Dallas CASA‘s 23rd Annual Parade of Playhouses has just gotten underway for its stationary march in NorthPark. And this year’s crop of adorable little mansions may have hit an all-time high in not just creativity but also major perks. As Dallas CASA’s Rosanne Lewis coordinated “Good Morning Texas” and Dallas Morning News interviewing folks like Crest Cadillac/ Crest Infiniti Managing Partner/GM Mike Brosin and Marketing Director Steve Lee, LRO Residential’s Les Owens and Dallas CASA Development Director Becca Haynes Leonard, NorthPark customers checked out the lineup of playhouses.
Here is a brief rundown on the ten playhouses that will be raffled off at the end of the run benefiting Dallas CASA:
- Autumn Cottage by Capstone Classic Construction with Christiaan Luijk: With shingled roof and white-painted wood siding, this charming cottage is ready-made for move-in. Inside the home is a beautiful wood floor and three walls of floor-to-ceiling windows highlighted by black decorative grill.
- Bro’s Diner by Crest Cadillac/ Crest Infiniti: Inspired by Crest main-man Mike “Bro” Brosin’s love of cooking, this diner can accommodate fast foodies with a drive-thru, as well as indoor dining with a red booth, black-and-white check flooring, and a register. BTW, breakfast is served all day.
- Cuadrado Dos by Laura Juarez Baggett Studio PLLC and Robert Hopson Construction Group: Talk about a breeze. Three walls of the house are made of boards spaced apart to allow the air to flow through. The entry’s blue metal door takes up the entire end of the fourth wall. It might be easy to mistake it for a group of ladders. But on second look, it turns out that the wall is a door that can be locked in place or revolve wide open thanks to center bolts.
- Going Nuts by the University of Oklahoma of Architecture: Talk about going nuts! This project hit a slight bump in the road when the students bailed. However, the teachers stepped up and not only designed and built the acorn with shingle roofing on a patch of artificial grass, they drove it down from Sooner territory.
- My Little Sweetheart Playhouse by Creative Playworks: This whimsical pink and-white cottage with “Home Sweet Home” on the heart-shaped window and covered front porch is a first-time entry by 90-year young architect Tom Workman. Inside the home are stuffed pandas already making themselves at home.
- Nerf Ninja Warrior Challenge by Jeff Kindig and Jordan Kindig: Built in the garage of one of their homes, Jeff and Jordan have fitted this playhouse with everything to delight the Type A personality including a Nerf toss on one wall, hop-across squares, a wall outfitted with Nerf power guns, paddle steps, a rope wall, a rope climb and a mini- Ford F-150 with Nerf Elite blaster velcroed to the vehicle’s hood to shoot targets on an obstacle course.
- Picasso’s Playhouse by The Bellamy Group with Scott + Reid General Contractors and Barber Specialties: Inspired by the 20th century artist, this one is decked out with 21st century conveniences including a window unit for A/C with remote, a Sonos speaker, an overhead light, a sliding front door with metal handle and a low window that can be turned into a doggy door.
- Sand Castle Shores by LRO Residential and Brian S. Easley Residential Designs: As marvelous as Diane Keaton’s home was in “Something’s Gotta Give,” this children’s version playhouse is only missing sand and surf. There are benches built along the sides, loads of screened windows and a Brazil hardwood cutout of a sailing ship on the door with two lantern lights. Inside are Minnie and Mickey Mouse chilling in plastic chairs with their sandals lying underneath, all types of toys and sporting equipment, a woven rug and a flat-screen TV. Even at night this cottage shines like a lighthouse thanks to the top louvered openings that allow the interior light to show through.
- Warped by Patrick Jackson, You Dream It We Build It: At first mention, a trampoline in one of the playhouses may have had people scratching their heads. But this-two-part playhouse is a heavyweight thanks to the $9,000 worth of donated metal and sturdy wood materials. It almost challenged the weight test for NorthPark’s loaders. One part of the playhouse has an overhead obstacle course with the trampoline serving as the floor. But to prevent any dangerous bounces, the room is enclosed with flexible metal screening. Part two of the playhouse is just as much fun with a curved wall with a skateboard and a ladder leading to the playhouse’s top. BTW, Patrick was hard at work perfecting his masterpiece at 3 a.m. Friday to make sure that it was indeed perfect.
- Whataplay by Whataburger and Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity: NorthPark shoppers just might think that Texas’ legendary burger joint has set up shop among the center’s artwork. Instead, the Habitat folks created a mini-version complete with a rock wall on one side and a built-in ladder on the other side for climbing and an itty-bitty kitchen atop a platform covered with faux grass. If the orange makes the house look like the real thing, it really is Whataburger’s signature orange.
While it may have seemed like the builders were diehards in competing for attention, think again. When the Whataplay playhouse was placed, the rock wall was in need of Plexiglas covering for the 17-day display. The first attempt ended in broken Plexiglas. Other builders pitched in with wood blocks and more Plexiglas to save the day.
The Parade will come to an end on Sunday, July 15, when the raffle tickets are pulled in NorthPark’s North Court at 4 p.m. and the wee homes are handed over to new owners.
Suggestion: Get a raffle ticket either online or in person at one of the tables wo-manned by Northwood Woman’s Club and/or the Kappa Alpha Theta Dallas Alumnae. And for that matter, get more than a handful. If you win a house, have a housewarming for your buds of all ages. Even if you don’t win, you’ve provided Dallas CASA with more funds to help Dallas County children.