Ooh La La Listing
Buy this famed Dallas architect's magical French castle in University Park
One of Dallas’ most prolific and beloved architects left a legacy of exceptional design, and one of his most outstanding examples just hit the market.
The Charles Dilbeck-designed home at 4144 Shenandoah St. in University Park stands as a jaw-dropping illustration of this master’s architectural genius. Sitting on a corner lot, this picturesque property offers a sense of presence and importance. Inspired by Dilbeck’s time in France's Loire Valley, this castle-like home was designed upon his return and built in 1934. His marvelous imagination expertly crafted the enchanting spaces in this house, both thoughtful and inspired throughout its 3,393 square feet.
“[It] has been beautifully maintained and meticulously updated in 2017 with loving attention to detail,” says listing agent Becky Frey with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. “It offers seamless indoor-outdoor entertaining options, like a saltwater cocktail pool and covered patio, and it really is an outstanding and significant property.”
The home has three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, one half bath, two living areas, and two dining areas.
Dilbeck had an artist’s vision of how textures and designs would play off each other, about what would look striking and unique without feeling unapproachable. That shows throughout this property. Rich woods, brick, stone, and plaster combine in interesting and handsome ways, all illuminated by abundant natural light from the windows, many of them unusual in design. The stately and grand curb appeal also feels a little whimsical with the turret and courtyard. It’s the kind of house that makes you slow down for a better look.
Inside, the rooms marry comfortable size with a sense of intimacy brought through details like beamed ceilings, white brick detailing, unexpected nooks, and curving lines, like on the spiral staircase at the entry.
The design of this home is Dilbeck’s vision of how a French chateau could be interpreted for Texas, how this classic construction from another country could be adapted into something tailored for the region and with his hallmark touches. He achieved that aspiration with a design that is not only memorable, but truly magical.
Renovations on a significant property like this can turn into disaster if the owners don’t understand the vision of the architect. The updates in this house avoided those mistakes and maintained the character while adding amenities today’s luxury buyer want. That shows up prominently in the kitchen area, which now features granite countertops, white cabinets, a custom range hood with a fleur-de-lis decoration, rustic center island, and stainless steel appliances, including a gas cooktop and double ovens.
Renovations this year created an outstanding backyard. This serene and inviting area features a covered patio with built-in heaters, ceiling fan, grill, and refrigerator. A stone fire pit stands close to the saltwater cocktail pool, and a privacy fence keeps this area secluded.
So what kind of cash will it take to live like European royalty? $1.995 million, which is surely cheaper than an actual French castle.
A version of this story originally was published on Candy's Dirt.