Maybe, while you were home hunting in Dallas, you thought to yourself, I mean, I like it, but would the royal family be into it? Maybe you did! And for one lucky local home buyer, they won’t have to wonder if their purchase is royally approved. Because, dear readers, in 2008, Prince Charles reviewed a portfolio of work by American Scott Merrill, the architect behind Florida’s famed Seaside community, paying close attention to a project he completed in Highland Park. Here’s what he said:
“All I can say is that I am enormously impressed – particularly by your enviable ability to produce such an incredibly ‘appetizing’ Arts and Crafts feel to your buildings. This is such a rare gift in today’s soulless world and, for me, was best demonstrated in your Highland Park house. I have rarely come across something so utterly appealing…”
It’s fun to picture it. Prince Charles, sitting at his desk at Clarence House, contemplating the soulless world around him, when a photo of this Dallas home crosses his desk and he finds it (to quote his quote) “appetizing” enough to express his appreciation in a letter to the architect.
I could write about this imaginary scene forever. I’ll absolutely never not think about it when driving down Crescent Avenue, where the home has stood since the early aughts. But I guess we should direct our attention to the house itself, which really is as “utterly appealing” as the Prince of Wales made it sound, and just hit the market for the first time since its 2001 completion.
The home is a true collaboration between its original owners, David and Marsha Dowler, and Merrill, whom the couple became aware of through his Seaside work. A 2006 D Home feature offers insight on the vision for the project, which was inspired by 19th century British architect C.F.A. Voysey’s picturesque country homes, but there are a few things we’d be remiss in not reiterating here.
There’s the 730-square-foot back house, an updated take on a Cotswoldian cottage. Landscape architect Warren Hill Johnson, whose work can be found throughout the Dallas Arboretum, is responsible for the distinctive his-and-her gardening areas, a grove of Chinese pistachio trees, and a striking pool that looks more like a reflecting pond. Inside, interiors are beautiful and balanced, with the airy, informal vibes that characterize all Arts & Crafts-inspired homes.
In the end, its royal blessing is hardly the the most interesting thing about 3509 Crescent Avenue. But it’s still a very fun fact to dole out the next time you pass the home after lunch at Taverna or shopping at Grange Hall.