This Afternoon, a Landmark Commission Field Trip to Stanley Marcus's Old House
The Marcus House as it looked during construction in 1938
Nine months ago it looked as though Mark and Patty Lovvorn were going to tear down Stanley Marcus's house on Nonesuch Road, built 71 years ago by Dallas architect Roscoe DeWitt after Mister Stanley told Frank Lloyd Wright to take a flying leap -- since, well, Wright had slammed the manse as "a lousy bastard." Alas, the Good Lord done set 'em straight a few days after Unfair Park first broke the news of the joint's imminent demise, and just like that, a would-be teardown was on its way to becoming a protected, city-recognized historic landmark.
Reason I mention it this morning it because the Landmark Commission's Designation Committee is headed over to the historic Lakewood home this very afternoon, as the commission inches closer toward stamping it an official City of Dallas Landmark. Says 'Preservation Dallas executive director Katherine Seale, who's on the designation committee, today's field trip is part of the regular process -- a way for the committee to "develop the preservation criteria, like the do's and don'ts of what changes they will be able to make and what changes they will not be able to make."
Seale says the Lovvorns -- who actually initiated historic designation proceedings with the Texas Historic Commission in 1999, nine years before sending the THC is demo plans -- have undergone quite the conversion. "The owners have committed themselves to preserving the important parts of the building," she tells Unfair Park. "They're actually researching it and trying to find the original plans and early photographs. They're really working with the committee to protect it." The Lovvorns did not return a message left by Unfair Park Wednesday.
Bonus related story: Stanley Marcus's old house is, at the moment, in better shape than Stanley Marcus's old business. This morning Neiman Marcus Group reported that April 2009 sales have dropped 24.6 percent from April '08. Also: "Comparable revenues for Neiman Marcus, Inc. for the third quarter of fiscal year 2009 decreased 25.1 percent." In advance of the earnings report, yesterday Bloomberg News also warned: "Neiman Marcus Bondholders Risk Taking Losses as Sales Slump."