Why consider renovating an old house in Corsicana?

The small town off of Interstate 45 between Dallas and Waco is familiar to some Dallasites, if only for the stigma-defying fruitcake at its Collin Street Bakery.  But recently, Corsicana has been enjoying quite a different sort of buzz — a downtown art center, 100 West, or 100W, as it is known, is calling attention to the community, and in a good way. An artist and writer’s residency program offers space and support for promising creatives. Gallery space is springing up. Shops and restaurants are being cultivated in the historic downtown.

Corsicana was a thriving metropolis in oil boom years of the early 1900s. Wealthy residents built lovely houses. Many still exist and are good prospects for renovation. It’s a chance to get in on the ground floor of the promising renaissance of a small town. See an example of a house which would make a lovely bed and breakfast, or second home under an hour away from Dallas-Fort Worth. Read more on SecondShelters.com now.

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If you like the idea of having a home on the range but can’t imagine living in the middle of nowhere, you might take a look at Corsicana. The first oil boom town in Texas, it was founded in 1848 and by the early 1900s it was one of the top 10 cities in the nation with the most millionaires. It’s stuck to its small-town roots ever since.



Naturally, I won’t sleep until I find out who got the winning bid on Champ d’Or this weekend and how much they paid — confidentiality clauses are the bain of my existence.

I’m getting a few clues. We know it was a Dallas family — Preston Hollow, I’ve heard — with international connections. Many readers have emailed with speculation:

Bob and Mynra Schlegel: Champ could really use an infusion of fresh Pavestone and even though Bob sold the company, I’m sure he can get a deal. (That driveway is  at least 600 feet long.) And as Karen Eubank pointed out, what a great place to have the next two kids’ weddings!

Gene and Jerry Jones: they will use it as a weekend family retreat and occasional party house for The Cowboys.

Mark Cuban: Ditto, Mavs.

Khloe & Lamar: Sister Kim will feel very safe in Hickory Creek, only 15 minutes from DFW

Trevor Rees-Jones: Wife Jan is a fantastic animal rights activist, loves animals and flying airplanes. Champ could be a great weekend retreat and can you imagine all the strays you could take into that basement? Besides, Trevor likes to collect houses.

Tim Headington: he’s got his Miami Beach and downtown Dallas condos on the market, lives very conservatively over on Crescent in Highland Park, could use Champ as a getaway and film studio — we had great acoustics in the theater when filming for Zillow.

Randall Stephenson: He did get a $2 million pay cut, but that hasn’t stopped him from building a family compound up on Walnut Hill Lane, which I hear he is is even trying to enlarge. Hmmm maybe he bought Champ. Stephenson could certainly afford a 10.3 million dollar home with a 2011 total pay package at $18.7 million, right?

Scott and Gina Ginsburg: He just sold Park Lane for what, $6 or $7 million? Again, weekend retreat for the fam, close by, and he’s flush with cash from last month’s sale. Maybe he did a 1031 Exchange?

Scott & Gina is she not just stunning?

I’m sure there are other qualified candidates: what or rather who is your best guess?