The houses on this year’s home tour have stories to tell
In addition to the two houses we profile below, check out our slideshow of 6843 Lorna Lane, which is also a stop on the tour.
Every year, the Lakewood Home Festival showcases some of the most beautiful and interesting houses in our neighborhood. This year’s tour of six homes is Nov. 12-13. Tickets are $17 in advance or $20 on the days of the tour, and they’re available at Dallas Tom Thumb stores and online at lecpta.org. Proceeds benefit Lakewood Elementary School.
We interviewed the owners of two tour houses. One is a 1936 Bauhaus built for the Texas Centennial celebration; the other is a grand Tudor revival on Westlake that originally belonged to Neiman Marcus founder Herbert Marcus.
Don’t call it art deco
Dan Noble has one request before the interview begins: “Could you not call it art deco?”
It’s a common mistake. Ann and Dan Noble’s home off Gaston Avenue is boxy and modern, with orderly lines. Those without knowledge of architecture tend to mischaracterize it. But it doesn’t have the excessive decorative elements that define Art Deco.
No, this house is Bauhaus. It’s one of seven homes built in the Bauhaus style for the city’s Texas Centennial celebration in 1936. Another of the seven is a two-story white brick home on Gaston, near the Lakewood golf course.
More than a style, Bauhaus is school of thought founded in Germany around 1919.
“It was a response to all the nationalism that was prevalent before World War II,” Noble says. “It’s not German. It’s not Danish. It’s not Dutch. It’s international. It can work anywhere, and it was cutting-edge in 1936.”
The Nobles are from the Dakotas, and they met in architecture school in Fargo. They moved to Texas in the early ’80s, and after they married, they bought and updated a house in the Hollywood/Santa Monica neighborhood.
After they started a family, they bought another house down the street from their current house and started on a 10-year plan to renovate it. But they loved the Bauhaus place, which originally was designed by Luther Sadler, and they asked its owner whether he would ever sell it.
At first he told them he intended to die in the house. But later, his plans changed, and he offered to sell it. The Nobles weren’t ready — they were three years into their 10-year plan.
They invited two architecture friends to look at the house, and they both said they didn’t think it was worth the money and effort to renovate.
But the Nobles loved the house. So in 2000, they bought it and began a three-year renovation that involved adding about 1,200 square feet to the back of the house, including a family room, a master suite and a staircase. They also put in a new kitchen, renovated a second-story bath and installed a swimming pool that looks like it has been there all along.
While they were renovating, they lived for three years in two upstairs rooms with their kids, who were about 5 and 7 at the time. They had one bathroom and a fridge in the ground-floor living room.
“It was kind of fun,” Dan Noble says, in hindsight.
The Nobles also are art collectors, but one of their favorite pieces is one Ann Noble created. It’s her father’s collection of political buttons, which she put together into a frame now centered on the 10-seat dining room table.
The ‘Dallas’ house
Built in 1927, Sue Broyles’ and Claude Denham’s grand Tudor revival on Westlake is one of the oldest in the area.
It was built for Nieman Marcus co-founder Herbert Marcus, who threw lavish parties there. Once, he hired actor Johnny Weissmuller from “Tarzan” to surprise party guests by swinging into the house on a rope. Stanley Marcus was married in the garden. And a study near the front of the house was the first air-conditioned space in Dallas.
But like most things in our city, the house is best known for one thing: “Dallas,” the TV show.
The home’s façade was used as the exterior of Pamela Barnes Ewing’s house in that show. A car once ran over Bobby Ewing in the driveway.
“That was the big event,” Broyles says.
A previous owner had transformed the house’s exterior to a colonial revival look. And the “Dallas” producers had it painted a light green that showed white on camera.
That’s how it looked when Broyles and Denham bought it in 1997, and they since have brought it back to its original look. Somehow, people still recognize it from TV.
Once, a couple of German tourists caught Broyles in the yard and asked her questions about “Pam’s house.”
Broyles and Denham, who are both doctors, have renovated the house over the years, striking unflattering ’70s and ’80s updates and bringing it back to a more classic style.
They replaced the roof; installed a new pool; built a pool house; and updated the electrical, plumbing, bathrooms and kitchen.
During our interview, a restorer was working on the home’s original leaded windows.
The couple previously lived on Swiss Avenue, and Broyles says she chose the Westlake house because of its near-two-acre lot.
“I love gardening, so that’s my passion,” she says. “It was this opportunity to have this ‘Green Acres’ thing — vegetable gardens, herb gardens, cutting gardens, rose gardens.”
Map of the homes
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