According to my trusty (though cracked) iPhone, it should be a pleasant 80-degree day on Saturday. That means this is the perfect weekend for a home tour. Lucky for you, the 6th annual AIA Tour of Homes is going on this very weekend! Check out homes all over the city that display cool stuff like sustainability, renovation, adaptation, and cool elements in new construction. According to the press release, the homes “were chosen for their architectural excellence and ability to communicate to the public the important role the architect plays in design.” Selected architects include Bernbaum Magadini Architects, Droese. Raney Architecture, ZERO3, and more.
I spoke to Larry Hartman of Larry Hartman Construction this morning—his West Mockingbird property is home to both his 1,500-square-foot residence and separate workspace. He purchased the property in 2000. First, he built an office building, and then he set about modifying the existing home to make everything more cohesive. “It speaks to the economy,” he says. “I don’t have to drive there. All of my monthly expenses are happening at one address. Through the years, it has been a real test of a good idea. When the economy did belch, I really had no problem.” As for any problems with working so close to home, Hartman says that’s not really an issue. “I was born in Chicago. The butcher lived upstairs from his shop. And this place has such a zen vibe. It’s like a miniature town.”
Being a good neighbor was important to Hartman from the beginning “I was really careful to be a good soldier among the rest,” he says. “I went to each neighbor to show them what I was going to do. That was another idea behind the project: how can I let this neighborhood retain some of its roots? Architecturally, this house remains very quiet.” He’s excited to showcase his personal space on this year’s tour. “I really believe in my message. It’s an interesting little property that’s filled with tons of love,” he says. “It’s about how we can make small spaces function in a really large way.”
Tickets to see Hartman’s space and all the rest are $25 if you get them at the Dallas Center for Architecture or online at aiadallas.org; you can also purchase them the day-of at the homes at $30. Tickets to visit individual homes are $10. All that being said, I can give you two—count ‘em two—tickets for F-R-E-E. All you have to do is write a simple poem about the joys of home tours. Best one wins.