For Sale: Architect John Barthel's Award-Winning Home, Which Doubles As Fine Art

Categories: Real Estate
barthelhouse.jpg
If you had $425,000-ish to drop on a new home, would you buy: a two-bed, two-bath ca. 1794 clapboard house in Providence, Rhode Island; a one-bedroom, two-bath log cabin in Cougar Gulch, Idaho (no doubt the setting of a more rustic Cougar Town spin-off); or this four-bedroom, two-bath midcentury modern on 8931 Capri Court, not far from Northwest Highway and Plano Road? That's the what-if inspired by this morning's New York Times, which peeks the MLS listings, plays a game of compare-and-contrast and directs our attention to a significant piece of Dallas architectural history on the market for around $186,000 more than what DCAD says it's worth, but, hey, how do you price-tag fine art?

The Times hints at the house's historical significance: built in '59, one of several homes in the neighborhood built by the architects who actually lived in 'em and the recipient of a 2002 American Institute of Architects award. But it doesn't say to whom the house belonged: John Barthel, who, in 1952, moved to Dallas from Chicago to work with George Dahl; and who designed the St. Pius X church and rectory in the mid-1960s.

According to DCAD, Barthel was the home's sole owner; according to The Times, "Everything in the house is original, including tile mosaics and a mural painted by the architect on closet doors in the entryway." It received Dallas AIA's "25 Year Residential Award" in '02; jurors were particularly impressed with the "angular folded roofs that shelter two rotated living volumes underneath and float effortlessly above the site's lush, green carpet." Reason the house is on the market: Barthel died on April 2 at the age of 88.

Update: Slide show!

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23 comments
G_David
G_David

If the price ever drops to anywhere near the DallasCAD appraisal (they have it listed with 3 baths for some reason), I would so be all over that.  But I'm pretty certain it won't.  Not only is it a kick-ass house, but it's down the street from Fry's.  That's worth something in my book.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Gimme a indie movie theatre (or Alamo Drafthouse), train stop, grocery store, Cheers-style divey bar, and a tex mex nearby, and we got a deal. Today.

I loves me some modern art. With modern conveniences about 3-4 blocks away.

Gabe
Gabe

Holy crap. I grew up two streets away from that house. We used to run up on the roof when the homeowners weren't there.

Guest
Guest

That's the nicest Howard Johnson's I've ever seen.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

So someone built a house under what once was a West Texas road side picnic area ?

Juan Valdez
Juan Valdez

You need to know the Pythagorean Theorem to live in that house.

Observist
Observist

What a lovely paean to asphalt shingles.

Gravyfoot
Gravyfoot

Awesometown called and they want their house back. 

Ozonedude
Ozonedude

I was a little kid at St. Pius Elementary when the new St. Pius Church opened. It was a pretty fantastic modernist structure, not too Catholic-seeming. I need to go back and take a look at it again, and his home.

Nachoman
Nachoman

It looks cool but it doesn't look like $425,000 worth of cool

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Wow, who knew houses in 1794 looked like that and stayed so well-kept in this day and age..;)

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

Fantastic. When is the estate sale?

BobP19
BobP19

Actually put it in any west coast market or NE market and you'd have to add a couple of zeros...this is truly beautiful for those that can appreciate it. If we weren't already remodeling a mid century modern house I would buy it today. 

Joe Tone
Joe Tone

"What am I doing? Isn't it obvious, Concerned Wife? I'm skateboarding down the roof of our new house."

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Ed Murchison, the Realtor handling the house, says there are no plans for an estate sale. The artwork will go the family, while the remaining items will, in fact, be donated to the AIA.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Ya know, I wonder if the price tag includes the furniture ... I'll find out.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

I'm with Jon.  Here's hoping you post the estate sale info (if it happens).  There are dozens of pieces of furniture and art that would fetch top prices at auction.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

I'm making an offer today if it is, but I really really doubt it.  There's some valuable stuff in that house.

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