Homes, sweet homes

Glimpse these 4 gorgeous Park Cities homes before they open on tour

4412 Lakeside, Park Cities home tour
Photo by Danny Piassick
3429_Drexel, Park Cities home tour
Photo by Danny Piassick
3400 Drexel, Park Cities home tour
Photo by Danny Piassick
7000_Vassar, Park Cities home tour
Photo by Danny Piassick

The 2020 Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society Home Tour will showcase four historically and architecturally significant homes that illustrate how old houses can be restored or remodeled and updated for family life today.

This year's tour takes place 10 am-3 pm Saturday, April 18. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 when purchased at the door of any home. Advance tickets are available online or at several participating Tom Thumb stores beginning March 15.

Tour proceeds go to PCHPS’ mission to promote, protect, and preserve the historic, architectural, cultural and aesthetic legacy of the Park Cities. Specific projects include the Park Cities House at Dallas Heritage Village, University Park Library archives, and Highland Park High School scholarships for graduating seniors planning to study architecture or history.

Here's an introduction to the four homes on this year's tour, with descriptions written by Joan Clark for the tour organizers:

4412 Lakeside: Home of the Manson family
Premier architect Hal Thomson built this grand dame of eclectic Italian Renaissance architecture in 1918. Deep bracketed eaves, Roman arch windows, a gracious front terrace with balustrade, and the unique decorative medallions combine in a distinctive manner.

The owners undertook major updates in 2018 to restore the interior Venetian plaster, fireplaces, gates, and pool. This family elected to live with prior renovations to this three-story, 103 year-old residence.

Bold color, modern art, antiques, elegant fabrics, and other surprising interior design elements make this home feel exciting and intriguing. The century-old residence is an exquisite envelope that, once opened, reveals a modern world inside.

 3429 Drexel: Home of Jimmy and Kathryn Ogden
Built in 1921, this home is a rare example of eclectic asymmetrical Italian Renaissance architecture. From its high perch, the residence radiates a stateliness due to the prominent Roman arched entries, beautiful SMU brick, front terrace, and repetitive keystone and window accents.

Tiered landscaping in both the front and back yards provides a classic frame. The exceptional and unusual interior elements, synchronized color palette, retention, and replication of original architectural details, coupled with a special focus on landscape, make this 99-year-old home a genuine marvel.

3400 Drexel: Home of Jason and Leonore Owsley
This home was built by prominent builder Walter William Whitley in 1924. Shortly after completion, the home was occupied by Robert Chalmers, who arrived from Scotland to become the dean of St. Matthew's Episcopal Cathedral.

The symmetrical front façade, with accented doorway and evenly spaced windows, has characteristics of Colonial Revival architecture, which was popular from 1885-1955.

The home was in disrepair when the current owners bought it. They honored its original footprint in renovations.

7000 Vassar: Home of James and Betsy Sowell
Surrounded by magnificent towering oak trees, this residence in Volk Estates is situated on approximately two acres. In 1890, the Volk family started their department stores and by 1927, owned a 77-acre area called Brookside, now known as Volk Estates.

Architect Gayden Thompson and builder C.B. Christensen completed this eclectic Neoclassical style home in 1940 for Mr. & Mrs. Harold Volk, and The Dallas Morning News selected it as Dallas’ Best Modern House in 1940.

The full-height entry porch and four impressive Roman Tuscan columns with Doric capitals define the front elevation as classical, but the interior has countless contemporary touches.