Howard Meyer
5831 Nakoma
Dallas, Texas 


Howard Meyer Main Page

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This house was built in 1950-51 for Mr. & Mrs. Ben E Lipshy.
I don't know who the current owners are of this house but they did a thorough renovation on the house before moving in couple of years ago. Joshua Rice of Bodron+Fruit sent photos of the interior before the renovation started. See them below at the bottom of the page.
Thanks Joshua for the photos!

See photos of the house after renovation here....http://www.bodronfruit.com/projects_nakoma.html

The text on this page is from a 1997 Preservation Dallas Howard Meyer tour booklet.
Richard R. Brettell, President – Dallas Architectural Forum is the author.


Photo of Howard Meyer's rendering of the house. Photo sent by Joshua Rice.

Front of 5381 Nakoma
This masterful house is prominently sited on a corner lot at the center of Greenway Parks, a planned community designed in 1926 by David Williams with houses by Williams, O'Neil Ford, Howard Meyer, Bud Oglesby and other modernists. The house rests lightly on a single lot and opens itself up to the greenway and the sunny boulevard. Although many aspects of the plan and massing relate the Lipshy House to the earlier-and larger-Morris Zale House, the effect of the building is completely different. Instead of the irregular stone walls and sloping roofs that suggest Wright's Prarie Style, Meyer substituted regular Roman brick and a completely flat roof system to lend a quality of sophisticated international modernism. (cont. below)
Front East of 5381 Nakoma
He also used walls of glass with very few mullions and omitted virtually all interior partitions on the ground floor to allow the disciplined interplay of interior and exterior spaces and their mutually reinforcing views. The largest "room" in the compound is actually the shaded walled garden that creates a feeling of privacy and enclosure in what is actually a very exposed lot. Interestingly, Meyer selected bright orange Roman brick, laid in perfect rows with the mortar raked only on the horizontal lines, creating bands of a color that is almost the precise color opposite of the bright green Bermuda grass. The decision to use these brick walls both outside and inside enlivens the interplays between house and garden, interior and exterior, man and nature. (cont. below)
Front of 5381 Nakoma
In many ways the Lipshy house is a complete original. The most important recent study of post-war modernist house, Lesley Jackson's Contemporary: Architecture and Interiors of the 1950's, documents buildings from Australia to England and covers vast quantities of the United States. Yet, although the Lipshy house is of the same level of quality of the very best of the buildings by Eames, Neutra, Beuer, Seidler, and others illustrated in the book, it is not really like any of them. The one quality of post-war modernism with which Meyer never sympathized was its lightness. Perhaps because of the roots of his architectual education in the Beaux Arts and because of his real understanding of the earthbound architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, the weightlessness of the international style with its thin steel structures and flat colored stucco planes (the word "wall" was avoided in the discourse of international modernism) was anathema to Meyer. (cont. below)
Front Walk
Even in his most rigorous house, the Lipshy House, we are never allowed to see the steel structure that, in fact, supports the house. Rather, ALL large surfaces except the glass walls are natural-wood, cork, painted gyp board, or brick-and metal is reserved for thin painted steel mullions and rods that support the wooden steps on the cantilevered staircase. Rather than EXPOSING the steel structure as Mies van der Rohe and his numerous disciples did, Meyer buried it, allowing the viewer to accept the house as a brick and wood structure rooted in it's site. In this way, Meyer was more prescient that other architects of international modernism, because it was precisely the weightlessness and insubstantiality of international modernism that was rejected by the most sophisticated modern practitioners in the 1960's. (cont. below)
Rear enclosed yard
Like Eero Saarinen, Paul Rudolph, I.M. Pei, and others who followed him, Meyer wanted to create and architecture of substance as much as an architecture of space, and his efforts to balance these two apparently conflicting tendencies reached it's apogee in the Lipshy House, truly the masterpiece of his oeuvre in domestic architecture.
Rear Drive Garage

Interior Photos

In August of 2004 Joshua Rice with the firm Bodron + Fruit sent me an e-mail with these photos attached. Here are his comments...
"I really admire that you have dedicated your time to provide a web resource to educate people about modern architecture in Dallas. Unfortunately modern architecture and design is significantly under appreciated in this city.
Our firm is currently working on the remodel and refurbishment of the Meyer house on Nakoma. It was in dire need as the previous owners had made many unfortunate changes which compromised the quality of the home. A good example is that all of the interior brick had been painted white, then repainted orange. We have since removed all of the paint to the original bare brick and are nearing the completion of the remodel. I thought you might enjoy some interior photos that were taken of the house about 16 months ago before the remodel began. I hope the photos are a useful addition to your website.
"

I've never had a chace to go inside of this house. It was on one of the Preservation Dallas tours a few years ago which I missed. The pool under the stairs and the stairs are seriously cool.
Pool And Fountain At Front Entry Under Stairs
Looking East Main Living Room
Looking West Main Living Room
Stair Detail
Looking West At Fire Place Wall
Looking At Pool And Stair Landing From Breakfast
Breakfast Dining East View
Looking Up Stairs
Upstairs East Rear Bedroom