Jon Altschuler: Musings on Dallas Real Estate From Paris

Jon Altschuler

My family and I traveled to Paris for spring break. Seven nights, four kids, one wife, one father-in-law, and me. Certainly, it was a trip for the ages. What did we do? Depends who you ask. If you ask my father-in-law, we didn’t spend enough time in the museums. If you ask me, we spent too much time in the museums. If you ask my kids, they didn’t spend enough time on the carousels. And if you ask my wife, she’d probably tell you she spent too much time with four kids, one husband, and one grandparent.

But we were in Paris, and it was fantastic. The trip did generate two real estate-related takeaways, and here they are.

In Paris, the managers of the great buildings (I wasn’t in office buildings—just public buildings, mostly focused on the arts) emphasize the materials—of the floor, the walls, and the ceiling. This is juxtaposed with the United States, where our managers seem fixated on compromising the materials by adding clutter to lobbies—plants, seating areas, signage, etc. I have always liked the clean look better, and my time in Paris confirmed this for me.

Next, it was day six, and I was crossing the river to head back toward the Louvre, when I realized that Paris is very much like Dallas in one decided way: the lack of “natural” beauty.  As I was walking across the bridge, I noted that for as beautiful as Paris is, with the exception of the river I was crossing, it was all—every bit of it—man-made beauty. And, as such, I think I’ll quit allowing Dallas to be penalized for such going forward. We just need more time, and we need more great buildings. Let’s stay after it.


  • While I can agree about Paris buildings being about quality, I can hardly agree that there are similarities between Paris and Dallas. Being a native of Dallas and now having lived in Paris for a couple of years, working in real estate, the beauty in Paris may be man-made, yes. But there’s a level of history that goes along with the beauty here in Paris that Dallas will never be able to recreate. Skyscrapers and the Louvre have no competition. The Luxembourg gardens and the new Woodall Rogers park being created in Dallas…again, no competition.

  • Evelyn Altschuler

    good job dad ….