Many people called me when it was discovered there was notification sent to the Texas Historical Commission of intent to demolish 10 Nonesuch Road, the home Stanley Marcus built. I expressed to these callers that the Lovvorns were a lovely family, deeply committed to Lakewood, where Mark Lovvorn grew up, loved the home, its history and architectural pedigree.
My guess at the time was the Lovvorns had been told that it would be less expensive to build a new 7,000 or 8,000 square foot residence than restore a 10,000 square foot home and they would be able to site a new home to better take advantage of the site, and after wrestling with this decision for 15 years decided to give notice of their plans to build a new home on a property they loved. It was also my thought that once the Lovvorns looked at the current interest in period modern architecture and the long term value of the existing home designed by Roscoe DeWitt, and the community’s latent affection for the home, they would abandon their plans to demolish the home which they have now done.
My first visit to the Stanley Marcus home came at a Realtor open house 15 years ago. I was handed a marketing piece that showed a development plan for over 20 houses on the site. My next visit came a few years ago when the Lovvorns invited me to their home to look at it and discuss possible options.
At the time, I was impressed by their affection for the home, its history and their desire to protect the home if possible. I remain impressed today with their civility in face of widespread and premature criticism, their willingness to search for an architectural solution that protects the home and achieves their goals for an updated home that takes better advantage of the site. Lovvorn DMN op-ed response.
After virtually ignoring the home for 15 years, the community has expressed an outpouring of interest and affection for the house and the legacy of Stanley Marcus. The Lovvorns have responded in kind. Now is the time for the architectural community to step forward and help assess the most important elements of the home to preserve and the best way to accomplish the goals of the homeowners. While it is fresh on our minds, now is also the time to learn more about the home, its architecture, its international modern style, how Stanley Marcus modified the home over the years and how this home impacted Dallas.
The AIA modern tour would be a great way to re-introduce this home to the public and meet the Lovvorns and see for themselves that they are great Dallas citizens and genuinely nice people.
Thank you to all in Dallas for your increased interest in architecturally and historically significant homes, and thank you Patty and Mark Lovvorn for continuing as the custodians for this piece of history.