That explains his East Dallas home and the unique new home concept Paul is marketing with the help of his Coldwell Banker Residential Realty agent, Yvette Grove. It’s a turn-key product, from the dishes to the forks and furniture, yes. But in Paul’s home, a house is not complete without art on the walls. HIS art.

“I’m convinced that I was put on earth for a mission,” says Paul, “that mission being to share art with the world at levels few people have experienced or imagined.”

4214 Swiss LR rug 4214 Swiss DR 4214 Swiss art chest 4214 Swiss guestThis is not, he says, about having a trophy painting here, a piece of sculpture there. The entire home environment is filled with curated art handmade by artists and INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF THE HOME: tables, chairs, rugs, lamps, dinner plates, silverware, headboards, beds, fireplace, walls of course, and the commode. That’s right, Paul says even the toilet seat can become a conversation piece with the right treatment.

“Nothing, and I mean nothing escapes the artists’ touch,” he tells me. “Art is present in the house and is everywhere.”

All you need to move in with is a toothbrush from CVS, though Paul is trying to even fix that with artful toothbrushes! 4214 Swiss is Paul’s first Artful Living house. More an organic art gallery dwelling than a home, the 2027 square foot space features 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a large living/dining area, study, kitchen, garage in a lofty condo/townhome in East Dallas. There are stunning views of downtown Dallas. Only blocks from Baylor Hospital, probably less than three minutes from Downtown, this intown gallery-where-you-can-also-sleep is sold fully furnished with mid-century designer furnishings and blue chip art personally collected and curated by Paul. The distinguished art lover who wants move in ready can move in with blue chip art and and furnishings by such jaw droppers as Dine, Salvador Dali, Liechtenstein, Le Corbusier, and many contemporary original pieces from regional Dallas artists.4214 Swiss LR 4214 Swiss stairway 4214 Swiss master bath 4214 Swiss Master 4214 Swiss stairs4214 Swiss FP

In a sense, this has been done before: Tim Headington’s penthouse at the Ritz, recently sold to Moll and Charlie Anderson was offered with the art, which I am told was declined. Certainly the Rachofsky House comes to mind, but both of these examples are multi-million dollar properties. Paul is creating his ArtFul Living homes on attainable budgets. So you don’t have to be a billionaire, or even a millionaire to partake and live with art. His home fully furnished with all art, everything but that toothbrush, is listed at $769,000.

4214 Swiss Avenue is, like Paul Adelson, like his unique Design District gallery, an exciting breath of fresh real estate air not just for Swiss Avenue, but for this entire town.

“My greatest joy comes from watching other people as they begin to experience the love, passion and excitement that art has brought into my life,” says Paul. “Happens each time someone visits my art gallery, that also happens to be my home.”modern_lux4214 Swiss patio

4610 Wildwood openerYou can tell when someone hasn’t spent much time in Dallas when they refer to our summers. They use words like “scorching,” “oppressive,” or some other generic term. In Curbed‘s case, they say that “a long lap pool also features plenty of seating for guests beleaguered by the hot Dallas summer,” in their write up of J. McDonald “Don” Williams’ incredible Bluffview contemporary mansion.

4610 Wildwood pool

Anyone from Dallas knows that:

1) There is no way being in proximity to a lap pool during summer is going to do anything to cool you down. It will, at best, give you the extra incentive you need to just dive right in, Louboutins and all.

2) You aren’t “beleaguered” by the “hot Dallas summer.” If you’re lucky, you escape to Aspen, the Hamptons, or wherever your second home (or third!) may be. If you’re sticking around, though, you’re morally and physically aggrieved by the inconceivable high temperatures, becoming irrationally obsessed by how many days in a row we’ve seen 100-degree weather, and loathing the many crevices from which your body pours sweat.

But, I digress.

4610 Wildwood LR

What Dallas residents will appreciate in a home is the almost 7,000 square feet of sleek and light interiors in which you can retreat from the “hot Dallas summer.” This home is in Bluffview, one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Dallas, which boasts a stunning variety of architecture and huge lot sizes.

4610 Wildwood library

Williams, who was once the chairman of Trammel Crow Company and founded the Foundation for Community Empowerment and the J. McDonald Williams Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas, hired Bodron+Fruit Architecture, Mesa Landscape Design, and contractor Elite Homes by John and Stephen Hardy to construct 4610 Wildwood Road in 2009.

4610 Wildwood kitchen

This masterpiece of contemporary architecture was built in tune with the surrounding environment. Boasting Cottonwood limestone, mahogany, and copper exteriors, rift cut white oak and Gascoigne marble floors, custom cabinetry, an expansive library, a marble-clad Rumford fireplace, and 14-foot ceilings, the interiors are at least worth a good long gander. It’s marketed by the insanely talented Claire Dewar at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s for $9.75 million.

45610 Wildwood master

My favorite thing? The beautiful views offered by the surrounding 1.3 acre wooded lot, which you can appreciate in the comfort of air conditioning.

4610 Wildwood master bathWhat do you like best about this unbelievable contemporary home?

Taylor Armstrong, Harlan Crow, Lucy and Henry Billingsley and Pierce Allman (Photo: Jake Dean)

The Crow Family has deep roots in Dallas and the Park Cities, so I’m not necessarily surprised that three of the family’s Park Cities abodes were dedicated as landmarks by the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society this month.

Henry and Lucy Crow Billingsley’s 6701 Turtle Creek Boulevard abode was designated a landmark due to its architectural significance. The home, which is one of the state’s best examples of a 1920s French Norman manor, was designed by Herbert M. Greene LaRoche & Dahl for banker Everette Owens and his wife, Cecille, in University Park’s Volk Estates development.

The home of Margaret Crow, widow of Trammel Crow, was deemed historical as well. The house, which is located at 4500 Preston Road in Highland Park, is the site of one of the first residences in the area. The C.D. Hill-designed home was completed in 1912 for Edgar Flippen. Just a couple of years prior, Hill designed the Mt. Vernon mansion at 4800 Preston. He also designed the Beaux-Arts Dallas City Hall at Harwood and Main, First Presbyterian Church, and Oak Lawn Methodist Church.

And showing that historic homes don’t have to be outdated, Harlan Crow’s home at 4700 Preston Road received landmark designation for renovation excellence. The house, originally built for Hugh Prather in 1917, is one of several fine homes in Highland Park designed by Anton F. Korn Jr.