Some neighbors are worried about what will replace a historic mansion in Highland Park now that word has circulated about the new owner’s plans.
Preservationists say too many old mansions have been disappearing and they’re not excited about the replacements.
A backhoe and dump truck working at 3800 Beverly Drive Thursday only boosted concerns about the future of the large home that was built in 1922.
Dallas County tax records show the 9,304 square foot home with 4 bedrooms, 5 full bathrooms and 3 half baths is valued at $8 million.
Interior Designer Amy Berry grew up in the neighborhood.
“It's a beautiful house. I don't feel like it needed to get torn down. I mean, this block has so many beautiful old homes, and there's so much history to all of them. It's a shame,” she said.
Builder Bob Tabesh with Avedon said the old house will not be demolished. He said workers are only clearing the way for moving the house to another location.
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An online post from his firm, shared by neighbors, said a giant 35,000 square foot home is planned on the lot, with 3 levels of basements and 3 levels above ground.
Tabesh said house movers will put the house up in pieces and take it away on trucks.
Landscaping Contractor Bryant Griffith with MVL Inc. who works on the Highland Park mansions said he has seen house moving before.
He said it is also possible to relocate large trees as the builder plans to do behind the Beverly house to make way for house movers.
Griffith said he prefers to see the old homes saved but that is not always feasible.
“Sometimes it's less expensive to knock them down and start from scratch,” Griffith said.
Tabesh said the Beverly house has freeze damage, foundation problems and a layout that is not suitable for modern use.
“I don't think they tried very hard,” Berry said. “Old homes are just worth saving.”
Some replacements going up in Highland Park look nothing like the older ones.
People with the group Preservation Park Cities said they are not opposed to architectural variety but push for saving historic structures.
“It's a shame when you see these houses like this torn down, not just this one but many others in the Park Cities,” member Burton Rhodes said.
The home at 3800 Beverly was designed by noted architect Hal Thomson and moving it elsewhere would remove the history from that site, Preservation Park Cities members said.
“We don’t know what it’s going to be replaced with but this is one of the most important homes in our community and it’s heartbreaking,” Member Tish Key said.
Tabesh said it would be another month or so before the house is moved as a new location is found.
The president of firearms manufacturer Springfield Armory is the new property owner along with his wife.
Their realtor said they were out of the country Thursday and could not be reached.
Officials with the town of Highland Park did not return a message.