One of Lakewood’s most historic and mysterious properties, the Chateau des Grotteaux, is up for sale again. Once the home of mayor R.L. Thorton, this 1920s chateau hides behind grandiose stone walls at the corner of West Shore and Gaston Avenue.
It is listed by DeCarla Anderson of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate for $1.89 million. For sale last year for $2.89 million, Anderson said the agency took the property off the market prior to the holiday season but re-listed it this year with an improved price.
The history of the Chateaux des Grotteaux runs deep. Texas builder Edwin Cox Sr. began its construction before selling the 1-acre property to R.L. Thorton after the 1929 stock market crash. From there, Thorton turned the castle into his family home and coined the property’s gothic-elegant name, Chateaux des Grotteaux, or “House of Caves.” It is rumored that a cave ran from the castle to White Rock Lake for the transportation of liquor during Prohibition, but the tunnel hasn’t been accessible since the City of Dallas sealed it a while ago.
“When you drive by this ‘mysterious’ house, it’s natural to wonder what life is like at Chateau des Grotteaux,” Anderson says. “Actually, I’m pleased to report Lakewood’s famous ‘castle’ is every bit as fascinating as you’d expect a 1929 castle to be. Its history is rich, the grounds are impeccable, the privacy is unrivaled and the potential for customization is unlimited. Anyone who values those four things will want to take a look.”
The current owner has gradually updated the grounds since 2005. The owner has added a privacy wall, sprinkler system, mosquito-misting system, a new tile roof, oxidized copper gutters, turret covers, pool resurfacing and numerous statues, sculptures, bridges and ponds. Several sitting areas, including a one-of-a-kind “secret garden,” were also created, Anderson said.
However, the owner has yet to touch the interior of the castle, leaving the past even more present on the inside.
“There are so many structural and design decisions he could have made prior to listing,” Anderson said, “but he realizes those decisions will be intensely personal and better left to the next owner. So aside from the doors and windows that were replaced in 2017, essentially he is leaving the interior of the home untouched.”
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.