This Harwood K. Smith mid-century jewel is just one of many good reasons why sometimes you have to venture north of LBJ to buy a great house. Built with Hawaiian influences, the home creates an environment that also emulates Maui — all that's missing are the palm trees, mountains, and waves.
Here's the story: 6354 Kalani Place was built by a couple named John and Jean Eisenbaker. Get out your hankies, because this home is really the story of the Greatest Generation. John was born in Mineola, Texas, and played football at SMU on a Rose Bowl team. He served in the Navy during World War II and survived the Japanese bombing at Pearl Harbor. It was in Hawaii that he met Jean, who was a civil servant. The two fell in love, courted, and later married against the wartime backdrop. They came back to Dallas, where John ultimately founded one of the world's largest petroleum reservoir engineering companies at that time, Core Laboratories Inc. He was a true captain of industry, says his real estate agent, Tom Rhodes. And he lived the American dream. John sold the company in 1984 to Litton Industries.
About 1960, John and Jean purchased almost all the land north of LBJ from Kalani to Hughes Lane. Try to picture what that area looked like then: acre upon acre of cotton fields. It would be like going up north of Prosper now and buying land. Over time, they sold off the lots. John and Jean then hired Harwood K. Smith to design this home, specifically asking for it to be full of Hawaiian influences to remind them of the romantic tropical island where they spent their youth and fell in love. Then, since they owned the land, they named the street Kalani Place, which in Hawaiian means "Heavenly Place."
John died in 1997, and for Jean it's now time to move on. After all, a 4,741-square-foot home nestled on a wooded 1.52-acre lot with a creek behind is a lot for a one woman to care for, though I imagine she's loved every minute and every memory. Smith's design features three bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, a den, an open floor plan, tall vaulted-and-beamed ceilings, natural light, and a tranquil backyard living space. The location on a quiet cul-de-sac backing up to Northwood Golf Course — a huge plus — is lushly landscaped with many mature trees and the grounds are stunning.
Some could see this home as a tear-down because the house is 50 years old now and needs updating. (It's hard to believe homes built in 1960 are that age now.) The price has been reduced to $889,000. Hopefully, someone will see the potential and the love that came all the way from Hawaii and was kindled all through the years by the beautiful marriage that Jean and John enjoyed and the family memories this home has been saturated with. Nani ke ea.
Yes, this is a happy home.
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