I have always believed that had I not been born in Atlanta, I would have wanted to be a native of Dallas. Why? First (and maybe most importantly), it's the hometown of Neiman Marcus, my very favorite store in the world. Also, Dallas women love to wear makeup and jewels- and the heavier the makeup and jewelry the better. And finally, most Dallas people seem to love small talk and chit-chat just as much as I do. I will never forget calling the Porthault store in New York a few years ago to order additional pieces of my breakfast china. The surly saleswoman could have cared less that I wanted to buy more place settings. After giving up, I decided to call the Porthault store in Dallas, and not only was the saleswoman nice as pie, we proceeded to have a five minute conversation about how the espresso cups would be perfect for serving eggs en cocotte at a ladies brunch. See what I mean about chit-chat?
And let's not forget about the homes of some of Dallas' most stylish citizens. Look through a copy of Domestic Art: Curated Interiors (one of my very favorite design books) and you'll see some very sophisticated homes. One that has really fascinated me is the high-rise apartment of designer Christopher Ridolfi. I'm showing images of the apartment below, and perhaps you might feel as I do that the home has a well-edited flair. But it's not just the interiors that caught my eye; it's that perforated concrete screen that covers the windows and terrace. How cool is that?
The book mentions that this apartment is located in a Howard Meyer building, so I did a little research. Meyer was a modernist architect who moved to Dallas during the Depression. I'm pretty sure that the apartment featured here is in a 22-story building located at 3525 Turtle Creek Boulevard, one that was built in 1957. What makes the high-rise unique are its "brise-soleils", those cast concrete screens that were constructed to shield each unit from the intense Texas sun. Three sides of the building have screens that only cover the top portions of windows, while the West-facing side has continuous screens in order to help protect from the intense afternoon sunlight. The striking building is one of the few Modernist high-rises in the country that has earned a place on the National Register for Historic Places. And in case you're interested in a little trivia, the actress Greer Garson and entertainer and sausage maker Jimmy Dean both lived there.
Funny enough, I was looking through my old 1966 House & Gardens last weekend and found photos of a Dallas apartment that had the very same sun screens. A little sleuthing uncovered that this apartment was also in the same Howard Meyer designed building. I'll show those images tomorrow.
Image of building's exterior courtesy of Briggs Freeman; apartment photos from Domestic Art: Curated Interiors by Holly Moore, Ka Yeung photographer.