In stark contrast to the Park Cities, where historic homes are frequently demolished, Lakewood, an East Dallas neighborhood, stands as a testament to architectural preservation. The community, developed mainly in the early 20th century, has been successful in maintaining its unique blend of historic homes, thanks to stringent conservation district regulations and periodic home tours. This article delves into the story of 6657 Lakewood Blvd, a house that not only survived the test of time but also underwent a transformative restoration.
Lakewood gained prominence in the 1920s and 1930s when it became the residential choice for oil barons and business magnates. Clifford Hutsell was one of the area’s most notable developers, but his contemporary, Dines & Kraft, also played a significant role in shaping the neighborhood. While Hutsell’s designs were primarily Spanish-inspired and situated closer to White Rock Lake, Dines & Kraft specialized in Tudor-style homes, with occasional ventures into Spanish designs. One such example is 6657 Lakewood Blvd.
The House’s Legacy
Built in 1930, 6657 Lakewood Blvd was once named one of the “10 most beautiful homes in Dallas” by D Magazine. The house has had a limited number of owners, with the first two residing there for several decades. The current owner, artist Bianca Watson, acquired the property in late 2020.
When Watson purchased the house, it was in dire need of an update, having not been remodeled for approximately 15 years. She embarked on a comprehensive renovation project that involved updating all systems, including plumbing and electrical. Watson collaborated with Council & Craft, now known as Sabado Homes, for the design aspects.
The kitchen underwent a complete overhaul, with new windows installed to allow more natural light. The family room, which initially had a five-foot-taller ceiling with an unusable gallery, was restructured to accommodate a new primary bedroom above. Watson also expanded the laundry area, adding a hallway, mudroom, bar, and pantry in the process.
Watson made a conscious effort to retain the house’s original elements. The home still features its original 1.5-inch-planked white oak wood floors, a size that is no longer replicable. The wood stain was lightened to make the space more inviting. Watson also preserved the original beveled archways, a signature of Dines & Kraft, and replicated them throughout the house.
The living room’s original stained-glass window became the cornerstone of Watson’s design strategy. She used its purple and blue hues as the color scheme for the entire house. While the common walls appear neutral, they are actually a very pale shade of lavender, adding a playful yet sophisticated touch to the home.
6657 Lakewood Blvd serves as an exemplary case of how architectural heritage can be preserved while accommodating modern amenities. The house has not only retained its historic integrity but has also been transformed into a light, bright, and playful living space. It stands as a symbol of what makes Lakewood a unique and special neighborhood, committed to preserving its architectural legacy.