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Mary Candace Evans On The Design District’s Continued Metamorphosis

The Dallas Design District continues its metamorphosis. Here’s what to expect when the dust settles. 

NEW LINE: William & Wesley will be moving to a new spot on Irving Boulevard and Oak Lawn Avenue this summer. But you can check out the  new Christopher Hyland line (seen here) now.

Raising the Roof
The Design District continues to evolve into a new, vibrant area of Dallas.

Like we said, it’s the end of the Design District as we know it, but the beginning of another exciting, arts-centered place to live in Dallas. The William & Wesley folks are co-developing 3 acres at the corner of Irving Boulevard and Oak Lawn Avenue, across from Apex Supply, with Duncan & Miller and Artability. In their sleek new 101,000-square-foot building, designers will be treated to one-stop shopping that will save gas and make their jobs easier. Projected completion: June 2006. Sharing digs with a bigger and better W&W: Kim Boatman of Artability, Jim Bagwell & Associates, and Duncan & Miller, hospitality architects who have worked across the globe from Shanghia, China, to Washington, D.C., and our own Hotel ZaZa. One of W&W’s top lines, Christopher Hyland, is on board making a huge investment in new fabrics, samples, and new window displays.

It’s a concept business types call vertical integration.

“I call it finding everything you need to design under one roof,” says William Lawrence, whose voice jumps with excitement. “I’m talking flooring, window treatments, fabric, upholstery, furnishings, cabinets, decorative, and art for the walls. We will have it all to get everything done in one fell swoop.”

Lawrence and his business partner, Jarrette Ouelette, said they bought the building in June 2005, when Ouelette saw the writing on the wall: national showrooms clustering in the Dallas Design Center, local showrooms itching to own their own space in a retro trend, and everyone moving closer to Irving Boulevard. The Design District, Ouelette says, just keeps on getting better.

And higher. In fact, the folks at Archiped Classics may be raising their roof at 315 Cole Street just to keep pace. AC continues to thrive in the pot business – cast stone pots, that is – shipping wares all over the world. A Massachusetts homeowner recently bought $70,000 worth of pots for her Brookline home, and $50,000 worth of Archiped wares were recently delivered to a massive mansion right here in town. Archiped also opened a 1,000-square-foot showroom in High Point, N.C., in the elite Hamilton Wren building. Pretty impressive for a couple who started their business peddling pots and pedestals at the corner of Lovers Lane and Greenville Avenue, moving on up later to Oak Lawn Avenue.

Dragon Street has become art central – our own Chelsea – with relocated and new galleries proliferating and prospering: Craighead Green Gallery, Holly Johnson Gallery, American Fine Art, and Banks Fine Art, with Conduit Gallery just down the road on Hi Line Drive.

“Art buyers are totally using us as a destination,” says Scott Presly at Craighead Green Gallery. “Our gallery grew from 1,900 to more than 5,000 square feet, which increased our ability to hang art and store pieces.”

The move was a smart one – they’ve enjoyed increased sales at CG. Meantime, Connie Williamson Antiques has moved from Dragon Street back to Slocum Street, but will be offering private showings for interior designers and collectors by appointment.

It’s not often you get to brag on someone you drove in carpool, but when I read about artist Justin Ginsberg in February 2006’s Architectural Digest, I wondered if this could be the same boy who finger-painted with my daughter at Northaven Cooperative and graduated from St. Mark’s School of Texas in 2000?

He is indeed. Justin, whose parents live in Dallas, is now living in Berkeley, Calif., apprenticing under American master glass blower Randy Strong, a modern day master of the ancient craft of handblown glass. Strong, who came up the ranks with Dale Chihuly, is a pioneer of American art glass, and his coveted work has been displayed throughout the world.

Ginsberg’s work is available in Dallas at Carlyn Galerie in Preston Center. His web site is www.ginsbergglass.com.

Price Dixon is no longer with design firm Dixon Bruning Brown Inc. As of last November, he ventured out on his own. (The trio left Hayslip and Associates in a dramatic move last winter.) Architect Karen Bruning and designer Julie Brown found new office space at 3102 Maple Ave., Ste. 450, right after the New Year. “We have so many exciting things in store,” Brown says. “Commercial and residential projects.” New name: Bruning & Brown Inc. Price remains on Browder Street with his new company, Price Dixon Design, and clients, all residential, names undisclosed.

Bryan Long has completed a home for U.S. Risk Insurance Group CEO Randall Goss and wife Krickett Hancock Goss in Preston Hollow. “In a word, opulent,” says Long, also busy working with builders Bob Campbell and Phil Hollings, managing partners of Home Sights by Design, on a Briarwood area pet-friendly home for Abio Realtors Jeff Neal and Philip Walker…not so much over the top, says Bryan, as just plain going to the dogs. (See “Hot Properties” for more pets behaving opulently.)