One of the most architecturally significant homes on Strait Lane is included in a new biography about its architect, Philip Johnson, by Dallas Morning News architecture critic Mark Lamster. “The Beck House is the one that’s modern, whereas most of the ones around there are fake French chateaux or fake colonial mansions,” Lamster says about the homes on Strait Lane, which he calls “the Fifth Avenue of Preston Hollow.” “It is the effigy of opulence. It’s so Dallas, and it’s perfect. It’s beautifully made, and it’s a wonderful space to be in.”
Lael Brodsky is certain that an Ursuline nun named Dormilla haunts her 100-year-old home on Strait Lane. The house, which is adjacent to Ursuline, once housed nuns. It also sheltered Cistercian students during the 1960s, before the school moved to Irving. “I don’t know if Dormilla died here or sort of lives here,” says Brodsky.
Close followers of “The Real Housewives of Dallas” know that Cary and Mark Deuber spent a season enduring a remodel. The kitchen is Mark’s, but the closet is all Cary. Mark loves to cook, and the family prepares culinary treats five nights a week. Their $300,000 kitchen layout mimics Eleven Madison Park in New York City, which has three Michelin stars. The centerpiece is a $75,000 French-made blue Molteni stove — the only one in Texas, and the only one with its own.
This couple is in their library showing off a “zombie apocalypse/bat closet.” The Batman theme song plays as a custom-made bat suit emerges. A leather motorcycle suit covered in custom Kevlar was created in conjunction with designers at DC Comics. As the closet door closes, the “Flight of the Valkyries” plays. Steve, an attorney for Winston & Strawn, has a thing about Batman. He’s been collecting the character’s memorabilia since 1965. Upstairs, there’s a 2,000-piece Batman collection in his son’s playroom.
After marrying 10 years ago and experiencing a life on St. Michaels Drive, then testing out a four-story townhome on Turtle Creek, the two decided to buy a 3,800-square-foot house on Valley Dale in October 2016. Sandy saw the “coming soon” sign and the couple offered a contract on the house less than 48-hours later. The Landons moved into the 1950s three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom home in August 2017 after gutting and renovating the structure. The house was recently featured on the Northaven Home Tour.
Meredith Land opens the door of her Greenway Parks home at 9 a.m., perfectly made up but dressed in a dainty bathrobe. Even though she’s still dressing and returned home late after her 10 p.m. anchor gig the night before, she welcomes us with Charleston southern charm. She’s hardworking, with substance, grace, authenticity and a sense of purpose. She’s also a mom. Her husband is Xan, and children are McCall and Alexander.
Scheer has lived in Preston Hollow her whole life, but it wasn’t until she moved into her house on Woodland seven years ago that she was truly home. She and her husband, Rick, built the nearly 6,000-square-foot home because they were drawn to the neighborhood. “It’s an amazing street with amazing neighbors,” she says. “It’s like the 1950s. We received so many welcomes when we moved in. They’d show up with a pie and say, ‘Welcome to Woodland.’ People don’t do that anymore.”
Tim Brown has packed his two-bedroom condominium with art, furniture and collectibles fitting of a museum. A social worker, Brown works for Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System, where he supervises 173 social workers and six programs. “I’ve always liked older things and been drawn to art,” says Brown, who studied professional painting in junior high and high school. “Home is important to me because social work can be challenging.”
Elizabeth Dodson and her husband, Justin Schaffer, moved into their minimalist home in April and were quickly able to highlight it on the 13th annual American Institute of Architects Dallas Tour of Homes in November. “I’m a big design and architecture geek,” she says.
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Preston Hollow.