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.
Joshua for the photos!
See photos of the house after renovation here....http://www.bodronfruit.com/projects_nakoma.html
text on this page is from a 1997 Preservation
Dallas Howard Meyer tour booklet.
Richard R. Brettell, President Dallas Architectural Forum is the
Photo of Howard
Meyer's rendering of the house. Photo sent by Joshua Rice.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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
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
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."
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.