When most people wait in traffic at the intersection of Northwest Highway and Preston Road, they are consumed with a myriad of sights – from motorists engaged in cell phone conversation to high rises and high-end shopping.
It’s also hard to miss the quaint, white cottage that serves as an office for Ebby Halliday Realtors. But most of us aren’t aware of the historical significance of the building as it relates to the former town of Preston Hollow.
“The house was built in 1926 by Ira P. DeLoache for a carriage house,” says John Wathne, who has been a Realtor for Ebby Halliday since 1971. “DeLoache was a developer who owned quite a bit of land in the old Preston Hollow.”
While everyone agrees the building became DeLoache’s sales office, neighborhood historian George Cearley points to photographs from 1930 that suggest Flippen Prather Realty built the house in a location that is currently just south of Sherry Lane.
“In the mid-‘30s, that building was moved to its present location (on Northwest Highway), and at that point it became DeLoache’s office,” Cearley says.
According to Eva Potter Morgan’s new book Preston Hollow, residents in 1939 voted to incorporate the neighborhood by casting their ballots in DeLoache’s real estate office on Northwest Highway and Preston Road. As a result, the office became a town hall for the newly incorporated city of Preston Hollow.
“Another town hall was located on Jourdan Way, and it belonged to Mart Reeves,” Morgan says.
While Preston Hollow only functioned as a municipality until 1945, Morgan remembers DeLoache’s character and graciousness.
“He was quite a charmer,” Morgan says. “There was a fireplace there, and he used to have his clients in there to have a little drink.”
Sometime after Preston Hollow became part of Dallas, DeLoache sold the property to another Realtor. But it wasn’t until 1964 that Ebby Halliday purchased the building.
“It had been in two other hands before we purchased it, and the building had been run down because people had been speculating on rezoning for property,” recalls Ebby Halliday, founder and chairman of the board of Ebby Halliday Realtors.
“On the west side was a garage. We incorporated that into the building, which gave it a nice balance.”
Today, the outside of the building hasn’t been changed significantly from its beginnings. Inside, rooms that originally were much larger have been efficiently apportioned to accommodate the Ebby Halliday staff. Referred to by Halliday’s agents as “the little white house,” one cannot miss the two pointed roofs, black shingles and shutters when passing this Preston Hollow landmark.
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