Buthman and Hirsch have all the room they need to entertain their large family at 6708 Lakewood Blvd. (Photo by Jenifer McNeil Baker)

Buthman and Hirsch have all the room they need to entertain their large family at 6708 Lakewood Blvd. (Photo by Jenifer McNeil Baker)

Step inside some of the neighborhood’s architectural gems

Julia Buthman and Ken Hirsch weren’t looking to buy a home when they ran into an old friend at a restaurant one Thursday afternoon. The friend, who happened to be a Realtor, invited them to tour some Lakewood properties.

After walking through a couple houses on Saturday, they visited 6708 Lakewood Blvd. on a Sunday afternoon in 2016. On Monday, they made an offer. It was five whirlwind days, but the couple couldn’t be happier.

“It is such a nice atmosphere in Lakewood,” Buthman says. “It feels like a real, walkable, livable neighborhood.”

Empty nesters often downsize once their children grow out of the house, but Buthman and Hirsch found a home where they can host their growing families and still feel like they are in a real neighborhood. They have five children between them who live all over the world, and they prefer to have the space to house their friends and family who visit.

After 61 years of sitting untouched, the home was remodeled in 2011. The house was desperate for updates, but the designer left a few signature items, like leaded-glass windows, glass doorknobs and vent covers, to retain the original house’s character.

Buthman and Hirsch love to travel, and they used certain rooms to pay homage to the places they visited. They even went so far as to call the maintenance departments of some of the hotels where they stayed to discover the exact color paint used in the room, which they then brought to their Lakewood home.

Built in 1927, the home was part of the original Country Club Estates and is protected by a conservation district, which limits any architectural changes on the front of the house. But the backyard received a complete overhaul to create a Southwestern vibe, with painted tile and a step-down outdoor living area.

“It is a fun house because you have such tradition throughout it, but you have modern angles to it as well,” Hirsch says. “In the backyard you would think you were in Southern California.”

Buthman and Hirsch have lived in Lakewood for a little more than a year, but it already feels like home.

“We both grew up of houses of that vintage,” Buthman says. “We absolutely love living in East Dallas.”

The home will be featured in this year’s Lakewood Home Festival, which highlights six neighborhood properties. In addition to the traditional tour, guests can purchase tickets to a VIP bus tour, a candlelight tour and the annual auction party, all of which benefit the Lakewood Elementary, J.L. Long Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School.

This year, the Lakewood home will be about more than beautiful abodes. The fundraiser lost one of its long-time advocates this summer, Vicki Thompson, who died on the Fourth of July after a lifetime spent giving back to neighborhood events. Inside the Lakewood Boulevard home, there will be a memorial for Thompson, who dedicated countless hours to the tour.

“Many of the things she did she never took credit for, which is a testament to my mom’s character,” says Thompson’s son Johnathan. “Nowadays people want to be acknowledged for the work they put in, and she wasn’t like that.”

Thompson’s volunteerism also included fashioning costumes for the Woodrow musical and organizing Lakewood’s Fourth of July parade each year, where she was the morning of her death.

Thompson’s daughter Jenn captured her mother’s spirit, saying, “She had the ability to know when someone was going through a difficult time and she naturally was driven to help those who couldn’t be helped.”

The Lakewood Home Festival
When: Friday, Nov. 10,
through Sunday, Nov. 12
Tickets: $15 in advance
or $20 at the event
More information: lecpta.org

(Photo by Jenifer McNeil Baker)

(Photo by Jenifer McNeil Baker)

(Photo by Jenifer McNeil Baker)

(Photo by Jenifer McNeil Baker)

(Photo by Jenifer McNeil Baker)

(Photo by Jenifer McNeil Baker)


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