If you’re free tonight, make your way to the Dallas Museum of Art to hear landscape architect and luminary Laurie Olin speak as part of the Dallas Architecture Forum.

Laurie Olin

Olin is internationally acclaimed, and one of only four recipients of the National Medal of Arts award from the National Endowment for the Arts. It is the highest honor given to artists by the U.S. government. The White House press release described Olin as a preeminent landscape architect, renowned for his acute sense of harmony and balance between nature and design.

In addition to founding the firm OLIN, he is the practice professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has taught for 30 years, and former chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University.

Olin is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the recipient of an Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Design Medal from the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Event details

The lecture by Olin begins at 7 p.m., and there is a complimentary reception for lecture attendees beginning at 6:15 p.m. The event will be held in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood Street. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $5 for students (with ID), and can be purchased at the door. Dallas Architecture Forum members receive free admission to all regular forum lectures as a benefit of membership, and AIA members can earn one hour of CE credit for each lecture.

For more information on the Dallas Architecture Forum, visit www.dallasarchitectureforum.org or call 214-764-2406.



3800 Miramar

I’m just back from the beach, so I was catching up on my news reading when I saw that there was some pretty hairy crime in the Park Cities.

But I’m not going to let the news of a robbery at knifepoint make you think that Highland Park isn’t a safe place to make your nest. After writing the police blotter for a couple of years at Park Cities People, I can tell you that while crazy stuff does happen in Highland Park, the Highland Park DPS is full of top-notch, caring officers who bust their butts to keep their citizens safe.

3800 Miramar Great Room

So to help you get over the news, we have a lovely home for you at 3800 Miramar Avenue in Highland Park. Not only is this amazing Spanish Colonial Revival built in 2000, but it looks just as if it was meant to be in Highland Park. Is this Weldon Turner-designed home not a dead ringer for Fooshee and Cheek’s iconic Highland Park Village? This pair also designed some very beautiful Spanish-style homes on Beverly Drive, a style that reverberates throughout the Park Cities in new construction.

3800 Miramar Great Room Bar

Just west of Drexel Drive and south of Beverly Drive sits this amazing 9,972-square-foot home. While there are just four bedrooms and four full and three half baths, this home is full of rooms with purpose, and is built to enlighten and entertain crowds who can appreciate the attention to detail in the curved arches, the carved columns, and every hand finished tile in this John Sebastian-built mansion. It’s listed by Allie Beth Allman for $12.5 million — a sum that, after looking through the amazing pictures, seems to be worth every penny.

3800 Miramar Music RoomThe sellers are Pam and Gary Patsley, both accomplished executives, with Paymentech and Bank of America, respectively. No word on why they’re selling this amazing property, but if you’re wondering, Dallas Central Appraisal District has 3800 Miramar on the tax rolls for a little more than $7 million.

Baylor Hospital Foundation Event

3800 Miramar Dining Room

Things you’ll love about this home: 12-foot ceilings, gilded chandeliers, a wooded and private feeling corner lot, tons of natural light buffeted by a canopy of trees, a huge great room with plenty of room for a grand piano, an amazing stone spiral staircase that leads to an impressive wine cellar in the basement, an underground media room, a sizable guest house, and gorgeous plaster work.

3800 Miramar Kitchen


The master bedroom is huge and has its own balcony. It’s just the place to loosen your tie and relax after entertaining a crowd downstairs. The balcony offers fantastic views and plenty of room to soak up the waning sun with a glass of wine.

3800 Miramar Master

The master bath has the best layout I’ve seen in a long time, with room for entertainment and cardio equipment without skimping on a massive shower and jetted tub. The vanities are close to the shower, which is perfect and accessible. I just love the stone and fixtures, too!

3800 Miramar Master Bath

If you think the interiors are amazing, just step outside the great room to the loggia, from which you’ll admire the pool and landscaping. You can also see the guest house, which is just as luxurious and well-appointed as the main house. The patio is a work of art, too, with greenery and stone work that is a feast for the eyes. This home is just amazing, don’t you agree? I wonder who will snap it up!?

3800 Miramar Patio 3800 Miramar Loggia



3800 Miramar Media Room 3800 Miramar Wine Cellar

Mockingbird June 4

Last night was Dallas Architecture Forum’s “Inside The Box” Modern Living 365 cocktail reception at the Russell Buchanan-designed Mockingbird house. As we previously reported, this structure caused some chafing with nearby residents in Highland Park who weren’t so keen on the house’s angular structure.


Well, let me tell you — this home may not blend in with Highland Park’s stately brick and stone manors, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful or remarkable. It was fantastic to hear Buchanan’s explanation of the design and creation of this amazing structure, which was compared to, essentially, “a refrigerator box.” If you’re just now tuning in, this house was constructed using steel beams and pre-fabricated, two-inch foam-insulated aluminum panels, making it one very long rectangle.

The angular, spare nature of the home’s exterior really emphasizes the materials used. Everything was designed, cut, and manufactured specifically for this home, especially the Metl-Span jacket, sourced in our very own Lewisville. The panels, which look the same on both sides, lend to the industrial feel of the home, which is echoed in the finishes and furniture. Truly, much of the interior finish-out feels more streamlined and commercial than residential.

Buchanan said that the structure took 11 months to build, and that when the aluminum cladding was one of the final steps in preliminary construction. “When they’re in, it’s finished,” he added, which is very much unlike traditional construction where the exterior walls are constructed first, and the interior is then addressed.


Inside, the home feels very much like a souped-up shipping container, save for the gorgeous Douglas fir rafters, rich stone surfaces, and glass wall spanning the entire length of the first floor. Speaking of finishes, the house has an amazing array of stone inside. The entry vestibule is golden onyx, the kitchen counters are “Syrah” granite and “Aston White” quartz, there’s Brazilian “Arabescato” marble in the master bath, “Xango Red” quartz covering the staircase, and “Breccia Imperial” leathered granite topping the Buchanan-designed dining table. A very bold mix, if I may say.

IMG_1175As Buchanan explained, the paneling and glass walls don’t allow conduit to run inside, so the floorplan was developed with access to power and plumbing in mind. And the floor-to-ceiling windows downstairs feature an exterior camouflage curtain that screens the living space from the owners’ easterly neighbors, who have a birds-eye view into the first floor. This is a house where performing the trademark scene from “Risky Business” would be ill advised.

Still, it feels strangely private. That’s probably because the walls also act as a sound dampener, a plus, especially given the high-traffic location of the home — right off of a major two-lane thoroughfare. In fact, this home’s design and its owners’ wishes resulted in a lot of innovation from Buchanan, who said that “this is not a conventional structure.”

We definitely agree with that!

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Photo: Paper City

When some very well known art collectors asked Bud Oglesby to design their Highland Park home, they couldn’t have known that it would be the last residential building the sought-after modern architect would dream up.

I know we call it “Monday Morning Millionaire,” but this house is truly priceless. And so is this opportunity.

Photo: Paper City

If you’ve always wanted to shuffle through an Oglesby-designed home (and who wouldn’t?) the Dallas Architecture Forum is hosting a reception inside Oglesby’s final modern masterpiece in Highland Park tomorrow at 6 p.m. You can also gawk at the new owners’ incredible collection of contemporary art, all lit by the floor-to-ceiling windows that surround the home.

Photo: Paper City

It’s all part of the forum’s 365 Modern Living series. You can find out more about the event, and even buy tickets, on the Dallas Architecture Forum’s website. The talk will set you back $75, and the design team will have a brief talk at around 6:45 p.m. Valet parking is provided, and attire is business/cocktail.


Scott Womack

Several of my friends have ditched Park Cities/Preston Hollow for The Peninsula — why? Check out this listing by Janice Parson at 9217 Peninsula Drive — on the market for $675,000 — and not even built yet! (The price includes the house completed at 2700 square feet.) A mid century modern flair, the builder is waiting for a buyer to snag this 82 by 160 lot.¬† Janice also has another home coming up in the area for $299,000. So no duh — this area is scenic, pastoral, and like living in a second home year ’round!

It’s also got some history. Ebby Halliday is not the only person having a centurion birthday this year — the White Rock Lake dam was completed a century ago and more than 20 lake user groups are planning celebratory events that begin March 19 and lead up to June 26 ‚Äî the date the dam was completed. Perfectly befitting, the honorary centennial chairwoman of the Dam Celebration is our own Dallas real estate icon Ebby Halliday, who of course turns 100 March 9. Like, Wednesday!

Over her 100 year lifeline, White Rock Lake has gone through many changes, from being a city water source, to a popular sporting destination, to a perennial party scene for teenagers and even weddings. The park department and advocacy groups¬† — like Jeannie Terelli — have all pitched in to clean up the lake and park, which has only helped maintain and raise the values of the properties.

Because who wouldn’t want to live within walking distance of this gorgeous body of water? Living in The Peninsula is like a year-round vacation spot. People who buy here brag all the time that it’s like having a vacation house at the lake —but it’s only 10 minutes from downtown Dallas.

HISTORY: The Peninsula was established in 1927 as second and vacation homes built originally as charming lake cottages for folks who lived in “faraway” Dallas.

Population: 280  homes

Zip Code: 75218

Home styles: Cottages, ranches, a few newer Mediterranean‚Äôs, and a growing influx of newly built mid century-modern homes. Look for houses by Cliff Welch, Gary Cunningham, Jerry Stark and Case Study Homes‚Äô Doug Hildinger. It’s hopping: Chase Corker, an architect who does a lot of homes in Forest Hills and East Dallas, owns a number of properties in the neighborhood and is building a new home for a client.

Average home price: $275,000 to $350,000 for a small cottage; $700,000-plus nets you a larger interior home with a lake view. Be prepared to pay more for a home with a front or backyard views of the lake or park. Cash buyers, not too much wiggle room here.

Average home size: 800 square feet to 4,500 square feet. Most houses are in the 1,400- to 2,000-square-foot range.

Lot value: Prices vary; a 50-by-130 can sell for $200,000 to $250,000 depending on lake proximity. See why builders love it?

Average lot size: 60-by-135, though some are 60-by-200. There are also some half-acre lots that owners have stitched together.

What They Won‚Äôt Tell You: People love what restaurateur Jeannie Terilli and musician Erykah Badu have known for years‚Äîlife in The Peninsula is like living in a perpetual vacation zone. You get cottages, architecturally significant, or eclectic nestled on the banks of White Rock Lake. There’s sailing, running, sports, even horseback riding!

The Dirt – Who Lives There: Agents say there is a quiet influx of Park Cities and Lakewood empty-nesters happening, but the area still has plenty of families. The strong neighborhood association tamps down crime, and many residents work out of their homes, watching each other‚Äôs properties. Kind of elegant crunch: an organic gas station with an organic taco restaurant called The Green Spot opened on the corner of Buckner and Northcliff — they recycle grease!. There is also a huge Farmers Market for organic veggies at least once a month. Wholesome Foods Bakery, which started in Lake Highlands, a yummy gluten-free baker, just opened up in the same center: amazing breads and desserts. Thriving. Jena Johnson and Pauline O’Hare’s Good 2Go Taco just opened at Peavy and Garland Road.

Scuttlebut: Like a selective pre-school, getting into the neighborhood can be tough. Agents maintain lists of interested buyers, but people generally stay put. This is one place where you might benefit by knocking on doors and asking, “are you interested in selling your home?” Just don’t be surprised when folks say, um, not really.

Would I Live There? In a heartbeat. In fact, several of my friends ditched the Park Cities for The Peninsula.

Map Census Crime Stats

Neighborhood Association

Walk Score

Oh my, now Jupiter Island is lovely, and I could tan myself into some basal cells on that private beach, but this is the place Elin should make Tiger pony up for her and the kids: the Cooke House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Virginia Beach, VA. See, everyone dreams of having perfect homes. And everyone who has ever built a home since the dawn of time has gone over-budget and square footage. The rich today and 50 years ago are no different from you and I in that regard except that they can, ah, afford them!

In the early 1950’s, Maude and Andrew Cooke had a dream: live in a house designed by the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.¬† Mrs. Cooke wrote Mr. Wright in 1951: “Dear Mr. Wright, Will you please help us get the beautiful house we have dreamed of for so long?‚Äù

A rendering was not up until 1953, which means a lot of planning and research must have been going on. Plans were delivered in 1957.¬† Construction was begun in 1959, two weeks before Wright’s death.¬† The home is a hemicycle design of soft yellow brick built into a sand dune. An arcing wall of windows faces south to soak up light and heat and look over Crystal Lake, a deep-water lake that feeds into Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. A copper, cantilevered roof tops the home, which follows the shape of a question mark.¬† The 70 foot long Great Room still has Wright’s originally designed furniture, cypress beams, a heated Cherokee red concrete floor, and huge hearth cleaved into the masonry. Typical of Wright’s linear design,¬†a long wing off of one side holds four bedrooms three bathrooms. After Wright’s death, the home was completed six years after its design. The total square footage is about 3000.

The house was completed¬†in 1960, and it was completely Wright’s rendering save for the pool surrounding the patio, rightfully thought to be a hazard to the couple’s three young children. Besides, they wanted to see the lake.

Here’s a shocker: the Cook’s original building budget of $40,000 had grown to over four times that amount; they actually asked Wright’s firm for a smaller re-vision of the home, but ended up building the larger, original design. Great lesson: the Cooke family lived in their dream house for 23 years and loved every¬† minute of it.

In 1983, Maude sold the home — it must have killed her, my mother also sold our family home in the mid 1980’s — to a Daniel and Jane Duhl.¬† The house needed TLC, and this couple dug right it. The restoration was stunning and received an award for preservation from the AIA of Hampton Roads.¬† They undertook a green construction with passive solar design. Since air conditioning was not standard in fifties era homes (nor in Wright’s — can you feel him rolling in his grave?), the Duhls added two central air conditioning systems, ostensibly to protect the house from damage of heat and humidity. A/C preserves homes and helps them last longer.

This time, a A 14 foot swim spa was installed in a terrace overlooking Crystal Lake.  In order to accommodate the mechanisms needed to operate the swim spa, a large underground bunker was built into the dune above the lake.  This included a sauna and an exercise room.   Also at lakeside are two docks; one floating for launching small boats and a larger dock which can accommodate two large yachts.

I mean, it doesn’t get much better than this:$4,513,783 including half a million for Wrights’ artistic value, and $150,000 for his furniture, which is a steal. STEAL.

Ask Santa to put the deed under your tree.