1930's Dallas Mansion Built for Italian Count!

1930's Dallas Mansion Built for Italian Count!

Dallas ranks No. 18 in the world of billionaires with 16 of them at a total net worth of $51 billion.  Not surprising.  It is in Texas after all, though you can bet they’d rather have them all.  If the Crespi Estate, which sold in March, could be duplicated, there is no question that a few more might be calling Dallas home.

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When it comes to spectacular homes, the city doesn’t disappoint.  In the Mayflower Estates section of Preston Hollow, Walnut Place is considered by some architects to be one of the most architecturally significant private estates in the country. Designed in 1938 by world-renowned architect Maurice Fatio, known for his projects in New York City and Palm Beach, it was his last work.

Walnut Place was commissioned by Italian Count Pio Crespi and his American wife, Flo Crespi.  He had been sent to Dallas by his Italian family to establish trade for their cotton empire. Money was no object to stand in the way of creating the Crespi’s Texas palace. Once in residence, the Crispis entertained lavishly, playing host to presidents, celebrities and dignitaries from around the world.  The male guests were entertained by the count in his silver-leafed Art Deco bar room and enjoyed after dinner cigars and brandy in the 19th century, Italian burled walnut library while the ladies gathered in the elegantly appointed main rooms.  The Crespi family stayed in the original property of 12 acres and the main house until 1997.

The next owners set about a complete restoration and expansion that took three years and 250 designers, builders and artisans to complete.  They doubled the size of the property to 25 acres, making it the largest single residential property in central Dallas.  They also expanded the original 10,000-square-foot mansion to 28,000 square feet, added a two story 6,300-square-foot guest house, a separate 7,200-square-foot three bedroom family home with separate entrance, a large recreation complex, a large outdoor living area, tennis court, greenhouses, rose and vegetable gardens and added landscaping to a wooded lot along the creek.

Originally listed in January 2013 as an off-market pocket listing at $135 million, it was later dropped to $98 million but without finding a buyer.  The owner relisted at $100 million with a different agent, Allie Beth Allman, who made the listing public.  After only nine months, she sold Walnut Place in a cash transaction of undisclosed amount to mega investor, mathematician and poker player, Andrew Beal.

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