Last month’s column was about the history of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. This month’s column is about the DeGolyer home, which is on the Arboretum’s grounds.
Everette Lee DeGolyer, owner of the home, was the first person to search for a location suitable for Dallas’ first arboretum. But he also is remembered as a scientist and geologist.
DeGolyer introduced geophysics and seismographic detection to the oil industry and received recognition around the world for establishing one of the most renowned petroleum consulting firms in the world.
DeGolyer also amassed three library collections, including the DeGolyer Foundation Library housed at Southern Methodist University.
Mr, De, as he was known, and his wife, Nell Goodrich DeGolyer, built their Spanish Colonial Revival dream home on 44 acres of what was once a dairy on the eastern shores of White Rock Lake.
Completed in 1939, the DeGolyer home was designed and built by California architects Denman Scott and Burton Schutt and was one of the first air-conditioned homes in Dallas. Surrounded by live oak trees, it was named Ranchero Encinal.
The one-story house has seven bathrooms, 13 rooms, two attached greenhouses, a four-car garage and quarters.
The home reflects the DeGolyers’ love of Mexico and the Southwest. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the DeGolyer home is a Texas Historic Landmark and a City Landmark.
While the history of the home is fascinating, so are recent activities. Since November 1993, the DeGolyer home has undergone extensive restoration to its original state and also to add modern technology for cooking and catering for public functions.
In addition to adding appliances and upgrading the plumbing, the home is being painted its original colors. Layers of paint have been removed and analyzed to ensure the colors are as accurate as possible.
The “new” historic DeGolyer home and gardens can be seen during Dallas Bloom through April 9 and during operating hours of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.
I would like to thank Jill Magnuson, director of communications for the Arboretum, and Melissa Newsome, manager of facilities, for their help with this column.