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Saturday, January 30, 2021

The “Most Important House in Texas”

is Saved from Demolition

On Thursday evening December 3, the historic 1933 “Elbert Williams House” at 3805 McFarlin Boulevard in University Park went under contract to Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones. The sellers of the house are the Locke family, (the children of Eugene Locke and Adele Locke Seybold) who have owned the home since 1955. The house had been listed by Allie Beth Allman since late 2019, and had come to the attention of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society (PCHPS) as an endangered historic treasure, a likely candidate for demolition due to its site on a 1.15-acre lot on Turtle Creek.

In an effort to bring attention to the importance of this masterpiece of Texas Modern Regional architecture, University Park architect Bobby Clark hatched the idea (and the PCHPS funded the publication) of a book A House for Texas, (authored by local architect Larry Good and photographer Charles Davis Smith), to fully document the home and tell the story of its remarkable design. This book makes the case that by pioneering an authentic Texas style in an age of eclectic architecture, and establishing a precedent which influences architects even today,  this house may indeed be the most important house ever built in Texas.

Meanwhile, realtor Allman sought to find a purchaser who would share the same desire to preserve this significant landmark, and further agreed to make a generous financial contribution which bridged the spread that ultimately was needed to complete the transaction.

The Rees-Jones family had recently completed their new home on the property immediately south across Turtle Creek from the Locke house, and shared a passion for the preservation of the historic home and appreciated the beauty of the creek and views running between. Although the ultimate use and occupancy of the Elbert Williams/Locke House is yet to be determined by the new owners, Rees-Jones has made the commitment to preserve the house rather than demolish it. The Locke family has expressed how pleased and gratified they are by this act of stewardship.

The Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society believes this may be the first time that an endangered historic residential landmark has been saved from the wrecking ball in the Park Cities.

The book A House for Texas is available through the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society on their website, and from Interabang Books at 5700 West Lovers Lane.   

New Release

By award winning author and photographer


The Most Important Home in Texas

Books Available for Purchase Online

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Available at Interabang Book Store

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Videos available for viewing




 ln light of COVID-19 health concerns

New dates:

Distinguished Speaker Luncheon - October, 2021

Historic Home Tour - April 24, 2021

Classic & Antique Car Show - October, 2021 


The Mission of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society is to preserve and promote the history,

architecture, aesthetics and cultural traditions of the Park Cities.

Funds raised help preserve and maintain the Park Cities House at Dallas Heritage Village, support the new PCHPS archives at the University Park Library, fund the Society’s landmarking initiatives, award scholarships to Highland Park High School graduating seniors planning to study architecture or history and fund the Distinguished Chair for History at Highland Park High School.

25 Highland Park Village, Suite 100-286  -  Dallas TX 75205  -  214-528-0021

PCHPS is a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization

(C)  2013 Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society 

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