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Letter from Dallas

or Everything's Bigger in Texas. We recently visited Dallas for a few days of wining, dining and shopping. Our hideaway for this excursion, the Abby Brown Guest House, put us close to Knox-Henderson, Greenville and North Park Mall. Here's a few notes from the trip... One of our first stops was Design Within Reach. As you can see they have a Texas-sized version of the classic adjustable desk lamp. I enjoyed a mod pit group while basking under the glow of the giant lamp. I also visited my favorite chair, the Eames LCW. While we were at DWR we met David Goltl who showed us around the store, explained some of the finer points of modern furniture and printed off some maps of Mid-Century and modern neighborhoods in the Dallas area. This turned out to be wonderful information because... ..we soon found ourselves touring an area known simply as the "Disney Streets," because all the streets have names like Snow White or Peter Pan. This neighborhood was not only full of cool Fifties ranch houses, it's also the scene of some heated controversy over historic preservation. Wheee! We were almost surprised to learn that in Dallas, the apparent birthplace of the Mc Mansion, there's any interest in preserving a recent past neighborhood. But to our delight there is an appreciation for these areas, and a desire to maintain their architectural integrity and appeal as a community. However, there appeared to be a vocal (well, there signs were plentiful anyway) movement working to put the kibosh on creating a "conservation district" in the Disney Streets area. You can dig into the opposing viewpoints at the following sites: • Disney Streets of Midway HillsDisney Street Say No After we left Midway Hills and the Disney Streets we stumbled across the Preston Royal Branch Library. It was pretty well preserved but the interior has been ruined with a drop ceiling and scary giant light fixtures. Not far up Royal Lane we hit the jackpot.. well, it was gold anyway. We were actually just making a quick U-turn when we spotted this beauty. St. Luke's Episcopal Church looked like an annex from ORU with all the gold aluminum adorning its round sanctuary. The church was built in 1959 and the architect was Bill Hidell, a protege of George Dahl. We stopped in and snapped a slew of pictures we'll be sharing with you in the near future! Afterward we drove by Bruce Goff's 1957 creation for Dallas businessman Eddie Parker, known locally as the Round House. The circular design is very reminiscent of the Frank House, not to mention the patented ceramic-over-glass window treatment! Oh, and it's on the market again if you're interested- asking price: $889,000. Our next sortie moderne was to the Kessler Woods development near the Oak Cliff area. Modern homes in the Kessler Woods area of DallasWe seem to keep discovering interesting places in this area southwest of downtown Dallas, just across the Trinity River. First it was the Belmont Hotel, then the Bishops Art District, and now this enclave of high-end contemporary homes being built by Sky Modern. Then, to finish off our trip, we decided to explore modern design of a lower price point. On the way home we stopped by Ikea. Our Map: Explore More of the Big D


modbetty said…
Sortie Moderne, love it! Kinda like Retro reconnaisance.

The Recent Past

The Bruce Goff House in Vinita

We were recently surprised to learn about a Goff-designed home just an hour away from Tulsa in Vinita, Oklahoma. Vinita is probably best known to OK Mod readers as the home of the Glass House on I-44, also known as (shudder) the World's Largest Largest McDonalds . Anywho, turned out the Goff house was on the market, and the owner was more than happy to let us have a look around. We took a short drive up the turnpike one Sunday afternoon to meet the realtor, snap some pictures, ask some questions and enjoy another one of Bruce Goff's unique creations. The home is known as the Adams House and was built in 1961. The 3,700 square foot home is arranged in a circular floor plan with a large sunken "conversation pit" at the center. Rising up from this pit is a large metal fireplace, its chimney surrounded by skylights, which dominates the entire house. Rooms surround the perimeter with folding accordion doors acting as walls. To maintain some semblance of privacy an inner

The World Museum

The widening of I-44 through Tulsa will soon claim another mid-century building (see Modern Homes Make Way for I-44 ). This unusual landmark near Peoria, once known as the World Museum, is being emptied in preparation for demolition. The concrete complex was built in 1963 by the Osborn Ministries as a museum and "Interstate Temple." Self-proclaimed minister, T. L. Osborn, and his wife, Daisy, traveled the world as Christian missionaries and collected art and artifacts on their journeys. The unusual La Concha-esque building housed their partial collection and distracted motorists touring along the new Skelly Bypass (aka I-44). The exterior of the building is adorned with maps of the world's continents. In its heyday there was a good deal more- a giant outline of Jesus was on one wall. The inscription below it, "REX," provided one of my earliest Latin lessons when I asked Dad why that building had my name on it. There was also a large globe that once stood out fr

Oklahoma State Capitol Bank

On the Trail of Julius Shulman: Stop 2 "This is a bank," the sign outside the futuristic building read. According to legend a prankster added a strategic question mark and echoed the sentiment of many passers-by: "This is a bank?" That was back in 1964 when it opened. Today the Arvest on Lincoln Boulevard looks a bit less Jetsonian, mostly due to replacement of structural glass below the "saucers," but it's still an unusual bank. Designed by Robert Roloff of the architectural firm Bailey, Bozalis, Dickinson & Roloff, the State Capitol Bank caused quite a stir in Oklahoma City when it opened. Heck, it's still pretty shocking today! Originally the flying saucers appeared to hover above the building (as seen in this vintage postcard). All the glass that made that effect possible also made heating and cooling an expensive proposition. Security concerns also mandated replacement of those windows with solid materials and small square portholes