Reminisce: When fake Tom Hicks hawked the Crespi Estate, ‘Olympic-sized koi pond’

Photo on the grounds of Crespi Estate. Danny Fulgencio

Your Preston Hollow Advocate this month offers an extraordinary look inside the Crespi Estate, formerly the Tom Hicks mansion, and expounds on plans for the property’s future.

The estate, in its years, never has left much space or call for hyperbole or illusory selling points — it is that insane. I mean, an Italian count built the mansion in the ’30s. We could almost leave it at that. ‘Nough said. Almost. But, no, read on. It’ll take just a few minutes.

Tycoon Tom Hicks purchased and expanded the estate in 1969. The remodel job was arcane, grandiose, fantastic, ludicrously pricy, as the Advocate notes:

…  from 2000 to 2002, Hicks arranged to open the Indiana quarry to make sure the exact vein of limestone was used. Each piece was then sent to Italy for crafting. The Hickses restored and expanded the mansion, which took as many as 250 craftsmen. Renovation cost was estimated at $2,000 per square foot. He also added a 3,300-square-foot, two-story guesthouse with a full kitchen, living room and dining room and a recreational complex with a pool and 4,800-square-foot hangout with a 19-seat cinema-quality theater …

Formerly the Hicks estate. Danny Fulgencio

In 1995 the businessman, billionaire, entrepreneur bought Dallas’ NHL team, the Dallas Stars, and in ’97, he added the Texas Rangers baseball team to his collection (he’d later buy a soccer team too).

Hicks waded into the sports industry during the same years a group of sports and radio broadcasters began brainstorming, and eventually established, a sports talk radio station—’the little Ticket,’ as the old timers call it.

Today Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket posts some of the strongest ratings in the Dallas market, enjoy’s a cult-like following and has won a Marconi Award for Best Sports Station in America.

The morning show, featuring funnyman Gordon Keith, Craig Miller and George Dunham brings listeners (at 8:40 a.m. daily) interviews with celebrity impersonators (usually Keith).

The whole Hicks, wild mansion, sports team franchising situation provided irresistible, hilarious material, so over the years we enjoyed several interviews with the fake Hicks (portrayed by Keith), and the over-the-top, mysterious mansion always was part of the fun.

A diehard fan started a site call the UnTicket, where he archives most Ticket bits, and with just a wee bit of digging, we found the one where Miller and Dunham discuss with fake Hicks the Preston Hollow manor he had just placed on the market for $100 million. (Which he actually sold at that price within about a year.)

Leave it to Keith to make the whole situation even more insane than reality, as he, as Hicks,  describes the 27 bedroom, 28 bath (along with “some more downstairs”) as the “only home in the southwest that has its own indoor helipad.”

He goes on to describe an “olympic-sized koi pond” and “24-lane bowling alley in the basement” … and another one in the attic.” The “master bedrooms located within other master bedrooms (just confusing), a lighthouse, you know, to go with the inland harbor,” … good schools … on the grounds, of course — Hicks ISD.”

Fake Hicks promised to include the staff in the asking price. “Four strong Egyptian men carry me from room to room,” he explains. There’s mention of a puppy mill and organ harvest ward …  “I don’t know if that’s a big seller or not,” George interrupts.

Um, oh yes, there are Applebees and TGI Fridays on the premises, Fake Hicks says and adds that (prepare yourself for the sort of sentence of which Keith and only Keith is capable) “The house is entirely automated so I can control it from my apple watch or my iPhone Android so if you’re coming home, for example, from meeting a sheik who’s going to sell you a million barrels of Barry market crude in exchange for, I don’t know, providing arms to religious extremist groups and you want to lower the temperature in your house’s live-music venue to 72 degrees you can do that.”

Here’s the whole five-minute interview. Enjoy.:

Fake Tom Hicks is selling manse for $100M


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By |2018-04-17T13:42:30-05:00April 17th, 2018|News|0 Comments

About the Author:

Christina Hughes Babb
CHRISTINA HUGHES BABB is publisher and editor of Advocate Magazines. Email her at chughes@advocatemag.com or follow twitter.com/chughesbabb.