Texas History

A Roundhouse Kick to the Round House

Preservation Dallas has never been able to positively ID who built the so-called Round House on Baxtershire Drive -- which, as we mentioned in May of '08, was on the market for $1,075,000, though, most recently, the asking price for the ca. 1961 Bond-ian palace was knocked down to the low, low price of $889,000. Some Dallas architects think local importer Eddie Parker had the house designed by Bruce Goff, who died in Tyler and whose whimsy was legend; others think maybe it was done by one of his associates; still others aren't even willing to speculate.

But this much is certain: One of its defining external signatures is gone. Katherine Seale, exec director of PD, sent to local preservationists and architects an e-mail this morning that said the Round House has been "greatly compromised," due to the demolition of the "wonderful domed entrance to the home." As you can see here, the wisteria-covered dome was more or less the only part of the house visible from the street, and according to Seale, "Workers said they are not replacing it, they are removing it."

A Friend of Unfair Park who, at this very moment, is standing in front of the house and working on sending a photo, says workers are in the middle of removing the dome; at the moment, all that's left is the brick frame. Seale said she found out about the demolition this morning from a woman who lives next to the house on Baxtershire. "She was like, 'What can we do?" Seale tells Unfair Park. In short: nothing.

The house, which is a regular stop on local historic-home tours, isn't designated locally or recognized nationally. "But it was so beautifully preserved," Seale says. "We don't have a lot of significant examples of architecture that look exactly as they looked when they were constructed. People update bathrooms and kitchens; they redecorate. You didn't have that in this house. You had new furnishings, but the architecture was entirely intact."

I've left messages with David Nichols, the listing agent, to see what gives.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky