In 1951, when Dallas was still learning to embrace the new modern design movement (now called Mid-Century Modern), oilman Grady Vaughn commissioned architect Robert Goodwin, of Goodwin & Cavitt, to design his waterfront home on South Dentwood Drive in Preston Hollow. The sprawling 9,500 square foot home was designed to serpentine throughout the property, meandering alongside a pond in the Straight Branch tributary, and around existing trees.
The new modern architecture of the 1950s was noteworthy for open floor plans, introduced through post and beam construction, and inviting the outdoors inside. The Vaughn House embraces those characteristics with an open first floor and exterior walls of glass overlooking the water. Modern touches were used, such as terrazzo floors, an open staircase, recessed and cove lighting, simplified hardware (including bullet hinges), streamlined fireplace surrounds, and more.
The roman brick exterior seamlessly incorporates planters, privacy courtyards, retaining walls, an outdoor kitchenette and even a small boat dock. Deep overhangs with soffits of pecky Cypress shades the large casement windows andthe house from the sun. The site also features a swimming pool overlooking the creek.
The house has been owned by only two families and the estate of the second owner plans to auction it in February at a price which could encourage the house to be razed. The Vaughn House is truly a Mid-Century Modern masterpiece in Dallas and one that hopefully will not meet the fate of a wrecking ball.
UPDATE: The house did not sell at auction and is currently still for sale.