PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas March 2024

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D e s i g n e r P h i l i p T h o m a s Vanderford recalls the first time he saw his client's house in Bluffview. "I pulled up to the gate, and I could barely see the house," he says. "The front yard was like a football field." Set at the far end of almost two acres of manicured lawn, the rambling stone-and-brick residence nestles into a heavily wooded ravine. He was astonished at the solitude. "You don't see anything else — no other houses, no power lines, or the street. You forget you are in the middle of the city. It's special for Dallas." Designed in 1935 by legendary architect Charles Dilbeck, the house's secluded setting also makes it one of the city's best kept secrets. Few old houses in Dallas are as prized as Dilbeck's charming and impeccably crafted dwellings, which feature quaint and quirky details such as round towers and irregular rooflines dotted with brick chimneys and cupolas. Dilbeck's architecture often included exteriors clad in rough fieldstone, half-timbering, asymmetrical "drunken brick" masonry, and Dutch "klinker" bricks, which have a blackened appearance and are often misshapen or split. Throughout a career that began in Tulsa and spanned from 1932 to 1969, Dilbeck worked primarily in the French Norman and ranch styles, designing hundreds of houses in Dallas and the Park Cities, ranging from cottages to estates. His French Norman country cottages were romanticized interpretations of the traditional French farmhouse, with steeply pitched slate roofs and timbered, vaulted ceilings. Almost 90 years ago, Dilbeck built a similar two-bedroom house in Bluffview for Dorothy and James Walton, the manager of a wrecking and trading company, back when the area was The living room is a later addition, with Jonathan Browning chandelier from The Bright Group. Kara Mann sofa and daybed from Baker. Cocktail table from George Cameron Nash. Arienne Lepretre artwork. 76

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