|Greer Garson's former home gets a facelift
The penthouse with the mansion ambiance
|By a Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News
14 September 1997
|If civic leader and businesswoman Pat Patterson were named ruler
of all she surveyed, she'd control most of Dallas and parts of
adjoining counties. Such is the spectacular view from her 3525
Turtle Creek penthouse, the former home of Oscar-winning actress
Greer Garson Fogelson. But now that a year-long meticulous
renovation is complete, the view on the inside is far more
|“The temptation would have been to put up a lot of paneling
and a lot of woodwork,” says Ms. Patterson, “and that
would have totally destroyed what we have here.” What she
chose instead was to pare down the space to how it was originally
envisioned by the building's architect, noted modernist Howard
Meyer. “Bruce Bernbaum was the architect for this
project,” says Ms. Patterson. “He's very good. There had
been remodeling and some later stuff done that we took out. Bruce
brought it back to really good bones.” Exposing and protecting
those bones was the work of contractors Tom Kindred and Jeff Kemp.
|In what some friends thought of as an aesthetic leap of faith, Ms.
Patterson used the space as a backdrop for both her impressive
collection of modern and contemporary art and her more traditional
pieces from her famous pink mansion on Lakeside Drive.
|“The biggest challenge was to take my 18th-century French
antiques, incorporate several pieces we bought from Greer's estate,
which are 1950s Paris, and make the whole thing look harmonious to a
sophisticated eye in 1997,” she explains.
|That job fell to interior designer Emily Summers and her assistant
Catherine Marcus Rose (granddaughter of Stanley Marcus).
|“Everyone brought things to this project,” says Ms.
Summers, who will be named one of America's top 101 designers in the
November issue of House Beautiful.
|A walk through the main garden room, with its views of downtown
and the Park Cities through oversized windows, elicits a sensation
that few high-rise dwellers know the feeling of great open space
|“Pat was adamant about not closing off the views in any
way,” says Ms. Summers.
|The only sacrifice in the redesign was a minimal lowering of the
16-foot ceilings to 15-feet to incorporate an array of new lighting.
”To have this kind of house-scale space in a penthouse is
wonderful,” says Ms. Patterson.
|For those who like a wide open feel, there is an 800-square-foot
outdoor terrace with perhaps the best downtown view in the city.
|The juxtaposition of contemporary and traditional is manifested in
the garden room. A wall featuring 15 symmetrically hung black and
white works on paper by Sol Lewitt faces a wall hung with Ms.
Patterson's century-old Flora Danica china.
|“In the garden room, we've used some of Greer's things and a
very pared down minimal look. My old things still look good to me
but I'm very comfortable with minimal.” As part of that look,
Ms. Patterson brought in some Barcelona chairs by Mies van der Rohe
that she purchased from the estate of the late Dallas arts
philanthropist Louise Kahn.
|Over the original fireplace, a seated woman (who looks
suspiciously like a young Greer Garson) by artist David Hockney
peers down on one of Mrs. Fogelson's original sofas.
|“For the last several years I've been collecting modern and
contemporary works on paper,” reports Ms. Patterson. “If
there is a theme to the art, it's work by women or about women.” Female artists represented in her collection include Helen
Frankenthaler, Susan Rothenberg and Louise Bourgeois.
|The main hallway is dominated by Richard Avedon portraits of her
daughters, Caroline and Patricia.
|“Entertaining is a large part of my life,” says Ms.
|“I like having lots of people in my life. This is a perfect
place for that. It's a great entertaining space.” In the first
two weeks of September, more than a dozen parties were held at chez
Patterson. Among them was a reception for Dr. Albert W. Niemi Jr.,
incoming dean of SMU's Cox School of Business. (A former investment
banking VP with Goldman, Sachs & Co., Ms. Patterson now heads
her own real estate investment firm and is on the board of the Cox
School as well as chairman of the public affairs committee for
Zale-Lipshy University Hospital.) Although the renovation was a
labor of love, Ms. Patterson is happy to at last have a permanent
|“After one year of frenetic activity,” she says. “I
can actually reach out and touch everything I own again.”
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