While some grumble about missing the in-person events, there are some upsides to the virtual venues. After all, one doesn’t have to get all gussied up to attend. And then, there’s the fact that come rain or shine, the show goes on without hassles caused by stormy weather. For organizers, it means there is no need for a “rain date” back-up plan.
One case in point is the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society’s 2021 Historic Home Tour on Saturday, April 24. Home Tour Chair Tish Key along with PCHPS Co-Presidents Polly McKeithen and Jana Paul have not only arranged for the annual presentation to be virtual, but to have philanthropists Jan and Trevor-Rees Jones serve as honorary co-chairs.
The Rees-Jones’ participation is especially timely since their recent purchase and saving of the “Elbert Williams House” (3805 McFarlin) that had stirred up a hornets’ nest among preservationists over the home’s survival in “A House for Texas.”
The home will be one of the five Park Cities residences that will be featured on the tour. The other four include the following:
- 3400 Drexel: Built by Walter William Whitley, a prominent local builder, in 1924. Shortly after completion, the home was occupied by Robert Chalmers, who arrived from Scotland to become the dean of St. Matthews Episcopal Cathedral. The symmetrical front façade with accented doorway and evenly spaced windows has characteristics of Colonial Revival architecture, which was popular from 1885-1955. The home was in disrepair when the current owners bought it. They honored the original footprint of the home and renovated the spirit of the home.
- 3429 Drexel: Built in 1921, this home is a rare example of eclectic asymmetrical Italian Renaissance architecture. From its high perch, the residence radiates a stateliness due to the prominent Roman arched entries, beautiful SMU brick, front terrace, and repetitive keystone and window accents. Tiered landscaping in both the front and rear yards provides a classic frame. The exceptional and unusual interior elements, synchronized color palette, retention and replication of original architectural details, coupled with a special focus on landscape, make this ninety-nine year old home a genuine marvel.
- 4412 Lakeside: Preeminent architect Hal Thomson built this grand dame of eclectic Italian Renaissance architecture in 1918. Deep bracketed eaves, Roman arch windows, a gracious front terrace with balustrade and the unique decorative medallions combine in a distinctive manner. The owners undertook major cosmetic updates in 2018 to restore the interior Venetian plaster, fireplaces, gates, and pool. This family elected to live with prior renovations to this three-story, 103-year-old residence. Bold color, modern art, antiques, elegant fabrics, and other surprising interior design elements make this home feel exciting and intriguing. This classic Hal Thomson residence is a century old exquisite envelope that once opened reveals a modern world inside.
- 7000 Vassar: Surrounded by magnificent towering oak trees, this residence in Volk Estates is situated on approximately two acres. In 1890 the Volk family started their department stores and by 1927 owned a 77-acre area called Brookside, now known as Volk Estates. Architect Gayden Thompson and builder B. Christensen completed this eclectic Neoclassical style home in 1940 for Mr. and Mrs. Harold Volk, and The Dallas Morning News selected it as Dallas’ Best Modern House in 1940. The full-height entry porch and four impressive Roman Tuscan columns with Doric capitals define the front elevation as classical, but the interior has countless contemporary touches.
Starting Monday, March 15, individual tickets can be snapped up for $20. But patron tickets going for $250 have the perks of two home tour tickets, a copy of “A House For Texas,” a charcuterie board for two from Boxed Bites, festive cocktails from Jim Beam and Pogo’s Wine and Spirits, a treat from Gardenuity and more. Tickets will only be available online.
Virtual event sponsors include the following folks and organizations:
- Preservation Sponsor: Highland Park Village
- Presenting Magazine Sponsor: D Home
- Heritage Sponsor: Methodist Dallas Medical Center
- Platinum Sponsor: URBAN Team – Allie Beth Allman and Associates
- Legacy Sponsors: Cynthia Beaird/Christine McKenny – Allie Beth Allman & Associates and Lucinda Buford – Allie Beth Allman and Associates
* Photo provided by Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society