Ah, the Maple Terrace. Dallas’ very first “million dollar apartment house”, and no barf beige! The elegant stucco Dallas Landmark was built in 1927 and has been like a hip private club for interior decorators, fashion stylists, architects, and countless creatively inclined others, including movie stars like Greer Garson, Shirley MacLaine, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and Judy Garland.
Now the penthouse where Judy Garland lived is available for a mere $3800 a month. Call Andy Bearden for more info at 817-658-3924.
Circle back to 2001/2002, beginning of the real estate boom. The Maple Terrace was in real estate purgatory, waiting to be converted from a creaking old (but glam) apartment building into a glamorous boutique hotel, which never happened. Renters were asked to move out of the building, but the $87 million project was scuttled the next year before work ever began. Flash forward to 2005 when we were all giddy with real estate delight: the owners, which include Trammell Crow Co., told us the historic building would be turned into luxury condos. Not only would the 81-unit tower get a re-do — that post boutique hotel fiasco had left things a bit seedy — but Dallas was on condominium steroids: a new tower with 170 more condos would be built behind it!
Here is what the broker told Steve Brown at the Dallas Morning News (paywall):
“It’s being sold as an income-producing property, but it is also a future redevelopment play,” said broker Lindsay Allen of Apartment Realty Advisors, which is handling the sale. “There is a building site behind it that’s been approved for 16 stories of construction.”
It is amazing to look at this building and imagine it once embodied Dallas glamour. Just down the street the Azure, the fast-rising Stoneleigh, the Ritz and Museum Tower boast reflective glass (sorry), bamboo flooring, Poggenpohl and kitchens, sleek stainless and vessel sinks. Maple Terrace is an anomaly, albeit an historic one. There are no washer or dryer connections. Plumbing is copper from 1925, what does that tell you? Central air and heat were added in the 1960s, which means no individual unit thermostats. Like a dormitory, residents wait for the building to decide when to turn on air and heat each season. You might want to include The Maple Terrace in a school tour for elementary students to see what a radiator looks like. As for the kitchens, this was when everyone had “The Help” and they are about the size of a Preston Hollow pantry. There are still Otis elevators from the 1920s, with their original brass gates, which actually work better than those new fob/security elevatrors in many new buildings.
Trivia: Mark Cuban’s Preston Hollow home was built on the site of the original home of the Otis Elevator family. Question for you: who built that home? Hint: he’s a Candy-Approved builder, one of the greatest in town.
So why does everyone want to live at The Maple Terrace? Why does it have a 90% plus occupancy rate and actually, this may be the only available unit? What do locals like interior designer Ike Isenhour, Mimi Tullis, a retired interior decorator who moved into the building in 1959 and stayed there — writer and food critic Mary Malouf (any relation to Richard?), Angus Wynne, architect Lynn Barnard, retailer Ken Knight, interior designer Jacklyn Butler (she did Eleanor Mowery Sheet’s home), designers Jan Martin, John Bobbitt and countless creative others see in The Maple Terrace?
Art deco moldings, arches everywhere, original terra tiled floors, charming fireplace mantels, plaster walls, huge windows, brass fire hose spigots, those brass elevator gates that make you think you are in Paris. Apparently you have the freedom to paint and renovate one’s apartment at will, none of that barf beige required everywhere.
Like I think if I leased, and if I could get enough marble around the bathtub to hold my champagne glasses (and ice bucket), I’d live at the Maple Terrace.