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Hot Property: A Charming Lakeshore Tudor with a Colorful History

Since it was built in 1939, the house has hosted Footloose-esque secret dances, the foundations of both Wilshire Baptist Church and Dwell with Dignity, and races with squirrels for pecans.
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Robison loves the house’s front gable, ivy-covered chimney, and Tudoresque cross timbering. When the family rebuilt their guest house, “we wanted to make sure to mimic that cross timbering because it's just so iconic for a house.” Shoot2Sell
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Hot Property: A Charming Lakeshore Tudor with a Colorful History

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When Dwell with Dignity founder Lisa Robison* and her husband, Doug, first got married, they lived in a small Tudor house in the M Streets. In 1995, they started looking for a larger home where they could grow their family. 

They loved East Dallas’ historic architecture, which reminded Robison of her hometown of Chicago. So, they searched around Lakewood and Highland Park. When they found this 1939 Tudor on Lakeshore Drive, “it kind of felt like we were growing up.” 

Robison says they were drawn to the historic neighborhood and the old house’s charm. They also fell in love with all the trees on the property. There are oaks, a magnolia, and two big pecan trees. The family used to harvest the trees’ pecans, but their efforts haven’t been as fruitful in recent years. 

“I don’t know if there are more squirrels than there used to be or not,” Robison says, “but it seems like the squirrels get them before we do.”

Over the years, the family has done several major remodels on the home. In 2003, they added a screened-in porch, a family room off the kitchen, a new office, a walk-in closet in the primary, and an upstairs balcony. They started demo on these projects a week after Robison gave birth to her son. “What the heck was I thinking?”

Additionally, they expanded an upstairs bathroom in 2010, remodeled the kitchen in 2018, and built a new pool in 2019. They’ve also redone the primary bathroom and rebuilt the guest house above the garage. 

Throughout it all, Robison has taken care to research the home’s history. Robison found and framed the original blueprint of the house from 1939 and hung them in the living room. The Wilshire Baptist Church was founded in what’s now the upstairs media room. The original owner, a doctor, and his family would also host secret dances in the same space.

And she’s added her own mark to the house’s legacy—she started her charity, Dwell with Dignity, which provides furniture and decor to impoverished families, in the driveway back in 2009. 

“The church and the charity both started out of this house,” she says. “So we have good vibes.”

*A previous version of this story misspelled Robison’s name. This has been corrected.

Author

Catherine Wendlandt

Catherine Wendlandt

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Catherine Wendlandt is the online associate editor for D Magazine’s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…

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