Home Tour: The Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society
The 2021 Annual Historic Home Tour Will Be an Exciting Virtual Experience
Mark your calendars now for Saturday, April 24, 2021
Polly McKeithen and Jana Paul, co-presidents of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society (PCHPS), along with Tish Key, Historic Home Tour chair, announce the Historic Home Tour will happen on Saturday, April 24, 2021 and this year, the tour is totally virtual. Traditionally, the PCHPS spring events also feature a Distinguished Speaker Luncheon and Classic and Antique Car Show. Due to COVID-19, the scheduling has been revised. Those events are moved to Fall 2021. Dates to be announced.
“We are thrilled to announce Highland Park Village as Preservation sponsor, D Home as Presenting Magazine sponsor and Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones as honorary chairs,” Tish said. “The Rees-Joneses literally saved one of the homes on the tour, the historic 1933 ‘Elbert Williams House’ at 3805 McFarlin Boulevard, from the wrecking ball by purchasing it last December.”
In an effort to bring attention to the importance of this masterpiece of Texas Modern Regional architecture, University Park architect Bobby Clark hatched the idea (and PCHPS funded the publication) of the book A House for Texas, authored by local architect Larry Good and photographer Charles Davis Smith, to fully document the home and tell the story of its remarkable design. The sellers of the house are the Locke family, (the children of Eugene Locke and Adele Locke Seybold) who have owned the home since 1955. The house had been listed by Allie Beth Allman since late 2019 and had come to the attention of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society as an endangered historic treasure, a likely candidate for demolition due to its site on a 1.15-acre lot on Turtle Creek. Although the ultimate use and occupancy of the Elbert Williams/Locke House is yet to be determined by the new owners, Rees-Jones has made the commitment to preserve the house rather than demolish it. The Locke family has expressed how pleased and gratified they are by this act of stewardship. The Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society believes this may be the first time that an endangered historic residential landmark has been saved from the wrecking ball in the Park Cities.
Other significant homes on the tour are:
* 3400 Drexel: Built by Walter William Whitley, a prominent local builder, in 1924. Shortly after completion, the home was occupied by Robert Chalmers, who arrived from Scotland to become the dean of St. Matthews Episcopal Cathedral. The symmetrical front façade with accented doorway and evenly spaced windows has characteristics of Colonial Revival architecture, which was popular from 1885-1955. The home was in disrepair when the current owners bought it. They honored the original footprint of the home and renovated the spirit of the home.
* 3429 Drexel: Built in 1921, this home is a rare example of eclectic asymmetrical Italian Renaissance architecture. From its high perch, the residence radiates a stateliness due to the prominent Roman arched entries, beautiful SMU brick, front terrace, and repetitive keystone and window accents. Tiered landscaping in both the front and rear yards provides a classic frame. The exceptional and unusual interior elements, synchronized color palette, retention and replication of original architectural details, coupled with a special focus on landscape make this ninety-nine year old home a genuine marvel.
* 4412 Lakeside: Preeminent architect, Hal Thomson, built this grand dame of eclectic Italian Renaissance architecture in 1918. Deep bracketed eaves, Roman arch windows, a gracious front terrace with balustrade and the unique decorative medallions combine in a distinctive manner. The owners undertook major cosmetic updates in 2018 to restore the interior Venetian plaster, fireplaces, gates, and pool. This family elected to live with prior renovations to this three-story, 103 year-old residence. Bold color, modern art, antiques, elegant fabrics, and other surprising interior design elements make this home feel exciting and intriguing. This classic Hal Thomson residence is a century old exquisite envelope that once opened reveals a modern world inside.
* 7000 Vassar: Surrounded by magnificent towering oak trees, this residence in Volk Estates is situated on approximately two acres. In 1890 the Volk family started their department stores and by 1927 owned a 77-acre area called Brookside, now known as Volk Estates. Architect Gayden Thompson and builder C.B. Christensen completed this eclectic Neoclassical style home in 1940 for Mr. & Mrs. Harold Volk, and The Dallas Morning News selected it as Dallas’ Best Modern House in 1940. The full-height entry porch and four impressive Roman Tuscan columns with Doric capitals define the front elevation as classical, but the interior has countless contemporary touches.
The Historic Home Tour celebrates historic preservation and is designed to generate awareness of the role history and preservation play in enhancing the quality of life for everyone who lives and works in the Park Cities communities.
The virtual Home Tour begins at 10:00 a.m. and can be watched for the next 48 hours. It will go offline on Monday morning, April 26, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. This is truly an exciting treat as details of furnishings, architecture and the history of each home will be described by a narrator TBA.
Underwriting and sponsorships are available via the website. Tickets are $20 for an individual ticket and $250 for the Patron Porch Party level (which includes two Home Tour tickets, copy of the book A House for Texas, Charcuterie Board for two from Boxed Bites, Festive Cocktails from Jim Beam and Pogo’s Wine & Spirits, a treat from Gardenuity and more) and can be purchased from the website at www.pchps.org For more information, call the PCHPS office (214) 528-0021.
Preservation Sponsor: Highland Park Village. Presenting Magazine Sponsor: D Home. Heritage Sponsor: Methodist Dallas Medical Center. Platinum Sponsor: URBAN Team – Allie Beth Allman & Associates. Legacy Sponsors: Cynthia Beaird/Christine McKenny – Allie Beth Allman & Associates; Lucinda Buford – Allie Beth Allman & Associates.
A House for Texas additional funding for publication provided by Marla and Mike Boone, Gail and Bob Clark, Kay and Duncan Fulton, Barbara and Larry Good and Susan and Joel Williams.
PCHPS Details: The 2021 Historic Home Tour features architecturally and historically significant homes of the Park Cities.
• The purpose of the annual Historic Home Tour is to show case architecturally and historically significant homes of the Park Cities and illustrate how these homes have been restored or remodeled and updated to serve the lifestyle needs of families today.
• The Historic Home Tour and Distinguished Speaker Luncheon are the Society’s only fundraisers each year. The proceeds are allocated to help further our mission to promote, protect and preserve the historic, architectural, cultural and aesthetic legacy of the Park Cities.
• The Society landmarks architecturally and historically significant homes in the Park Cities, some of which are on the Historic Home Tour.
• Members of the Society enjoy historic and preservation oriented educational programs.
Overview: PCHPS mission is to preserve and promote the history, architecture, aesthetics and cultural traditions of the Park Cities. Proceeds of the Luncheon and Home Tour will be used to help preserve and maintain the Park Cities House at Dallas Heritage Village, support the new PCHPS archives at the University Park Library, fund the Society’s landmarking initiatives, award scholarships to Highland Park High School graduating seniors planning to study architecture or history and fund the Distinguished Chair for History at Highland Park High School. Membership in PCHPS is open to the public. For more information visit www.pchps.org
*Photo by Charles Davis Smith
**Photos by Danny Piassick
(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to represent the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society.)