Sydney and Elizabeth Hurley almost gave up on purchasing an old Tudor-style home in the Park Cities.
(ABOVE: TOP: By 1918, noted Dallas architect, Hal Thomson, had finished work on this rare jewel among Dallas-area residences. Photo: Bianca R. Montes)
In fact, they did.
After nearly three years of searching for the perfect home – losing out on a couple of possibilities – the couple purchased a plot of land and decided to build from the ground up. Then their phone rang.
A real estate agent informed them a 1918 home designed by Dallas architect Hal Thomson was about to go on the market. Located on the prestigious Gillon Avenue on more than half an acre, Elizabeth Hurley said she agreed to view the home, “but we had to be the first one in.”
Bedecked with windows that allow light to fill just about every room, the character and charm of the nearly 9,000-square-foot-home captivated the Hurleys.
(ABOVE: Homeowner Elizabeth Hurley stands in her home. Photos: Bianca R. Montes)
“I remember walking in, and I just fell in love with it,” Elizabeth Hurley said from her living room, where a collection of Eastern European paintings serves as a supreme reflection of the couple’s “traditional with a twist” style aesthetic.
“I could see our family in it – it just felt like our family belonged.”
While the home’s interior once had more of a French vibe, Sydney Hurley said it wasn’t hard to take note of the home’s understated beauty.
“The bones were there,” he said.
There are fireplaces marked by famous carver Peter Mansbendel, and in a music room inspired by the first owner’s wife, a music director at The Hockaday School, the artist carved the brackets and busts of Bach and Beethoven in the walls.
“They are things people don’t do today,” Sydney Hurley said. “To us, it made the house individually unique.”
A prime example of the quintessential Tudor style design, other elements of the home includes random colored slate tiles, alternating window shapes, unique masonry details, and cast stone accents including quoins framing the front door. Gargoyles and a pair of 17th-century bronze lion statues acquired in Savannah sit in front.
After a 15-month extensive renovation led by Dallas architect Robbie Fusch and Fort Worth interior designer Joe Minton, the Hurleys moved into their dream home 10 years ago.
Except for the original hardwood floors and windows, every surface of the home was touched. The upstairs was utterly reconfigured, making the bedrooms bigger and the closets larger for their three daughters and son.
The highlight of their renovation – stemmed from endless research of English manor homes – is a family room framed by beautiful pine paneling and soaring beams that spiral up a three-story vault.