When there’s a pandemic going on and it’s still probably not the best idea to put a lot of strangers inside enclosed spaces, you pivot to a virtual home tour, complete with a basket full of goodies for a DIY cocktail party.
The Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society’s annual home tour — a favorite of architecture lovers and history buffs — kicks off virtually at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 24.
Twenty dollar individual tickets are available or for $250, a Patron Porch Party basket is available, which includes a copy of A House for Texas, Gourmet Charcuterie Board for two sponsored by Boxed Bites, Festive Cocktails from Jim Beam and Pogo’s Wine & Spirits, cocktail cups; Garden Box from Gardenuity, D Home magazine and more.
The tour is narrated in part by CBS 11’s Ginger Allen.
“We are thrilled to announce Highland Park Village as Preservation sponsor, D Home as Presenting Magazine sponsor and Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones as honorary chairs,” Tish Key, historic home tour chair, said. “The Rees-Joneses literally saved one of the homes on the tour, the historic 1933 ‘Elbert Williams House’ at 3805 McFarlin Boulevard, from the wrecking ball by purchasing it last December.”
In an effort to bring attention to the importance of the Elbert Williams House, regarded as a masterpiece of Texas Modern Regional architecture, University Park architect Bobby Clark hatched the idea (and PCHPS funded the publication) of the book A House for Texas, authored by local architect Larry Good and photographer Charles Davis Smith, to fully document the home and tell the story of its remarkable design. The sellers of the house are the Locke family, (the children of Eugene Locke and Adele Locke Seybold) who have owned the home since 1955. The house had been listed by Allie Beth Allman since late 2019 and had come to the attention of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society as an endangered historic treasure, a likely candidate for demolition due to its site on a 1.15-acre lot on Turtle Creek.
Although the ultimate use and occupancy of the Elbert Williams/Locke House is yet to be determined by the new owners, Rees-Jones has made the commitment to preserve the house rather than demolish it. The Locke family has expressed how pleased and gratified they are by this act of stewardship. The Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society believes this may be the first time that an endangered historic residential landmark has been saved from the wrecking ball in the Park Cities.
Other significant homes on the tour include the Walter William Whitley-built 3400 Drexel (built in 1924); 3429 Drexel, a rare asymmetrical Italian Renaissance home; 4412 Lakeside, built by Hal Thomson in 1918; and 7000 Vassar, built in 1940 by architect Gayden Thompson and builder C.B. Christensen for Mr. and Mrs. Harold Volk (it was selected by The Dallas Morning News as Dallas’ Best Modern House in 1940).
The Historic Home Tour celebrates historic preservation and is designed to generate awareness of the role history and preservation play in enhancing the quality of life for everyone who lives and works in the Park Cities communities.
The virtual Home Tour begins at 10 a.m. and can be watched for the next 48 hours. It will go offline on Monday morning, April 26, 10 a.m.
Individual tickets can be purchased from the website at www.pchps.org. For more information, call the PCHPS office (214) 528-0021.
Traditionally, the PCHPS spring events also feature a Distinguished Speaker Luncheon and Classic and Antique Car Show. Due to COVID-19, the scheduling has been revised. Those events are moved to Fall 2021.