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The Return of a Top Dallas Home Tour Showcases Beautiful Park Cities Preservation

Celebrating Historic Architecture, an Annual Favorite Makes a Comeback This Spring

BY // 03.22.21

If you’re prone to perusing luxury listings in Dallas, you’re probably familiar with the Elbert Williams House, or at least its unique Texas Modern façade. When 3805 McFarlin Boulevard hit the market in late 2019, the historic 1930s home was at risk of demolition (its 1.15-acre lot made it a unique commodity in the neighborhood). Fortunately, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones saw the beauty in David Reichard Williams’ masterful work, which has been recognized as one of the most significant architectural achievements in our Texas history, and vowed to preserve the notable Park Cities estate.

This April, Rees–Jones are serving as the honorary chairs of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society’s annual home tour, where — naturally — 3805 McFarlin will feature among the architectural gems from Vassar to Lakeside Drive.

Other highlights of the tour include 3400 Drexel Drive, built by prominent local builder Walter William Whitley in 1924. The Colonial Revival-inspired work, with its symmetrical façade and accentuated doorway, was recently brought back to life thanks to a recent renovation by its current owners. Close by is an eclectic example of Italian Renaissance architecture at 3429 Drexel, distinguished by its elegant tiered landscaping and unusual interior.

On beautiful Lakeside Drive, Hal Thompson’s Italian Renaissance classic is a showstopper of an already standout tour. The oldest tour stop (the home is now 104) has been beautifully preserved thanks to its current owners, Jeffrey and April Manson, who helped ensure the Roman arch windows and a balustrade-lined terrace have remained in top form. And though the historic exterior remains in its purest form, the home’s interior is a color soaked sanctuary of modern art, sumptuous fabrics, and thoughtfully sourced antiques. (Keep an eye out for PaperCity Dallas‘ April issue for more about the Manson’s story.)

At 7000 Vassar Avenue, the eclectic, Neoclassical home flanked by towering oak trees was designed by architect Gayden Thompson and builder C.B. Christensen for the Volk Family. Exterior highlights include four Roman Tuscan columns with Doric capitals. Inside, contemporary art rules the entryway—a large canvas by Ellsworth Kelley, one of Willem de Kooning’s abstract paintings, and an early Jackson Pollock all claim space along the entry walls.

Like most events over the past year, the Park Cities Historic Preservation Society’s home tour will look slightly different this year. The tour itself is entirely virtual. The event, featuring a to-be-announced narrator, begins at 10a.m. on Saturday, April 24, and will be available to watch for 48 hours. The annual Distinguished Speaker Luncheon and Classic and Antique Car Show, however, will take place (tentatively) in person this fall.

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Tickets are available online now for $20 each, or $250 for the Patron Porch Party level (which includes two home tour tickets, a copy of “A House for Texas” (documenting the meaningful design of 3805 McFarlin Boulevard), a Boxed Bites charcuterie board, festive cocktails from Pogo’s, a gift from Gardenuity, and more. Proceeds from the tour 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.

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