Looks like a traditional North Dallas ranch circa 1956, right? Look closer. That front room with the green shutters is actually a garage that was converted to chambers by the late Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders, and where he worked after he stepped down from the bench in 2006.
Sanders is the man who essentially desegregated Dallas public schools and the man who sought Federal District Judge Sarah Hughes to administer the oath of office to Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson upon the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. Sanders died in 2008.
The home at 7326 Malabar Lane is in the heart of JanMar, the neighborhood where the Sanders lived and raised four children for 41 years. In effect, this has been almost a one-owner home. Mrs. Sanders says that when they bought the house it was almost new: first the builder had lived there and then a single woman, for only about nine months.
It’s charming. The floors are red brick and wood/parquet, all original. Walk in to the great room and you’ll find that a formal step-down living room is secluded off to the side, off the formal dining room, which sports a red brick floor.
The kitchen has what I would bet is the original laminate — Formica? — and nicely painted cabinets, but all the appliances have been updated. The home has four bedrooms, but one is really a giant mud room off the back carport, which makes a great “decontamination” zone, as it has a built-in desk. The front garage was, as I mentioned, turned into a private study for the judge. That really makes this a three-bedroom house, which is plenty. Two of the main bedrooms are “master-ized,” and one has a nice bath that has been “granite-ized.”
The original tiles in the other baths are straight from the 1950s and in mint condition, so the Mid-Century Mods are going to salivate over this one. (Sorry MidMods, but the interior feel is more Colonial, yet there are these touches — like cool counter-height sliding doors between the kitchen and family room that brought back flashes of Friday night Shock Theater and the horror movies I wasn't supposed to watch as a kid, but did.)
There’s a huge red wingback chair in the family room that elicited visions of the judge sitting, talking, and entertaining. Large windows and sliding glass doors open to the yard and a kidney-shaped pool. Why do people no longer build kidney-shaped pools? Everything now has to be infinity-edge with a waterfall; infinity-edge might well be the hallmark of our era.
The house is just over 2,900 square feet, and isn't it amazing that the Sanders managed to raise four bright children in this house? (I understand that one daughter is also a judge.) Oh, if these walls could talk. It’s listed by Bonnie Bauer, Dave Perry-Miller and Associates, an Ebby Halliday Company for $549,000.
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