Bruce and Cindy Bernbaum were sheltering in the center hall bathroom of their Preston Hollow home when the tornado hit. At first, all was quiet. Then they heard glass breaking, smashing sounds and the power went out.
“We really had no time to panic,” Bruce says.
Leaves and insulation quickly covered the bathroom floor. When it was over, some of their home’s walls were missing, windows were destroyed, and debris from the storm covered the front lawn.
“Do you think we’ll get new floors?” Cindy asked.
“I think we might get a new house!” Bruce told her.
The couple had lived in their 1954 midcentury modern Northaven Road home since 1995. It was one of over a 1,000 homes that were damaged or destroyed in the Oct. 2019 tornado.
Their neighborhood includes other homes Bruce’s architecture firm Bernbaum-Magadini designed; some of those were damaged, too. The tornado caused more than $38 million in damage that was mostly concentrated in Preston Hollow. The City’s request for FEMA aid was denied.
The Bernbaums’ experience rebuilding their home is similar to many Preston Hollow neighbors. Finalizing insurance settlements have been slow and the pandemic is an additional hiccup in getting the work started.
The Bernbaums recently received their insurance settlement and are now starting construction on their property. The construction should be complete by April or May 2021.
Bruce’s signature design style is modern with an homage to mid-century style. Bernbaum-Magadini was founded in 1998 with Patricia Magadini. Born and raised here, Bruce has seen Dallas architectural trends change during his 40-year career.
“Dallas has seen a rise in modern design,” Bruce says. “I believe that Dallas still has a traditional mindset that trends to consider a ‘transitional’ aesthetic.”
Their new home will be a nod to midcentury modern.
“We developed a slightly bigger footprint for better entertaining and a covered terrace to take advantage of the outdoors,” Bruce says.
The new design includes a bedroom closet that doubles as a storm shelter. The exterior will have two colors and sizes of brick, board-and-batten siding, and a standing-seam metal roof. The interior will bring in one brick treatment for accent walls and includes a white oak floor, stain grade cabinets, various types of stone countertops and porcelain tile in bathrooms and utility room.
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