Midcentury Modern Tragedy
Dallas midcentury home hawks vintage rarities before tragic demolition
UPDATE: According to a representative for the organizer, the estate sale has been canceled.
A Dallas home that's significant for both architects and decorators, as well as anyone who's into midcentury modern style, is set to be torn down. As tragic as that is, it's also your chance to jump on a treasure trove of museum-worthy fixtures at the pre-demo estate sale on April 15.
Candy's Dirt profiled the home at 10707 Lennox Ln. back in February when it was listed with Sharon Quist of Dave Perry-Miller for only $2.5 million. The "only" is because that was simply the lot value. The price didn't take into account the priceless treasures hiding inside — including a set of pristine Geneva metal cabinets — and the unidentified new owners don't seem too keen on keeping them either.
Dallas architect and homebuilder Truett A. Bishop designed and built the five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom house in 1956 for the Mayrath family who owned it until 1969, when it was bought by the Shear family who left it largely unchanged.
An admiring Dallas Times Herald feature published in 1957 noted that there wasn't "so much as a splinter of wood in the home." It's built entirely from steel, glass, Austin stone, concrete, and aluminum, which is even more amazing when you consider the main home is more than 5,000 square feet.
"It sits on a 2.29-acre lot, with three additional structures and a tennis court. There’s a cabana with a pool room, bar, and two bathrooms; a one-bedroom back house apartment; and an office/tennis house with three walls of windows," says Candy's Dirt.
Preservationists who cherished the "time capsule house" all these years are dismayed by its imminent demolition.
"This is making me physically ill," says a post on the Facebook page of the midcentury modern site Retro Renovation. And the daughters of both Martin Mayrath and Truett Bishop took to the comments section of the Candy's Dirt story to plead with preservationists, expressing hope that the house still might be saved.
With the sale scheduled to go forward this weekend, it sadly looks as though that's no longer a possibility. But you can still do your part to rescue some of the features and fixtures that helped make this iconic Dallas house great.
Describing the pale blue Geneva steel cabinets, Donovan Westover of Preservation Dallas says that he's "never seen a set of cabinets in such pristine condition — it’s amazing." A complete set of similar cabinets from a competitor actually ended up on display in the museum at the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center in Ohio, so that tells you how rare a find these are.