With the rain and gloom in the rear view mirror, the next few days are going to lovely for getting outside of your gopher hole. Whether it’s walking the pooch or checking out the hundreds of thousands of tulips at the Arboretum’s Dallas Blooms, Friday, Saturday and even possibly Sunday are going to be “get-out-and-enjoy” North Texas.
But if you more inclined to be a lover of history and would like to witness the landmarking of five residences, then consider Saturday morning’s Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society’s landmarking ceremonies.
Starting around 10 a.m. the following schedule is planned:
- 10 a.m. – 4229 Arcady Avenue owned by Susan and James Gibbs
- 10:30 a.m. — 3913 Miramar Avenue owned by Nancy Shelton
- 11:00 a.m. — 3400 Drexel Drive owner by Leonore and Jason Owsley
- 11:30 a.m. — 3220 Daniel owned by Sarah and Rev. Andrew Beard
- Noon — 3404 Southwestern Boulevard owned by Mardi and Allen Myers
To finish up the tour, sandwiches, chips, cookies and soft drinks will be served at the Myers’ home.
Since the schedule is tight, a visit inside won’t be possible. However, give the Owsley home a second look because it will be on the PCHPS Home Tour on Saturday, April 18. Tickets will be available on Sunday, March 15, at area Tom Thumbs!
BTW, achieving landmark status requires a thorough vetting process by the PCHPS. Follow the jump for a writeup on the Owsley home by Joan Clark that tells the story of the home that was built in the 1920s and meticulously brought into the 21st century while retaining its past glory.
* Photo provided by Park Cities Historic And Preservation Society
Walter William Whitley, a prominent local builder, constructed this home in1924. Shortly after completion, the home was occupied by Robert Chalmers, who arrived from Scotland to become the dean of St. Matthews Episcopal Cathedral. Perhaps Dean Chalmers was one of our first “Highland Park Scots.” The symmetrical front facade with accented doorway and evenly spaced windows has characteristics of Colonial Revival architecture, which was popular from 1885 – 1955.
This is a tale of faith, perseverance, and salvation. Neglected for many years, this foreclosed property was owned by a bank when it finally came to the attention of the Owsleys. Real estate agent Owsley originally tried to interest others in the home; suddenly, when it was put up for auction, her husband said, “Let’s do it!” So, the Owsleys purchased the home in “as is” condition. They were aware of the vines and branches growing through the windows but were surprised to learn that original knob and tube electrical and ancient plumbing would be new riddles to solve. In the summer of 2019 the full interior and exterior renovation took place.
The Owsleys honored the original footprint of the home and renovated the spirit of the home. Various remodels from 1990 – 2000s added bathrooms and the attic conversion. The current owners only reconfigured the master bath. The light color palette chosen for both exterior and interior plaster walls and the original quarter sawn white oak floors combine to give the home a bright, fresh appearance.
Right of the entry is an oversized living room with original windows that view the pool and cabana. Vintage dental molding is abundant and uniquely applied to the cased openings. A great deal of the furniture was acquired when the owners lived in Germany; the living room has a charming Bavarian armoire, burled wood secretary, and traditional cuckoo clock. Dual openings lead to a former porch now utilized as an office. A flagstone patio with fi e pit and pergola is an outdoor room that opens up from the office entrance.
The cozy dining room as well as a hallway lead to the totally remodeled kitchen space. Selection of milk glass light fixtures, Blue Star appliances, and the retention of glass door knobs and screen doors all contribute to the updated 1920’s atmosphere. The kitchen also contains a family heirloom antique pine cupboard and trestle farm table for dining. Upstairs is the master bedroom with original fireplace and two other original bedrooms with ensuite baths. The apothecary bed stands and chests are also from Germany. The master bath area was completely reworked and now has a Victoria and Albert soaking tub. Additionally, the other three bathrooms and bedrooms were refurbished.
Imagine that the bulk of this project was completed in twelve weeks! The Owsley family said it was fun to see the beauty emerge from the ashes but stressful too. The family has been overwhelmed by the positive community response to their project. Many neighbors and complete strangers have stopped to visit and commend them for their salvation efforts.
Since their children are now graduating from school and moving on, the Owsley’s love the human scale of their new, older home. Although not as large as much of the new construction in the neighborhood, the home has a low maintenance yard and manageable interior space. Faith and perseverance paid unforeseen dividends. And who wouldn’t love the sounds of that timeless screen door slamming shut as you head for the pool?