Trevor Rees-Jones is certainly no newcomer to the Park Cities. As a youngster growing up at 3615 Centenary in University Park, he played at the Caruth family’s nearby farm that is today’s home for luxury homes and Communities Foundation of Texas. The future Eagle Scout/Dartmouth grad/oil giant told a group at Communities Foundation of Texas back in 2014 that he and his friends would play there by “rolling tunnels” through the tall grass. When asked whether the Caruths let them play there, he said, “I don’t know that they knew! They’d-a had to find us first, and we were little kids who ran real fast!”
Over the years, Trevor and his wife Jan Rees-Jones and their family lived in the Park Cities. In 2018, they sold their home in Volk Estates and moved into a built-from-scratch, 15,000-square-foot modern home overlooking Turtle Creek.
Across the Creek, there was another house of note. Known as the Elbert Williams House at 3805 McFarlin, it was built by the late University Park Mayor Elbert Williams in 1932 and owned since 1955 by the late Addie and Eugene Locke. Unlike the Rees-Jones’ new home, this one was 88 years old and had weathered the test of time beautifully. Thanks to its design by David “The Godfather of Texas Architecture” Williams and meticulous maintenance by its owners, the house had become almost legendary among historical preservationists. With Eugene’s death in 1972 and Addie’s death in 2014, their children kept the house over the years. But eventually, they decided to sell the 7,019-square-foot home and arranged to have it listed in 2019 by residential real estate doyenne Allie Beth Allman. This development stirred fears among history buffs that the house was in dire need of rescuing. They had seen other treasures torn down only to make way for resplendent state-of-the-art residences.
Thanks to funding by the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society and University Park architect Bob Clark‘s urging, local architect Larry Good and photographer Charles Davis Smith created “A House For Texas,” describing how the house was a Texas treasure. It inspired the rally cry “The Most Important House In Texas.”
In learning of the importance of the house and the possible threat, Jan and Trevor stepped up to the plate and agreed to purchase the house on Thursday, December 3. With all fingers crossed that the deal will soon be finalized, the Rees-Joneses have committed to preserving the house with a future purpose yet to be determined.
Six Degrees Of Separation side note: The late Eugene Locke was a partner in the same firm that Trevor’s father, Trevor William Rees-Jones joined in 1963.
Second Six Degrees Of Separation side note: Trevor William Rees-Jones, who passed away in 2009, served as president of the then Park Cities Historical Society in 1995-1996 that became today’s Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society.
* Graphic courtesy of Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society