Monday, November 19, 2012
Tour “The Party House,” a historic North Dallas home with a rowdy reputation
You may even meet Mikhail Baryshnikov.
DALLAS Most Dallas homes are so young and vivacious, they have no history. Old homes, like old broads, have years upon years of stories, unique inhabitants, and quirky homeowners which make for juicy stories. Or a little dirt. Swiss Avenue, for example, is loaded with great house stories: We will never forget Mary Ellen Bendtsen, her lavish parties, and the boys who tried to snatch that home from her estate.
There are some really good stories in North Dallas, too, and you pass another notorious house whenever you steer down Royal near Hillcrest. 7122 Royal Lane was built in 1958 but was extensively remodeled in 1980, when it became known as The Party House. The owner at the time was a socialite bachelor whose name escapes me — perhaps one of you will recall — and he had many large “fundraisers” in the huge backyard overlooking two lakes, the scene loaded with socialites and out of town celebs pre-PaperCity days. The yard here is 33,114 square feet, just under an acre (43,560 square feet), so even with the pool you had plenty of party space to boogie. When famous people were in town, the socialite bachelor would open up the backyard and the dance floor, which cantilevered over one of the two private lakes in the backyard, the backyard for huge parties. Cars were parked all up and down Royal Lane; neighbors were frowning.
One night of a major fundraiser, Mikhail Baryshinkov was in town as the guest celeb. He got over to the house in his tux, broke into a little early vino along with the home owner, and that’s when things got little crazy. Mikhail and the home owner grabbed some pistols and, still wearing tuxes, went down to the lake and played shoot em up with pond turtles. Both still wearing their tuxedos.
Totally un-P.C. I am hoping that with the wine, they were not very good shots.
7122 Royal was, of course, first remodeled in 1980. Well, this place got another major remodel in 1990, on the 10-year plan, I guess. The partying bachelor finally settled down and stopped shooting turtles, got married, went suburban, and sold the place to the current owners, who vividly recall attending some of those infamous parties in the late '80s, early '90s. 7122 Royal was also on the cover of Pinnacle Magazine in 1996.
So what do you have now, in 2012? A gorgeous, sleek 4,232-square-foot home with giant rooms, formals, three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and two private lakes. Though this home is in a pocket off Royal west of Central/I75, the yard is surprisingly private, can entertain 20 or 2,000. Walk to the set-back pool over a charming bridge. Inside, there are walls of windows including an indoor water wall & hot-tub, a solarium, drip watering, custom lighting, hardwoods, a gourmet kitchen, stainless appliances, landscaped grounds, and surprise for the location, total privacy & security.
Like every home in Dallas, this one got a new roof this year, and also skylights. This is a heavily treed, lushly verdant green lot with lake views from almost every room. It would also make a perfect physician’s home, since THR and Medical City are ridiculously close by. Asking is $1,015,000 or yes, just $15 over a solid million. I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking I like this home with its notorious past. And I wonder what else Mikhail shot up while he was in town ... the man was a pretty well-known womanizer.
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