Reporting Tracy Kornet
DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The former home of Neiman Marcus icon Stanley Marcus, where fashion designers and celebrities often danced the night away, remains one of Dallas’ most talked about properties –75 years after the first brick was laid.
Much like the man who lived in the contemporary estate on 10 Nonesuch Road, the design was well ahead of its time.
In 1937 Marcus built the most expensive home in the Lakewood neighborhood on six and a half acres. The land was given to Stanley by his father, Herbert, a co-founder of Neiman Marcus, who lived nearby.
Stanley’s first choice as architect? The legendary Frank Lloyd Wright.
“There were issues about the netting Mr. Wright wanted to put netting over the entire house, so they could sleep outside,” explained Mark Lavvorn, who bought the home from Marcus in 1994. “Mr. Wright also thought closets were needless. And with Mr. Marcus’ extensive wardrobe, he needed closets.”
Wright was also way over budget. So, Marcus fired him and hired Dallas architect, Roscoe Dewitt.
Patty and Mark Lavvorn enjoy sharing the stories told to them by Mr. Marcus. It was the Lavvorn family home for 20 years. Today, after two years of renovations, the 9600 square foot house is back on the market.
“Stanley used this room as a formal living room as well as a dining room,” explained Nancy Johnson of Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, who took CBS 11 News inside. “Ninety-five percent of the windows have been redone, so that you can bring the outside in.”
Marcus’ original credenza spans the length of the great room. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the spectacular grounds, which include a guest house, swimming pool and play area.
One can easily envision the years of family gatherings and celebrity visitors. “President Johnson has been in this house, Coco Channel, Eleanor Roosevelt,” Mark and Patty pointed out. “Grace Kelly, and then again when she was Princess Grace.”
Even the closets, like one downstairs which houses an old projection booth, offer surprises. “There is a little trap door here that when Stanley had the reel movies, they would be set up here and the screen would come down,” Johnson described. “It’s the original home theater.”
“Stanley was very, very big on enjoying the people who came to Neiman Marcus, and they all seemed to come here and just really enjoy this house. It is really like an oasis in Dallas.”
The Marcus house was declared a Dallas city landmark in 2008. It’s currently listed for $5.4 million.
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