A home steeped in history

Lakewood estate of mayor known as 'Mr. Dallas' hits market for $2.9 million

Lakewood estate of mayor known as 'Mr. Dallas' hits market for $2.9M

6941 Gaston Ave., R.L. Thornton home for sale, Dallas
The French-inspired estate, at 6941 Gaston Ave., was built by famed Texas oilman and builder Edwin Cox, Sr. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller
6941 Gaston Ave., R.L. Thornton home for sale, Dallas
The home sits on one acre. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller
6941 Gaston Ave., R.L. Thornton home for sale, Dallas
A tunnel stretching from Chateau des Grotteaux to White Rock Lake might have been used to smuggle liquor during Prohibition. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller
6941 Gaston Ave., R.L. Thornton home for sale, Dallas
The home is 3,201 square feet. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller
6941 Gaston Ave., R.L. Thornton home for sale, Dallas
An 8-foot-high privacy wall surrounds the estate. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller
6941 Gaston Ave., R.L. Thornton home for sale, Dallas
The grounds have numerous statues, sculptures, bridges, ponds, and a secret garden. Photo courtesy of Dave Perry-Miller
6941 Gaston Ave., R.L. Thornton home for sale, Dallas
6941 Gaston Ave., R.L. Thornton home for sale, Dallas
6941 Gaston Ave., R.L. Thornton home for sale, Dallas
6941 Gaston Ave., R.L. Thornton home for sale, Dallas
6941 Gaston Ave., R.L. Thornton home for sale, Dallas
6941 Gaston Ave., R.L. Thornton home for sale, Dallas

Chateau des Grotteaux — a Lakewood estate with a storied past, most notably the one-time residence of Dallas mayor R.L. Thornton — just hit the market for nearly $2.9 million.

Construction on the French-inspired estate, at 6941 Gaston Ave., was started by famed Texas oilman and builder Edwin Cox, Sr., who sold it to Thornton following the stock market crash in the late 1920s. Thornton, a banker and civic leader who was nicknamed “Mr. Dallas,” lived there with his family until his death in 1964. Ten years later, the Thornton family sold the one-acre home, which was featured in the 1929 souvenir program for the State Fair of Texas.

Among other accomplishments, Thornton served four terms as mayor of Dallas and three years as president of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, “helped build Dallas into a major me­tropolis,” and “helped mold the State Fair of Texas into one of the largest in the world,” according to a 1964 news account about his death.

It’s said that a tunnel stretching from the southern-most corner of Chateau des Grotteaux (House of Caves) to White Rock Lake might have been used to smuggle liquor during Prohibition. The City of Dallas eventually sealed off the tunnel, so it’s no longer accessible.

“When you drive by this house, it’s natural to wonder what life is like at Chateau des Grotteaux,” says the listing agent, DeCarla Anderson of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate. “I’m thrilled to report it’s every bit as fascinating as you might expect. Its history is rich, the grounds are impeccable, the privacy is unrivaled, and the potential for customization is unlimited. Anyone who values those four things will want to take a look.”

The current owners have painstakingly restored and updated the grounds in recent years.

Highlights of the 3,201-square-foot home, which has been a fixture in many photo shoots, include:

  • Four bedrooms
  • Three bedrooms
  • Two fireplaces
  • An 8-foot-high privacy wall
  • Mosquito-misting system
  • A heated saltwater pool
  • Numerous statues, sculptures, bridges, and ponds
  • A “secret” garden

The list price is $2,895,000.

Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate is a division of Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc.