If you live in the Park Cities, you know what it feels like to head down a street you have driven a thousand times and suddenly encounter an empty space, where a house, doubtless an older one, used to stand.
The emptiness is a little discomforting. Sometimes, altogether too quickly, a new house emerges from the dirt, and it is too big and looks store-bought. And, just like that, the neighborhood is changed forever.
Preservation Park Cities is about preserving neighborhoods. Its mission is to celebrate the elements that make the Park Cities one of the most beautiful and visually close-knit communities in the United States. The organization was formed as a response to the velocity of tear-downs in the neighborhood, a means to put a palm up to the bulldozers and say, Not so fast. Is this a house that deserves to be restored? Does its architecture give it special meaning? Realtors, builders: Is this one we should try to save? And if it is not, will we build in its place a house that respects the scale and feel of the neighborhood?
D Home is pleased, once again, to support the fourth annual Preservation Park Cities Home Tour. Thanks to the generosity of six local homeowners, you can step into older houses that have been beautifully maintained, houses that provide the character and texture that define the Park Cities aesthetic. We hope you enjoy this tour, thank the homeowners for their largesse, and support PPC’s efforts to keep Highland Park and University Park preserved for generations to come.
Editor and Publisher, D Home
4th Annual Preservation Park Cities Home Tour: Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
3701 STRATFORD AVENUE
One step inside Alan and Anne Bromberg’s Highland Park home, and you’ll find a world of personal sentiments and collected history. Childhood friends, Harvard graduates, and Dallasites, the Brombergs bought the 1917 home from Anne’s parents in the mid-1960s and became the fourth homeowners of this Stratford Avenue treasure. As exterior renovations and extra square footage were incorporated into the original house during the 70s, 80s, and again recently, both architects, Downing Thomas and Philip Henderson, and the builder, JPS Contractor, took special care that the style and details were in keeping with the home’s original architectural elements, including original windows and beveled glass doors. In addition to extensive, original built-in bookcases throughout the home, the couple built a detached, outdoor library to house their vast literary and research collections. (Alan is a university distinguished professor of law at Southern Methodist University, and Anne serves as the curator of ancient and South Asian art at the Dallas Museum of Art.)
The Federal-style home resonates with the Bromberg’s love for music, art, politics, theater, gardening, and worldwide travel. After 46 years of marriage, Anne says, I think one reason that we’ve stayed so happy and in love is that we share so many of the same interests.
3900 MOCKINGBIRD LANE
As original as Dallas itself, the charming English Craftsman home on the corner of Mockingbird Lane and Fairfield Avenue is rich in history and Highland Park tradition. Built in 1918 by one of the city’s most prominent builders, Fred A. Jones, the solid-masonry house sits on a raised lot and overlooks the Dallas Country Club’s 13th green and fairway. Guests can also catch a hazy glimpse of Dallas downtown skyline. Jones built both the Dallas Country Club’s original clubhouse and multiple downtown buildings, including the Sumpter Building and Dallas City Hall.
Currently undergoing extensive renovations and restorations under the supervision of owner Pete Livingston, the house has retained its original splendor throughout more than two years of updates. The original floor plan, windows, and fireplaces are found throughout the home, and Livingston has taken special care to replace any missing fixtures or items with only time-period accessories. Livingston and his crew also made an exciting discovery during their work: a time capsule (an old, metal sewing kit) from the first homeowners, containing an original working Edison light bulb, a glass whiskey bottle, a Waldorf-Astoria Hotel hand towel dated 1918, and a woman’s lace blouse.
4209 BORDEAUX AVENUE
A Hal Thompson original, this 1929 Park Cities home features both classic and contemporary styles throughout its unique details. Current homeowners Jesse and Michelle Shelmire have a great appreciation for its historic aspect and have taken special care to keep an authentic feel throughout the gracious home. This house has great bones and a delightful spirit, Michelle says. It is a perfect example of what can be done to a lovely, older home instead of tearing it down and starting over.
The interiors feature beautiful, intricate details that are original to the home, including hardware, carvings, and stonework. The home underwent extensive renovations and restorations from 1997 through 1999 with the help of Tommy Ford Construction. During renovations, several hidden closets were included throughout the home, adding a special touch and room for storage.
In addition to the time period sensitive renovations and an extensive yard, the home remains true to its past and is a functional, family home for its current owners.
4212 LORRAINE AVENUE
Historic preservation and renovation with modern updates and amenities are found throughout this Highland Park home. Built in 1927, this English Tudor is rich in details, from the slate roof and copper gutters on the home’s exterior to the interior’s original stained and leaded glass windows. Owners Cynthia and Brice Beaird oversaw the home’s extensive renovations from 2003 to 2005, ensuring that the home’s historical significance would be preserved throughout both the older rooms and the new wings. Adding more than 2,000 square feet, the Beairds home now includes four bedrooms, four and a half baths, a study with built-ins, two living areas, two dining rooms, two fireplaces, a custom intercom and sound system throughout the home, as well as a three-car garage with more than 700 square feet of additional guest quarters.
During renovations, the Beairds paid close attention to the interior doors, moldings, windows, and stained glass to see that they were custom milled and built to match the older features. Today, the charming home has been restored to its original brilliance, but also offers a functional approach for today’s needs and lifestyle.
4676 LORRAINE AVENUE
Situated in West Highland Park, this charming one-story cottage home is located on a spacious corner lot, surrounded by large trees. The home, built in 1945 by Charles Dilbeck, has been lovingly restored to its initial splendor under the supervision of the home’s second owners.
The delightful interiors feature all of the home’s original built-ins, woodwork, an oversized stone fireplace and mantle, and beautiful hardwood floors in this 1,850-square-foot treasure. The restored kitchen includes the original breakfast banquette, and the new paint has been matched perfectly to the room’s original colors.
Covered front porches line the cottage’s stone exterior, and the home’s original lead-glass windows can be found throughout the interior and exterior. Abundant in details and charm, including the stone walls and walkways, unique chimneys, and a high-pitched gable roof, this home displays its quaint beauty with modern amenities.
4441 BELFORT PLACE
Built in 1940, this Belfort Place home has been updated, renovated, and expanded during the past 50 years, all while retaining its character. Originally built as a traditional ranch-style home on a sprawling double deep lot (one of the few in the neighborhood), various owners have added personal touches and enlarged the home into a spacious, relaxing, and open 10,000-square-foot estate. The large solarium in the back of the house overlooks the large back yard where owners enjoy a fountain, pool, and outdoor pavilion. Many original lead-glass windows and doors are also found throughout the home. After the home’s first round of renovations in the 1960s, The New York Times Magazine featured this remarkable Dallas home on its front cover.
This Highland Park treasure is loved and lived in by its homeowners, who oversaw the home’s exterior renovations; builder George Lewis helped them creatively transform the ranch-style home into a European villa.