Dallas residents know their city is bursting with architectural gems, from the I.M. Pei-designed Fountain Place to the skyline-dominating Chase Tower to the stunning turn-of-the-century Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe.
But did you know that Dallas is also home to some of the most architecturally important private residences in the country? Douglas Newby & Associates of Dallas have made it their mission to identify and preserve architecturally significant homes in the Dallas area, and have compiled a nationally-recognized list of the top 100 homes that meet their criteria.
The vast list showcases homes that vary greatly in design, period, location, and size, but all are true architect-designed masterpieces of Dallas’ elite neighborhoods. Here are my top five favorites from the list:
Best Style Blend
Sugar Creek is a unique home outside of Tyler that is a blend of desirable features. While referencing the ever-popular mid-century modern aesthetic, the home also honors its natural surroundings and East Texas pedigree with its liberal use of natural woods and rustic stonework. The building itself is designed to maximize efficiency and minimize maintenance.
The bold yet unassuming exterior belies a spacious interior bathed in natural light from huge windows. Large overhangs protect the windows and provide shade.
Best Green House
Stonegate Residence was designed with sustainability as the top priority. Incredibly, the ranch-style home produces five times more energy than it uses! The beautiful modern home owes its pure aesthetic to Usonian design philosophy. A flat roof, passive solar heating, and large windows and doorways contribute large amounts of natural light and a cohesive transition from interior to exterior.
Though completed in 2020, Stonegate’s sustainability journey continues, with the project aiming for quadruple energy certification, to include dual LEEDS certification, Energy Star, and Green Built Dallas.
Best Small Space
Five House on Roberts Street, so named for its adherence to a five-foot planning grid, is actually an accessory dwelling adjacent to the 1949-built main residence. The tiny addition is a continuation of the main home’s mid century modern design with simple forms and pleasing proportions. Pitched ceilings and an angled roof create the illusion of more space.
Designed for outdoor living and entertaining, Five House features plenty of deck space and a kitchen/living area that leads directly out to a linear pool deck. Shades offer residents the ability to customize privacy and lighting.
Crespi Hicks Estate exterior and interior. Images courtesy of Douglas Newby.
There’s no doubt about it, Crespi Hicks Estate House is one of the grandest and most significant homes in Dallas, if not the country–and that’s just the main house! The sprawling estate features not one, but two guest houses, a pool house, and tennis courts.
Crespi Hicks was given a complete overhaul by Dallas architect Peter Marino, who redesigned everything from the lush grounds to the pool tile. While keeping a modern eye toward environmentally friendly restoration, Marino intended to honor the vision of the Estate’s original designer, the famed New York architect Maurice Fatio.
Its current iteration is, in fact, its third renovation, and the results are incredible: elegant, inviting, warm, functional, and drop-dead gorgeous, it is a country haven in the middle of a bustling metropolis.
For more info on the history of this remarkable site (and some drool-worthy pictures), visit their website.
Wickmere Mews exterior and interior. Images courtesy of Hometourdallas.com
Wickmere Mews is a single-family unit attached to a townhome complex. Located east of the Trinity River, the home makes creative use of a small lot and complements the neighboring townhomes. The building does double-duty as a private gallery, as it was primarily designed as to showcase the owner’s impressive contemporary art collection. A light wood and steel palette and plenty of natural light from large windows let the paintings do the talking. A rooftop deck offers spectacular 360 degree views of the Dallas Skyline.
So Much More To See
Many of these homes are open to the public for touring during the annual AIA Dallas Tour of Homes. The AIA tour is the only city-wide home tour in Dallas, and is scheduled to take place November 5 and 6. They will offer in-person and digital tours of the submitted homes, highlighting excellence in local residential design. If you’re looking for inspiration or hoping to meet with the masters, visit their website for information and to buy tickets.