INNER CITY ACHIEVEMENT: BURNED OUT TURN OF CENTURY HOME IS REBORN AND UPDATED

What a comeback.

About a year ago, Dallas nearly lost a 90-year-old, Victorian-style inner-city house to a fire. Located in the Mill Creek Historic District, a blighted but redeveloping sector of East Dallas, the house quickly became a home for transients.

But all that has changed. Over the past year, the turn-of-the-century house has been gutted, rebuilt and refurnished in a manner befitting its heritage -- and more.

The 4,300-square-foot, two-floor abode still features traditional Victorian symbols: frontal columns, massive porches, beautifully grained pine floors and high ceilings.

But housed within the tradition are signs of the times: an elevated, remote-controlled gas fireplace that can be viewed from two rooms, a 50-inch living room television and an indoor whirlpool.

"Old and new are combined in a way that's comfortable for me,' says Bradon Power, the 24-year-old
owner-occupant who had only recently bought the house before it burned. Contractors did most of the
major construction and Mr. Power completed much of the finishing and all of the decorating himself.

But why rebuild a fancy house in a poor and crime-riddled neighborhood?

Like many Mill Creek homeowners, Mr. Power sees potential in the city's oldest -- and often most
dilapidated -- sectors. Fortunately, Mr. Power had the resources and backing to see the 11-month
rebuilding project through to the finish.

"I love the neighborhood. People here are willing to take a chance to change this place for the better. It's
important to preserve the past.'

Neighbors lent more than moral support, too. Many supplied the backbone -- as day laborers -- that
assisted the reconstruction.

"It truly was a group effort,' Mr. Power says. "Everybody feels like it's something positive done for the
neighborhood.'

 

PHOTO(S): 1. Video artwork adds life to a contemporary
marble-tile fireplace in the eclectic and comfortably furnished
living room. 2. A $90 colorful piece of vintage stained glass found
a home in this specially built living-room window. 3. A
Chippendale-style walnut table for eight is the focal point of the
formal dining room, which is painted in Zanzibar burgundy. Richly
grained pine floors have a high-gloss finish. 4. A quiet cove in the
library (bookshelves and stereo components are out of view), which
features padded walls with paisley fabric. Windows are covered with
damask to block exterior light. (1. - 4. DMN: Randy Eli Grothe);
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