The 100 Most Expensive Homes in Dallas (and the People Who Own Them)
Many made their fortunes in oil and real estate—or inherited them from those who did. A few hit it with sports. But then there’s the cosmetic surgeon, the dairy magnate, and the trucker. For the voyeur of domiciles, other delici
ILLUSTRATIONS BY BOB DOB
MAYBE YOU’RE NOT LIKE US. MAYBE YOU DON’T SPEND hours—when you should be working—trolling the Dallas Central Appraisal District’s web site, indulging your basest voyeuristic urges, looking up your neighbors’ houses and your friends’ houses and your enemies’ houses, seeing how much they’re worth. It’s possible you’re more virtuous than us. But we doubt it. So go ahead. Indulge.
A few words, though, about methodology, if you care. Whiskey makers have a term for the liquid that is lost to evaporation as a whiskey ages in its barrel. It works out to about 2 percent of a barrel’s contents per annum. They call it the "angels’ share." Well, think of this list as a fine whiskey. Some information, we know, has escaped us. That’s our angels’ share. Surely there is a name that should be on this list but isn’t. And for a few names that are on the list, we could manage but the barest biographical details. Despite owning a $6 million house, these people manage to leave hardly a footprint on the public record. They operate through post office boxes, and they avoid any press. Their wealth seems to have no provenance. To them we say, Good move.
Finally, as for the ranking itself, TaxNetUSA did it, using data representing single accounts with the Dallas Central Appraisal District. For example, Kenny Troutt has cobbled together several properties, listed under several accounts. Added together, they would put him at number two on our list. But we ranked him based on the largest of his accounts, which put him at number 26. So there.
1. Cinda and Tom Hicks
Tom Hicks is chairman of the investment firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, and he owns the Stars and Rangers. He and his wife live in the historic Crespi estate, built in 1938, off Walnut Hill Lane and the Tollway. The Appraisal District lists the house at 24,438 square feet, sitting on 20 acres. But this doesn’t include the adjoining parcels that are listed separately and that Hicks has added to the property (as part of a reported $50 million to $70 million expansion and remodeling effort that was recently completed). The additions are listed for another 5 acres and $4,047,200. And don’t forget Hicks’ other house on Beverly Drive. It’s valued at $4,620,000 and is for sale.
2. Lyn and John Muse
John Muse is the chief operating officer of the investment firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst. Though Muse has been based in London of late, his Highland Park pad is a nice place to come home to. Just off Preston Road, it was once the home of former governor Bill Clements. The Appraisal District has it at 24,932 square feet, on 8 acres. Muse also owns another house on Beverly Drive, which is listed at $3,629,709.
3. Ed Cox
This is the elder Ed Cox, oilman and patron of the arts (he’s a trustee for the Dallas Museum of Art and a lifetime honorary member of the National Gallery of Art’s board of trustees). SMU’s business school bears his name. The 19,650-square-foot house was built in 1912. It sits on 7 acres, off Beverly Drive.
4. Joyce and Larry Lacerte
With his brother Phil, Larry started Lacerte Software, which they sold in 1998 to Intuit (the creator of Quicken) for $400 million in cash. His 23,777-square-foot Park Lane house was built in 1992.
5. H. Ross Perot
To know him is to love his pie charts. In 1962, Perot’s wife Margot loaned him $1,000 to start a one-man data processing company called EDS. In 1984, he sold that company to General Motors for $2.5 billion. Perot retained ownership until 1986, then broke a non-compete to start Perot Systems, which also made him a bundle of cash. He’s worth an estimated $3.7 billion. He ran for president twice. He wrote a book. His 9,462-square-foot Strait Lane house sits on 17 acres.
6. Roxanne and Gene Phillips
Those who recall the S&L crisis of the 1980s know Gene Phillips as the man who oversaw the spectacular collapse of Southmark. His colorful past includes being indicted alongside members of Mafia families (he was acquitted in 2002). Phillips can laugh at it all from his 13-acre Preston Hollow estate whose former residents were LTV founder Jim Ling and Lamar Hunt. The front gates once bore large gold L’s for "Ling." The thrifty Hunt left them up, but Phillips reportedly replaced them with P’s.
7. Gerald Ford
Banker and SMU board chairman Gerald Ford is worth an estimated $1 billion (Ford Stadium brought the tally down just a skosh). His 10,156-square-foot mansion is the largest residential property in University Park and was formerly the home of oilman Algur Meadows. Interestingly, the Appraisal District deems the condition of the house "very poor."
8. Gene and Jerry Jones
The man from Arkansas made his money in oil and gas, and then he bought the Cowboys. Today he’s worth $900 million, give or take. After a major facelift, his two-story, 14,044-square-foot Mediterranean-style villa on Preston Road features marble floors and 30-foot ceilings.
9. Mark Cuban
He sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo in 1999 and today is worth about $1.5 billion. He owns the Mavericks. His Preston Hollow mansion is on the rolls for 20,751 square feet, but don’t forget the house in Palm Beach; the $13.74 million condo in Manhattan; and the $3.35 million three-bedroom apartment right next door to that condo.
10. Fred Baron and Lisa Blue
Trial lawyer Fred Baron founded the firm of Baron & Budd, where he basically invented the asbestos liability case and where he also met his wife, Lisa Blue, one of the firm’s top courtroom lawyers. The couple lives in a 15,254-square-foot mansion right down the street from Mark Cuban. It was designed by renowned New York architect Robert A.M. Stern, who has described it as a "20th-century interpretation of English Georgian."
11. Nathalie and Jean-Raymond Boulle
Globetrotting diamond magnate Jean-Raymond Boulle has his 32,153-square-foot Strait Lane mansion registered under his investment company, Texas Treasure Fields. Before the Chateau du Triomphe was gutted by a fire last summer, it was on the market for $44.9 million, and—with its guest dwellings, staff quarters, and whatnot—probably comprised closer to 73,000 square feet, making it one of the largest homes in the country. Nice! (Well, except for the fire.)
12. Suzanne and Patrick McGee
Suzanne’s middle name is Perot and her mom is Margot. Patrick is a principal in Brazos Investment Partners, a merchant bank affiliated with the Wyly family. Suzanne’s 17,913-square-foot University Park home features two wet bars.
13. Mary and Stan Finney
The only thing we could learn about the Finneys is that Stan is a stockbroker, and Mary Clare is on the board of the Crystal Charity Ball. Their 14,215-square-foot house is in University Park.
14. Scott Ginsburg
Scott Ginsburg was the former chief executive of radio chain Evergreen Media. He owns a Porsche dealership in Plano and the restaurant Bamboo Bamboo (formerly Voltaire). In March, Ginsburg was engaged to girlfriend Melissa Stevens. His Park Lane mansion does not have a basement.
15. Linda and Allen Meyer
Allen Meyer is a reclusive dairy magnate. Rarely photographed or written about, Meyer is the vice chairman of Dallas’ National Dairy Holdings, the second-largest dairy processor in the country (after Dallas’ Dean Foods). His 11,846-square-foot University Park house features servants’ quarters, a spa, and a gazebo.
16. Debbie and John Tolleson
First USA credit card founder John Tolleson and his wife Debbie often hold charity receptions and functions at their 1946 home on Hunters Glen Road. The two-story, 13,185-square-foot abode has six bedrooms, six bathrooms (two half-bathrooms), and seven fireplaces.
17. Elaine and Trevor Pearlman
Trevor Pearlman was a trial lawyer and partner with Silber Pearlman, but the big-time Democratic donor is now an investment banker. He and his wife live in a 15,338-square-foot Preston Hollow home.
18. Sharon and Terry Worrell
Terry Worrell was the co-founder, president, and CEO of Sound Warehouse until Blockbuster bought the company. He’s now the president of Worrell Investments. The University Park house that he shares with wife Sharon was built in 1946.
19. Carol and Steven Aaron
In 1980, Steven Aaron founded Stevens Transport, a refrigerated trucking company. He and wife Carol own a 1996 house in Preston Hollow that has a large gate on its driveway.
20. Myrna and Robert Schlegel
Robert Schlegel was tired of being a CPA in Toronto, so he moved to Dallas to found Pavestone, a company that makes and distributes concrete. He lives with his wife Myrna in a house that has 10 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms (five half-baths).
21. Tandy and Lee Roy Mitchell
Tandy and Lee Roy Mitchell like movies. He’s the chairman and CEO of Cinemark and she’s vice chairperson, EVP, and secretary. Plus, their house has a private, 21-seat home theater that has a state-of-the-art projector.
22. Lillie and Phil Romano
Phil Romano started Fuddrucker’s, Macaroni Grill, Eatzi’s, and Nick & Sam’s, to name a few. He and wife Lillie live in Preston Hollow in a house built in 2001.
23. Candice and Robert Haas
Robert Haas, the former partner of Tom Hicks, is now chairman and co-founder of Haas, Wheat, & Partners, a Dallas-based private investment firm. The couple’s house has four bedrooms and 10 fireplaces.
24. Cayla and William K. Woodruff III
Cayla and William K. Woodruff III own a Mediterranean-style Preston Hollow home on 3 acres. At least they did according to the 2003 tax rolls. William is a private investment banker, most recently chairman and CEO of Optical Switch Corporation.
25. Caroline and Charles Wyly
Charles Wyly and brother Sam (see number 61) sold the family’s computer companies—Sterling Software and Sterling Commerce—for $8 billion in 2000. Two years ago, Charles replaced brother Sam as chairman of the Michaels chain of craft stores. He and his wife Caroline live in a 4,666-square-foot home that the Appraisal District deems to be in "good" condition. Granted, it’s on 3 acres.
26. Lisa and Kenny Troutt
Officially, the founder of Excel Communications and his wife Lisa live in a 13,092-square-foot home on 3 acres in Preston Hollow. But that’s not counting the adjacent 2 acres on the tax rolls for $1.36 million, not to mention the 12 other properties the billionaire owns. Altogether, Troutt has amassed more than $20 million in property, 30 acres of prime real estate. Nice!
27. Dominique and George Perrin
George Perrin, founder of bankrupt PageNet, is more famous for the house he used to own, the Boulle mansion listed above. But these digs, which he shares with his wife Dominique, aren’t too shabby either: four bedrooms, four baths, servants’ quarters, tennis court, and guest house. The whole bit.
28. Cathy and Ralph Oats
In 1992, Ralph Oats started Wellness International Network, a multilevel-marketing outfit selling nutritional products. Some distributors have said in court documents that it’s an illegal pyramid scheme. Regardless, Ralph and his wife Cathy refurbished their 16,041-square-foot Preston Hollow home to look exactly like the White House.
29. Ann and Cary Maguire
Oilman and SMU benefactor Cary Maguire and his wife Ann live next-door to Scott Ginsburg in comparatively understated elegance (see number 14). But not too understated: Maguire, an enthusiast of American history, has recreated the oval office and presidential library in his home.
30. Mary and Albert Huddleston
Albert and Mary who? Mary’s maiden name is Hunt. That’s who. Interestingly, the value of the 14,551-square-foot home is only slightly more than the Highland Park land that it sits on.
31. Henrietta Schultz
All that could be learned about widow Schultz is that her 8,822-square-foot Preston Hollow home was built in 1930, making it 14 years her junior.
32. Jimmy and Carl Westcott
Carl Westcott built a sizeable group of car dealerships and then went on to found a satellite company called Westcott Communications, which he sold in 1996 for $422 million. His other fortunes have come from such entrepreneurial ventures as 1-800-FLOWERS. His University Park home has 14,677 square feet and a tennis court.
33. Karina and Robert Woolley
Robert Woolley invented the all-suite concept in the hotel business. He founded Crown Sterling Suites in the 1970s (the predecessor of Embassy Suites). Woolley also bought the old Clint Murchison estate in 1989 for $8 million and turned the area into a home development site of 19 lots priced from $650,000 to $1 million each. His home in Lobello Estates on Inwood Road is 15,676 square feet.
34. Claudia and Lee Trevino
As a lad, the Merry Mex used to hustle golfers at Tennison. He went on to PGA fame, including 27 PGA Tour wins and 29 (and counting) Senior Tour wins. It all appears to have paid off. His 9,778-square-foot Preston Hollow home, built in 1939, has a pool and a tennis court but, sadly, no putting green.
35. Karen and Charles Hansen Jr.
Charles Hansen stepped down as chairman and CEO of the Dallas-based bedding company Pillowtex Corp. in 2000, after the company reported its fifth-straight quarterly loss. His Highland Park home, built in 1990, has 10,328 square feet and six presumably well-appointed bedrooms.
36. Joni and Michael McCoy
Michael McCoy is vice president of the architecture and engineering firm PageSoutherlandPage. He is also Jerry Jones’ business partner in natural gas ventures. McCoy’s Preston Hollow home comprises 12,797 square feet and was built in 1995.
37. Charles Cabe
Charles Cabe, it is believed, is or was a principal of Cabe Land Company, based in Arkansas. International Paper bought Cabe and another lumber company in 1974 for $145 million. His 12,808-square-foot Preston Hollow home sits on 2 acres and features an attic storage elevator.
38. Tavia and Clark Hunt
Clark Hunt is Lamar Hunt’s second-youngest child and is a director of Hunt Sports Entertainment, the management company responsible for overseeing the Hunt family investments in professional sports. He bought his 3-acre, 10,019-square-foot Highland Park home from Peggy and Leonard Riggs.
39. Terri and Bobby Brittingham
Bobby Brittingham is the son of Robert M. Brittingham, founder of Dal-Tile Corp., which was sold in 1990 for $650 million. Bobby’s Beverly Drive home has 13,722 square feet and a vacant lot next door for his kids to use as a soccer field.
40. Sherry and Brooks Reed
Brooks Reed is chairman of Bestway Rent-to-Own and a principal of Phoenix Partners, a private investment firm. His University Park home was built in 1936 and has 11,681 square feet. It sits on a creek and has a boathouse.
41. Mike Modano
Mike Modano plays center for the Dallas Stars. He recently added on to his Highland Park home, which the Appraisal District has on the rolls for 6,733 square feet. He also has a tennis court, pool, and several servants’ quarters and guest cabanas—for his guests.
42. Nancy and Clay Mulford
Clay Mulford is a lawyer, and his wife Nancy is Ross Perot’s daughter. Clay served as his father-in-law’s campaign manager in 1992 and later as Perot’s general counsel during his 1996 bid for the White House. The Mulfords’ 9,383-square-foot University Park home was built in 1941 and has a guesthouse with exercise room.
43. Trudy and Bob Ladd
Bob Ladd is the CEO of Duncanville-based Texwood Industries, which makes kitchen and bath cabinets. His sprawling Highland Park home covers 19,252 square feet.
44. Richard Bass
Oilman Richard Bass (no relation to the Fort Worth family) was once married to Rita Clements and was one of the founders of the Vail and Snowbird ski resorts. An avid mountain climber, Bass has summited the seven highest peaks on the seven continents and is now the oldest man to have climbed Mount Everest. His 11,312-square-foot University Park home is listed in "poor condition" by the Appraisal District.
45. Nancy and James Hoak
James Hoak founded Heritage Communications in 1971, built the company into one of the largest cable television systems in the country, and then sold it in 1987 for $1.6 billion. Hoak’s 9,679-square-foot University Park estate also includes a $1.7 million parcel that he annexed.
46. Diana and Rick Strauss
Rick Strauss, president of Republic Property Group, was the Wall Street Journal’s poster child for the S&L crisis of the late 1980s. He was the primary developer of Stonebriar and Lantana. Rick’s father is former ambassador to Russia and former DNC chairman Bob Strauss. The couple lives in a 11,331-square-foot, one-and-a-half-story home.
47. Catherine Marcus and William Rose
Dallas Museum of Art architect Edward Larrabee Barnes designed this power couple’s contemporary-looking, 10,398-square-foot house, built in 1983. Will Rose is the son of former Texas Rangers co-owner Rusty Rose. Catherine is the granddaughter of Stanley Marcus. Their house has central heating and air.
48. Martha and Donald Miller
Martha Wyly Miller, Charles Wyly’s daughter, married Don Miller Jr., who served as a director of Sterling Software and a director of the Michaels stores as well. Curiously, the DCAD lists zero bedrooms for this 9,752-square-foot University Park estate.
49. Karen and Kevin Crowder
Kevin Crowder and business partner Jim Von Ehr started Altsys in Richardson with $7,000. When the software company sold to San Francisco’s Macromedia, it was worth $70 million. The Crowders live in a 13,092-square-foot, Preston Hollow home.
50. Julie and Jim Turner
Dr Pepper CEO Jim Turner and his wife Julie live in a five-bedroom home in Preston Hollow, but they are also listed as the owners of a 6,588-square-foot abode in University Park worth $1,784,480 and a 22-year-old condo in North Dallas worth $219,090.
BUT WHERE IS SO-AND-SO? We know, we know. You’ve combed the list, and you don’t see that monstrosity at Inwood Road and Royal Lane. The 100th-most expensive house was appraised at $4,690,970. That 10,532-square-foot thing at Inwood and Royal belongs to Dr. Lewis Frazee, and it’s only valued at $2,929,138. Here are a few other names you might have expected to see on the list but won’t:
The investor is one of the richest men in the country (see our Business column on p. 45), with about $1.7 billion. But his Preston Hollow house missed the cut by $716,262.
Maybe Nasher was saving his money for the Sculpture Center. His compound near Inwood Road and Northwest Highway fell short.
Rowling is even richer than Harold Simmons. Estimates put him at about $2.4 billion, mostly from hotels and investments.
Mark Cuban’s buddy owns an entire floor of La Tour Condos on McKinney Avenue. But that’s not going to get it done.
51. Jeanne and Berry Cox
Berry Cox, a private investor who serves on the board of Home Depot, is son of oilman Edwin Cox. Jeanne Tower Cox is the daughter of the late U.S. Senator John Tower. The couple lives in a 14,787-square-foot home in Highland Park that has four bedrooms, five full bathrooms, and three half-baths. One kitchen.
52. Bill Ringer
Bill Ringer is a partner in the accounting firm of DeGregori, Gormsen & Ringer. Curiously, that firm is based in Stockton, California, which is also where Ringer legally resides. But this home in Highland Park is an attractive 10,724-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath manse that certainly seems habitable. And if it isn’t, he could always spend the night in the 68-year-old, 8,879-square-foot estate on three contiguous Douglas Avenue properties totaling $5,890,000 that’s registered to a Bill Ringer Trustee.
53. Jerry Freeman
According to public data, the general manager of the Freeman car dealerships lives only with his son, Jerald Wayne Freeman III. If so, the two of them share six bedrooms and eight full bathrooms.
54. Henry Billingsley
Billingsley and his wife Lucy are managing partners of Billingsley Company, a major real estate developer. Speaking of real estate, their 8,169-square-foot house on Turtle Creek Boulevard was built in 1929.
55. Teresa and John Amend
John Amend is the founder of WorkPlace USA, a commercial real estate services firm. His mansion, which overlooks White Rock Lake, is a replica of George Washington’s Mount Vernon and was built in 1938 by H.L. Hunt. His next-door neighbor is pastor T.D. Jakes of Potter’s House fame (whose house, at $3.3 million, didn’t make this list).
56. Norma and Harry Longwell
Harry Longwell is the executive vice president of ExxonMobil and the ninth-highest-paid energy executive in the country. Last year, in total compensation, he made $14,746,317. Nice! His 11,976-square-foot Preston Hollow home sits on 2 acres.
57. Angie and David Azouz
David Azouz is a cosmetic surgeon who is, presumably, good at what he does in a city that keeps cosmetic surgeons very busy. Azouz’s 22,608-square-foot mansion, near Royal Lane and Inwood Road, was built in 1994.
58. Christine and Dick Brown
In late March, EDS chief executive Dick Brown was ousted by the board after he disclosed that the SEC was investigating the company’s finances. His severance package amounted to $32 million. Brown’s 10,732-square-foot University Park home does feature a sprinkler system.
59. Roberta and Dick Snyder
Dick Snyder runs the closely held Snyder Capital, a leveraged-buyout firm focused on the manufacturing sector. His 17,299-square-foot house at the corner of Park Lane and Inwood Road features an indoor pool and an elevator. This figure does not include the recent acquisition of the adjoining property, reconstituting the old Ted Strauss estate, valued at $2.4 million.
60. Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus
Jeffrey Marcus founded Marcus Cable, at one time the nation’s largest independently owned cable company. When Paul Allen’s Charter Communications bought Marcus Cable for nearly $3 billion, Marcus pocketed enough to keep up his 10,509-square-foot University Park home—though the Appraisal District deems its condition only "very good," a bit short of "excellent."
61. Sam Wyly
Sam and his brother Charles (see number 25) sold their family’s software concerns for $8 billion in 2000. At 7,579 square feet, Sam’s house is bigger than Charles’, and, according to the Appraisal District, it’s in better condition ("very good," as opposed to "good"). Yet the five-bedroom manse built in 1924 is apparently worth less. Maybe that’s because Charles’ house has a wetbar and Sam’s house does not.
62. Cynthia and Randall Murphy
In 1976, Randall Murphy founded Acclivus, a consulting firm that coaches such heavyweights as AT&T, Ernst & Young, IBM, Xerox, and Federal Express. He and wife Cynthia live in a 10,088-square-foot home in Preston Hollow that the DCAD lists to be in "average" condition. That’s understandable, because the house was built in 1934.
63. Diane Buchanan and Richard Andrew
The philanthropic couple has been known to offer Greenhill students tours of their 10,094-square-foot, University Park home that includes a collection of mostly contemporary female artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Helen Frankenthaler.
64. Debbie and Frank Branson
Debbie and Frank Branson practice law together. They live together, too, in a Turtle Creek estate built in 1941. The 9,950-square-foot residence is listed in "average" condition.
65. Sandra and Thomas Rouse
Thomas Rouse is CEO of TransFirst, a Boulder, Colorado-based Internet credit-card processing outfit that was spun out of Affiliated Computer Services and whose executive offices are in Dallas. He and his wife Sandra live in a Preston Hollow house that, according to the DCAD, has 10,806 square feet but no bedrooms.
66. Susan and Claude Albritton
Businessman and investor Claude Albritton and his wife Susan are more famous for how they spend their money than how they made it. The wealthy arts patrons started the MAC, in addition to other philanthropic contributions. The couple lives in a 13,100-square-foot home on Beverly Drive.
67. Carole and Patrick Tolbert
In 1992, Patrick Tolbert became the CFO of Sky Chefs, the airline caterer based in Arlington. He and wife Carole live in a 10,699-square-foot home that has six bedrooms and six bathrooms on Lakeside Drive.
68. Pamela and Gary Patsley
Gary Patsley has a history with Bank of America and his wife Pamela was president and CEO of Paymentech, formerly known as First USA Merchant Services, which was created in 1985 at the same time as its former parent, First USA (see John Tolleson, number 16). The couple lives in a 10,604-square-foot residence located in Highland Park.
69. Karen and William Seanor
William Seanor is vice president of Vanguard Plastics, makers of plastic bags. There’s a plastic-bag plant here in Dallas. Seanor is here too, with his wife Karen. They live in a house that’s 10,752 square feet near Walnut Hill Lane and Inwood Road. The home’s exterior wall material is listed as "multiple." Plastic? Perhaps.
70. Margaret and Shlomo Finn
Neurologist Shlomo Finn apparently prefers to go by his middle name, Sam. He and his wife