5333 Walnut Hill Lane extIt’s hard to imagine, but in 1963 Walnut Hill Lane was the new frontier of building in Dallas. Nothing typifies the period more than 5333 Walnut Hill Lane. Built in 1963, this sprawling ranch has all the ingredients that consumers were groovin’ back in 1963: port-cocheres with pebble aggregate driveways and patios; brick walls in the house. Sliding glass doors, oh my, they couldn’t get enough of them. Low ceilings were more typical of the 1950’s but they still abounded; however, in the early sixties we started to see a lot of these new things called “A-frame” ceilings where one edge of the room was at standard ceiling height, say 8 feet, the other soared up to a new height. Also so hot: brick and tile floors, aggregate marble, linoleum and even some stone. Very little wood was used as flooring unless specified. Iron gates as interior doors, barbecue grills right in the kitchen, and pendulous light fixtures that my dad once said reminded him of boobs.

I was a wee child in 1963, but I do recall a cool house my parents’ friends built somewhere outside of Chicago: Roy and Evelyn Scacia. Evelyn was one of my mother’s most sophisticated friends and she wore these flowing, Loretta-Young type dresses when she entertained. Their home had two sets of triple sliding glass doors, a double door entry that made my mother drool, an avocado formica kitchen (the built in oven was the talk of the day) and a sunken living room.

Of course, being young I first thought that a “sunken” living room was underwater or something, but later I would learn that it was designed to be two or three steps down from the main house to “define” the room and create an elegant gathering space for cocktail parties.

Thus 1963 was a huge year for step-down or step-up rooms in homes. Lawyers had not yet figured out the bucket-loads of money they could make for suing people who tripped in these rooms after too many martinis.

5333 Walnut Hill Lane has one of these step attributes, but this being Dallas the step-down comes after a dramatic entrance right off the double-doored foyer. This dramatic room has another element that was just coming to vogue: the skylight. The idea was to walk in and just be wowed. At 5333 Walnut Hill Lane, you are “wowed” by this columned, octagonal-shaped structure with a skylight that steps you down into the cocktail-party social scene. I can just see the men lighting cigarettes for the ladies.

5333 Walnut Hill Lane front door5333 Walnut Hill Lane sunken living roomI have a feeling Dave Perry-Miller agent Ryan Streiff is selling this pup as a acreage lot for homebuilding at $1,595,000 — my Lord there are 1.921 of them, wooded, far back enough from Walnut Hill Lane which was, in 1963, probably a two-lane highway. Now it the acreage is gated, and since it has never been on the market I am assuming these are the original owners. There are formals, five bedrooms, five full baths, which tells me this was a home built extremely well and without regard to cost. The laundry room even has a drain in the floor. There is a redwood sauna, which Stanley Marcus probably made popular in Dallas. Let me add that this is a pretty jazzed up laundry room for the era with a sink, counters, storage and room for a second refrigerator or freezer, which was also considered a sign of affluence. The pool is surrounded by aggregate stone, and I suspect this one has undergone some updating, as has the kitchen: it’s white, not avocado.5333 Walnut Hill Lane double doors

5333 Walnut Hill Lane breakfast 5333 Walnut Hill Lane study 5333 Walnut Hill Lane living room 5333 Walnut Hill Lane kitchenTake a look, too at the master bathroom: sunken bathtubs were quite the rage in the master bath and in 1963, they were sunken — you really stepped down into them, like a pool. The more brass and gold the faucets, the better.

5333 Walnut Hill Lane master sunken tub 5333 Walnut Hill Lane poolI don’t know. I think I would have a hard time tearing this house down. Yes, it’s 50 years old, but it is just a beautiful tribute to an era of elegance and all that we craved back then: youth, vigor, growth, sophistication.

So very like Jack and Jackie.

 

 

6601 Hunters Glen gatesBy now we all know about the Hicks-Crespi estate on Walnut Hill Lane at Hollow Way, breathtaking  beautiful and the most expensive home for sale not just in Dallas but in the whole country at $135 million. Ha — take that, Woodside, CA and New York! We know number 2 on the list, 4939 Manson Court ruled the top roost last year and this year, until the Hicks home was declared available. Manson Court owners are Shanin and Bryan Wilburn of Southwest Risk LLP, an insurer that takes on high-hazard business exposure. Number three is that classical beauty of Mt. Vernon overlooking White Rock Lake, which you have heard me gush about for years: classic, auto concourse, bowling alley, guest house. Mt. Vernon is owned by real estate tycoon John Amen and his wife, Teresa.

But you have not heard much about 6601 Hunters Glen. This home is listed for $19,500,000, gotta watch my zeros here. This house is simply amazing and a world unto itself, yet it’s almost within walking distance of Highland Park Village in Volk Estates. Try 12,957-square feet, three-stories in a neoclassical design with lucite, contemporary touches. Also where will you find gated 1.802 acre grounds in University Park Estates, Highland Park High School? In Volk Estates, of course. This is perhaps the most spectacular gourmet kitchen anywhere, with adjoining breakfast and keeping rooms. Your cook will pay YOU just to work here. There is the center island counter with glass extension for guests to linger over, extra deep sink, four Fisher & Paykel dishwashers, four Sub-Zero beverage drawers and a wine cooler as well as shelves for cookbooks. The island is truly that, a world unto itself, but to the side is a Lacanche nine-burner range with pot filler, and take your pick, Miele or Wolf: one Miele oven, one Wolf oven, convection oven, two Sub-Zero refrigerators, a prep sink and butler’s area. The fact that there are just four bedroom suites in the main house tells me those suites are loaded like a magnum. The master suite has his-and-her bathrooms and dressing rooms, a sitting area with espresso bar and an exercise room. There is also an open library overlooking the great room on the first floor, one of several formal areas –reception room, library/billiard room, game room, dining room — and a second floor oversized laundry room with dripping closet and sink. There are ten fireplaces, private gardens and courtyards, outdoor kitchen, tennis courts with a covered viewing terrace — I saw one of these in Hawaii, very cool for impromptu matches, plus private putting green, pool, two-story cabana with kitchen and a massive oasis with outdoor kitchen, in-ground trampoline and a fire pit.

The grand entrance with fountain centerpiece and circular drive is perfect for valet parking events.  Guests are banished to the guest suite on the third level, with sliding doors, plus a whole comlex of rooms for a safe room, crafts room, more storage or staff’s offices. The home is owned by Tracey and Richard Cheatham. He’s a former director of land and negotiations acquisitions for Hunt Oil, now an investor in Bluescape Resources.

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6879 Mossvine Cir extWe over here at CandysDirt.com are still reeling from the gorgeousness of the photos of Tom and Cinda Hicks’ stunning $135 million (did I get in all the zeros?) estate on Walnut Hill Lane at Hollow Way. Crespi Estate extFanning ourselves: that house is enough to bring on menopause! We have been busy, too, with interviews and links and calls now know that Dallas holds the distinction of hosting the most expensive listing in the United States. But some of us need to buy homes for slightly less than $135 million, unfortunately. Or maybe, fortunately. And if you were thinking of Northwood Hills, just get out your checkbook right now because with 6879 Mossvine you basically have a micro version of everything in that Crespi estate at a fraction of the cost, with Richardson schools to boot!!

Here’s another secret about 6879 Mossvine Circle: ’tis owned by a professional Realtor, someone who really loves homes, which truly shows because, ladies and gents, this house is packed, just packed with goodies! I gave you a hint in our catchy title: basketball court, actually a half-basketball court, pool, large rambling yard, steam shower in master bath, a two-sided aquarium in the bar visible from the bar and the family room, media room (yes, a media room) hand-scraped hardwoods and tons of natural light. The master bath itself is more of a retreat, with the Jacuzzi tub, steam shower,  double vanities and closets so large you could get a massage table in there.6879 Mossvine cir LR 6879 Mossvine Media 6879 Mossvine kit 6879 Mossvine aquarium 6879 Mossvine master 6879 Mossvine master bath

If cook you must, you will love the kitchen: double ovens, gas cook top and updated everything. There is a Media room large enough for a family of six plus a few friends. Afterwards, the kids can go outside and sit around the fire pit, roast marshmellows, or whip up burgers in the outdoor kitchen — that too, not even kidding — the pool and spa and that half basketball court!

What do you think a house like this, this loaded, will set you back? Bet you’re thinking around a million, huh? Well folks, this is the Friday $500K just a little delayed. And really, I think I’ve outdone myself!6879 Mossvine pool ext

6879 Mossvine Cir extWe over here at CandysDirt.com are still reeling from the gorgeousness of the photos of Tom and Cinda Hicks’ stunning $135 million (did I get in all the zeros?) estate on Walnut Hill Lane at Hollow Way. Crespi Estate extFanning ourselves: that house is enough to bring on menopause! We have been busy, too, with interviews and links and calls now know that Dallas holds the distinction of hosting the most expensive listing in the United States. But some of us need to buy homes for slightly less than $135 million, unfortunately. Or maybe, fortunately. And if you were thinking of Northwood Hills, just get out your checkbook right now because with 6879 Mossvine you basically have a micro version of everything in that Crespi estate at a fraction of the cost, with Richardson schools to boot!!

Here’s another secret about 6879 Mossvine Circle: ’tis owned by a professional Realtor, someone who really loves homes, which truly shows because, ladies and gents, this house is packed, just packed with goodies! I gave you a hint in our catchy title: basketball court, actually a half-basketball court, pool, large rambling yard, steam shower in master bath, a two-sided aquarium in the bar visible from the bar and the family room, media room (yes, a media room) hand-scraped hardwoods and tons of natural light. The master bath itself is more of a retreat, with the Jacuzzi tub, steam shower,  double vanities and closets so large you could get a massage table in there.6879 Mossvine cir LR 6879 Mossvine Media 6879 Mossvine kit 6879 Mossvine aquarium 6879 Mossvine master 6879 Mossvine master bath

If cook you must, you will love the kitchen: double ovens, gas cook top and updated everything. There is a Media room large enough for a family of six plus a few friends. Afterwards, the kids can go outside and sit around the fire pit, roast marshmellows, or whip up burgers in the outdoor kitchen — that too, not even kidding — the pool and spa and that half basketball court!

What do you think a house like this, this loaded, will set you back? Bet you’re thinking around a million, huh? Well folks, this is the Friday $500K just a little delayed. And really, I think I’ve outdone myself!6879 Mossvine pool ext

God, this place is cheap: $29,500 for a condo over in Vickery/Meadows, south of Walnut Hill Lane. 5815 Phoenix Drive, two bedrooms, two baths, no pool but a private hot tub!!! (I am so psyched!!!) HOA dues are $280 a month (WTF?)  1175 square feet at 5815 Phoenix Drive. It’s very close to Presby and all the new medical growth going on over there, so would make a great investor rental. And at this price, you could practically put it on your Mastercard for 29,500 advantage miles. But still, folks, tell me: if the house is $29K or $29 million, shouldn’t you clean up for the photos? I mean, come on. At least get the clothes out of the closet and maybe put on some doors? What is this, a new season of Hoarders? What are all those soap and sanitary dispenser thingees in the bathroom — do we have to wash our hands every five minutes because we’ve been in that inviting spa? And I love cameos of agents or photographers in the mirror. Well, at least he was wearing clothes!

I did not post the laundry room/closet — my eyes need a vacation! Think I’ll have a nice glass of wine on the patio — care to join me?

For some reason, when I saw this home, I said out loud: “This is perfection”. I was talking about the price, of course, at $2.7ish, the location, but also thinking 5814 Falls Road was a home designed for the true needs of a family, especially one with twins. First of all, it was built in 2005 by great home builder Hawkins-Welwood LLC, who, like Classic UrbanSharif- Munir,  Tatum Brown  and a handful of others, are rock solid building legends in this city. This home is loaded, yes, of course. But I love the location: an expansive 146 by 166 lot –that’s half an acre– that is not too small, too big, but just right.

from Shoot2Sell Photography on Vimeo.

Further, the 7505 square foot home is located on Falls Road in what I call “Original Preston Hollow” (OPH, or the “Honeypot”) but between Douglas and Preston. Talk about convenience, you can jet in and out of that three car garage faster than from anywhere else in the city. The Dallas North Tollway is handy there, as is Northwest Highway and Walnut Hill Lane. Why do you think Randall Stephenson chose to plop his family compound on Walnut Hill Lane? Go north, south, or west or even take a mile long stroll (round trip) down to Preston Center.

Inside, sumptuous: soaring 25 foot ceilings, beautiful custom woodwork, curved staircase and sight lines of the $100,000 plus landscaped rear grounds and pool. I would call the floor plan Dallas Classic: center entry, flanking to the left is the dining room, flanking right is the formal living with a library beyond overlooking a charming courtyard with water fountain, straight ahead the family room. Adjacent to this is a large breakfast area that opens to the kitchen and features the fourth stone fireplace in the home. Really, it doesn’t take an architectural genius to figure out this flow. That’s why we see this plan or versions thereof everywhere and it WORKS!

The kitchen — acres of counter space, two sinks, six burner Wolfe gas cook top, double ovens, built-in microwave, two Bosch dishwashers and Sub-Zero refrigerator, freezer and two cooling drawers. Granite everywhere, of course, even in the laundry room. Then a temperature controlled wine closet the size of a walk-in pantry holds your vintage wine collection. The downstairs master suite features 15 foot ceilings and once again, a wall of windows overlooking the rear grounds. I think you know that I would almost commit murder for “His and Her” master baths — because they probably save thousands in marriage counseling fees and in fact, could prevent a murder. The master closets actually have views of the grounds and pool, which refreshingly brings in much natural light so you can get a true image of what you look like. Because this is OPH and you get that large, wide lot, you have a downstairs guest bedroom and bath on the other wing of the first floor.

Upstairs, three more bedrooms, a game room with wet bar, and separate media room, how about that? Here is why I say this house is perfect for twins: any mother with children in the same age group knows full well the whine of “why can’t we watch our DVD?” when each child has a guest. This house totally solves that problemo, but I will not faint the day I walk into a home with two media rooms for this very reason. Nice bedrooms with en suite baths — sorry, I just love that phrase “en suite” —  EN SUITE — and huge closets.  Outside is the covered loggia with outdoor fireplace, pool by Riverbend Sandler, spa and two grass play areas. There is a ten foot stone wall on the back of the property, but it so covered with lush greenery you will never see it but rather, just feel like you are in the most dense of forests. ‘Course, you are. But the beauty of this beauty is that 5814 Falls is like having a country home that still lets you walk to Starbucks: priceless, but asking $2,795,000. At that price, you are basically getting the pool and exterior landscaping for free. Photography stills by the brilliant Stepehn Reed, Richard at Shoot 2 Sell Photography crafted theHD video! 

5404 Walnut Hill Lane

Champ d’Or is sold and Richard Malouf is getting 30,000-plus square feet, so mega square footage must be back in style. More proof that big is back when it comes to the uber rich building homes in Dallas real estate. And if you cannot find a lot big enough for your dream mansion, you just buy several and tear down whatever the hec is on them. Voila, dream compound!Readers have been emailing me, asking me who is building what appears to be a compound of homes on Walnut Hill Lane, Old Preston Hollow, south side between Hollow Way and Meadowbrook.

“Is it a bunch of Arabs?” wrote one reader.

5322 daughter's home

“Has Mitt Romney inspired polygamy already?” wrote another

At times, I’m told 50 to 60 trucks have been jamming Walnut Hill on construction.

Here’s the dirt: It’s Randall Stephenson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of AT&T, Inc. He bought the home in the middle, a spec home built by Mehrdad Moayedi’s Cresent Estates — Mehrdad is the guy who bought the Stoneleigh Residences, recall. Stephenson bought 5404 Walnut Hill, a 12,000 square foot residence from Crescent in 2009, and has been fixing it up a bit. Then he bought 5322, next door, in November of 2010, and built a 5,000 square foot home for his daughter and her young family, then bought 5414 last April and is building a small guest house there with two bedrooms and an exercise pavilion. Both end lots are a little under one acre, and Mr. Stephenson is a shrewd businessman: they all get a tax break for being on Walnut Hill Lane. But he’s constructing that beautiful stone wall to fence the whole compound in and muffle the noise from Walnut Hill, make it safe for kids and dogs to play.

Best of all: the cell phone reception is damn good right there on Walnut Hill!

Forget those rich broads — Diane, Lisa, Rhonda, Tiffany and  Desiree. This home is so dang cute, IT should be the star of its own show. We could call it The Real Houses of Preston Hollow. I know when you think Preston Hollow, you think about all the estates lining Park Lane, about Randall Stephenson’s family fortress over on Walnut Hill Lane, and those 7800 square foot McMansions crammed onto the lots east of Preston. But this is the REAL Preston Hollow, before hip roof injections and silicon wall enhancements. Somehow, in 6835 Woodland , you get four bedrooms in 2306 square feet, three baths, formals and a den and no one dies because they only have one en suite bathrooms and don’t have twenty twenty toilets!

This is your typical Leave-It-To-Beaver 1950s cottage, just one block from Preston Hollow Park. The living room has a fireplace and bookshelves, and is open to the dining room for as many Supper Club guests as you’d like. The kitchen is a knock-out with island breakfast bar to the large vaulted ceilinged den with built-in entertainment center. And oh June Clever might have dropped her apron in this kitchen: granite countertops, ceiling height cabinetry, double ovens. Maybe, just maybe she’d have dialed up Ward at work: “honey, the kids are at school, and I’m all alone in this kitchen…” The family room gazes into the landscaped back yard with patio.

And there’s already conflict: it’s on a corner!

June would also have shed those twin beds with this Master: sitting area, dual walk-in closets and bath with oversized marble shower and marble-topped antique chest vanity. There are three additional bedrooms, and hey, this house was ahead of it’s time! One even has an “en suite bath”! Hardwood floors, full utility room, double-paned thermo windows, newer hot water heater and fence, floored attic spaces, electric gated driveway, oversized two-car garage with wall A/C unit — nice touch, and back patio wired for sound. Priced at $439,000. I’ll take TWO! Open Sunday, from two to four.