Tuesday night it seemed like the party gods were in overdrive to celebrate the close of the year. Whether it was in warm and classic mansions or sky gazing from high rises, the nonprofits were making news in addition to hoop-la-ing.
Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society
It was built in 1923 and designed by legendary architect Anton Korn. For nearly a century this elegant red brick grand dame across from Turtle Creek’s “big hole” has recalled a bygone era when stately manors were made to last through the centuries. In fact there is a big old plaque next to the front door stating seal of approval by the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society, when it was known as the Park Cities Historical Society.
How right it was that the 91-year-old Lovely Lady of Lakeside be the place for the holiday party for the nearly century-old Park Cities Historical and Preservation Society!
But oops! Instead of the original look of days of old, it had been staged . . . okay, it was “refreshed” like a Dolly Parton into Taylor Swift. While some things like the mural on three walls of the library had been replaced with modern art, the mansion still has fabulous bones, numerous fireplaces, stain-glass windows, two master suites and mega-silver closets and drawers.
Oh, did we mention that it’s for sale? Yup, the five-mega suites, 7.2 baths, dressing areas, offices on three-levels, elevator for the ground and second level, hand-blown glass windows and 10-foot ceilings on the ground level and hand-rubbed Bordeaux-patterned wood floors have a big, old “For Sale” sign plopped down in the front yard, with a $8.995M price tag.
But on this evening, the mansion proved that classics are timeless. With all types surrounding the buffet table in the dining room and people like Peggy and Mack Mims, Nancy and Bill McRae, Dan Owen and Kay and Frank Ellis hunkering down in the living room and den, the public rooms proved the perfect setting. On the staircase leading from the ground floor to the second floor were members of Highland Park High School’s Lads and Lassies.
PCPHS President Michael Tibbals was looking forward to the group’s annual spring home tour in April that will be part of the group’s 100th anniversary. Ah, but just before the home tour the PCHPS will hold its annual luncheon on Thursday, April 4 featuring Dealey Decherd Herndon, who, besides being part of the Belo family, also was involved in the restoration of the Caruth Homeplace and the Governor’s Mansion in Austin. Oh, and guess what her talk will be? “Restoring the Governor’s Mansion.”
Communities Foundation of Texas
Speaking of the Caruth Homeplace, across town that’s where the Communities Foundation of Texas held its holiday party/reception for around 65 including State Sen. Florence Shapiro, Linda Perryman Evans, Christine Rogers and Jan and Fred Hegi. The Neo-Colonial Main House with its green shutters and white columns, which was restored to its 1938 condition thanks to CFT, was simply perfect for the holidays.
One of the news items coming out of the evening was the announcement of the new members of the CFT Advisory Council, including Mary Durie, Michael Geary, Jerri Hammer, Charles Lemmon, Ken Malcomson, Carter Malouf, Mitch Miller, Paul Nipper, Mark Plunkett, Debra Brennan Tagg, Dusty Wallace, John Willding and Neil Waterman.
But all of Tuesday was not in surroundings of Dallas’ past. The Northwood University crowd kicked off the evening at The Plaza at Turtle Creek. Just before it got underway, a VIP reception including NU President/CEO Keith Pretty, Pat Holder, Joseph Willmon, Donna Arp Weitzman, Bill Wallace, David Tiller, and NU/Texas President Dr. Kevin Fegan took place high above in NU Distinguished Woman Leslie Ann Crozier‘s highrise home with its unique Leslie Ann touch blended with all types of Christmas decorations. “It’s all about me,” she said. “I love it. I like Old World traditional. My friends like sleek and contemporary. Sometimes I feel like the world is passing me by, but. . . .” Need a for-instance? On the balcony with a perfect view of
downtown Dallas was part of a cathedral church from near Rome. Just inside the glass door was a huge water fountain from France. Instead of a dining room table, there was a gathering table that required barstools. The dang thing weighed so much that it practically cost more to ship it to Dallas than its purchase price.
But the major conversation piece, in addition to Leslie Ann’s black cat Savannah, was the silent butler in the bar, who was literally that.
Downstairs in The Conservancy the crowd grew including NU Distinguished Woman Lynn McBee, the Dallas Morning News‘s Deborah Fleck and Martha Tiller gathered to learn about plans for the upcoming year. Keith announced the public phase of the University’s capital campaign in Texas for $10M to restore the “American Dream,” which includes the completion of “the construction of the DeVos Graduate School and an Event Center on the Texas campus in Cedar Hill.”
To achieve this financial goal, Kevin and NU Texas Board of Governors Chairman Jeff Sullivan have tapped former Colleyville Mayor and NU Distinguished Woman Donna Arp Weitzman to “lead the Texas capital campaign committee.”