Dallas has the most significant collection of twentieth century architecturally significant homes in the world with architectural styles and movements represented from every decade. Dallas more than any other city is defined architecturally by its twentieth century architects. Virtually all of the existing homes were built after 1900. American architecture has strong regional influences and Dallas is no exception. Besides the intense, romantic and vast influence of Texas on Dallas, the city continues to appeal to the East Coast, West Coast, Chicago and the southern states to fill it’s architectural canvas of Eclectic, Texas Modern and Modern homes. The nations’ most important architects have designed homes in Dallas and internationally recognized architects continue to design homes in Dallas. Here you will be able to explore many significant homes that illustrate indigenous regional qualities, modern qualities of the international movement or eclectic homes derived from Europe. Homes will generally be categorized as Eclectic, Modern, or Texas Modern from the first half of the 20th century or after 1950.
How did Dallas come to have these rich architectural styles?
Dallas, more than any other city in the country, is defined architecturally by its twentieth century architecture. Virtually all of the existing homes in Dallas were built after 1900. American architecture has strong regional influences and Dallas is no exception. Besides the intense, romantic, and vast influence of Texas on Dallas, the city has appealed to the East Coast, the West Coast, Chicago and the southern states to fill its architectural canvas.
Dallas originated as a trading post. It prospered as a city of trade. The cotton exchange brought people from all over the world in the first half of the century, as did the oil and banking industry. The Sangers, Neimans and Marcus’ brought not only retailing and fashion to Dallas, but a desire for the best. Engineering and technology brought many of the county’s greatest minds to Dallas in the second half of the century. Fashion, art, design and communications became an important part of Dallas industry and Dallas’ consciousness.
People have come to Dallas from all over the country with their sense of style. Dallasites enjoy bringing in the finest architects from across the country They also have the self-confidence to discover and retain Dallas architects who go on to have a national reputation.
The people of Dallas are entrepreneurs who are used to creating and exploring new ideas. Just as they were willing to take a chance on their business, they were willing to take a chance on the design of their homes.
This drive to create produced one of the strongest collections of houses in the country, but it also diminished the drive to preserve. As a result, Dallas has lost many significant homes from the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century and it is now vulnerable to losing houses from the second half of the twentieth century.
The purpose of this section is to not only explore the architecture and evolution of Dallas and bring attention to the homes and styles that have value and merit. In Dallas, we have seen houses destined for demolition that were restored once the owners or the Dallas community learned of the architectural and aesthetic importance of the home. We have also seen that the highest price ever obtained for a house in Dallas was one over 50 years old that had never been updated but had beautiful proportions and detail. We can see from this example that a significant home is more than just square footage, it is art. As we come to realize that architecture is our most public art, we will take even more care in what we create and what we preserve.
This section is divided into two parts. Part one will be the significant homes from 1900-1950 and part two will be the significant homes from 1950-2000. Each part will be divided into three sections representing three styles of architecture: Eclectic, Texas Modern and Modern. The homes representing each of these styles will be discussed in roughly chronological order. Featured will be significant homes that represent the architecture of Dallas and additional homes will be referenced to give greater context to the architect, era or style being discussed.
There are thousands of homes in Dallas that have great significance architecturally, historically and aesthetically. These are just a few, but they tell the story well.