I Want Dallas' Biggest Spec Home Ever Built

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Not sure what I'd do with 18,000 square feet on one of Highland Park's most prestigious streets... but I could definitely survive in the wine cellar and have lots of company (it holds 5,000 bottles; ought to tide me over) but with six bedrooms, eight baths, formals and offices, libraries and billiards room, craft room, spa and work-out room, who needs a hotel? (Note to self: stock up on TP.)

I watched 3500 Beverly being built, and if I had a dollar for every person who called to tell me this was the future home of President George W. Bush, I could probably buy it myself. It was the basement - most Texas homes are built on pier-and-beam or pier-ed slabs and have no basements - that first stirred speculation. 3500 Beverly's basement walls are twelve inches thick 4500 psi water-proof concrete. The entire house was studded, insulated, and then an armor of more concrete (in this case, only eight inches thick) was poured from ground to gutter. The house is, in essence, a concrete fortress. The builder was hoping to provide for future remodeling ease: because of the concrete exterior, the home has few interior load-bearing walls which facilitates remodeling.Walk in from the steel-studded mahogany, six-foot wide front door that opens to an impressive foyer with two sweeping debutant staircases - one up, the other down. (What's a debutant staircase? Why one built on a solid concrete foundation that won't shimmy during deb photos, of course.) Feeling lame? The elevator is right across the staircase, and being commercial grade, it jets you up or down far faster than a regular residential elevator.

I might head left to the library with it's 35-foot-tall ceilings, gold leaf, and secret, hidden humidor and scotch room on the second-level cat walk. Had I headed straight ahead from the marble-floored foyer, I would have hit the great room, 50 by 30 feet, with Citizen Kane fireplace, glass doors to the Loggia and patio. I could take the kitchen/breakfast room/sunken keeping room (another "living space") with a granite island the size of Manhattan and a 72-inch-long Lacanche stove from France. Of course there are twin SubZeros, three kitchen sinks, two dishwashers, and so much granite they must have stripped out a Brazilian mine. To the west of this kitchen is the great room. To the left of the great room is the billiards room with a 60-foot-long bar stocked with kegerator, beverage center, fridge, dishwasher, sink and warming drawer. Before we take a shot, let's head down stairs.

We have 8,000 square feet to play with, marble floors, a 550-square-foot media room with stage and a 120-inch movie screen plus an onyx snack bar - M&M's anybody? This is also the level of the 8-car basement parking garage with a sump-pump that evoked a "Silence of the Lambs" feeling, but of course, in Texas, we need them to keep the place bone-dry.

As if getting around this estate won't keep you firm, there's an exercise room with two mirrored walls, bar and mini-fridge. After all that sweat you'll need the spa down the short hall with sauna, steam room and jetted bath. Oh yes - plenty of room for a few massage tables. Down here, too, is where you'll find me in the cobblestone-walled wine cellar complete with kitchen and sub-basement. Bring on the tornadoes, I'm feeling no pain!

Your choice to get upstairs: walk or ride. The second level holds six-bedrooms, including the sweet master suite and affair-inducing bath with silver-leafed domed ceiling, a 275-square-foot walk-in closet for her, granite and travertine counters, hand-troweled walls, and a free-standing Roman tub. There are separate his and her offices off the master suite, just in case you're not talking this week. If it gets worse just hide out in the crafts/wrapping room with marble counters down the hall. (Oodles of cabinets to hold spools of wrapping paper and ribbon.) Still not enough storage? Take the master elevator up one-half floor, where you'll find another 800 square feet of air-conditioned attic storage space, perfect for Dallas Crystal Charity and Junior League ball gown storage.

Two years ago the builder, Wayne Lewis, who is backed by a major Dallas Hedge fund, told me "there's not a thought in my mind that we won't move this house." The fact that he was building the biggest and most expensive spec home ever built in this town didn't phase him. Well, I'll make it easy, Wayne: Here's $15,500,000 - I'm moving in.

Click here to watch a video tour of 3500 Beverly Dr. with writer Candy Evans.
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