This week in Dallas, the former home of Stanley Marcus, the great retailer, received landmark status. That’s not too remarkable in itself, considering its famous owner, its architect and how through the decades it was the site of parties for people like Grace Kelly, Eleanor Roosevelt and Lord Mountbatten.
But when the current owner first bought the house in the mid-1990s, he planned to tear it down and build (perhaps) a McMansion on the desirable lot. Through a lot of behind the scenes work and persuasion, preservationists in Dallas have turned the situation around. The owner is now in favor of the landmark status, which will allow him to make many of the changes he would like, while preserving the character of the home. Katherine Seale, director of Preservation Dallas, noted, “There’s a great misunderstanding that historic status is so limiting that an owner can’t make any changes to the house, and that’s not true,” she said. “We don’t regard a historic house as an object in a museum.” Congratulations to Katherine and the City of Dallas for their approach to this!