A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 16, 2007
Dallas Palace

A “Dallas palace” is what is known to most of Texas as a “big hair house,” and known to most of America as a “McMansion.”

The term “Dallas palace” is used in Dallas, but also has a surprising currency in Europe—probably as a result of the long-running television soap opera Dallas and its opening credits shot of the Southfolk Ranch.


Wikipedia: Dallas, Texas
The City of Dallas (pronounced [ˈdæl.əs] or [ˈdæl.ʊs]) is the third-largest city in the state of Texas and the ninth-largest city in the United States. The city covers 385 square miles (997 km²) and is the county seat of Dallas County. As of July 1, 2006, U.S. Census estimates put Dallas at a population of 1,250,280. The city is the main cultural and economic center of the 12-county Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area—at 6 million people, it is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Dallas is listed as a gamma world city by the Loughborough University Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network. 

Wikipedia: McMansion
McMansion is a slang architectural term which first came into use in the United States during the 1980s as a pejorative description. It describes a particular style of housing that—as its name suggests—is both large like a mansion and as generic and culturally ubiquitous as McDonald’s fast food restaurants.

In addition to ubiquity, almost every reason to poke fun at McDonald’s has been applied metaphorically to “McMansions”. These criticisms include the deviation from traditional local or regional architectural style; a gaudy, sterile, mass-produced appearance; and perceived negative effects on nature and neighborhoods. 
(...)
The spread of the “McMansion”
As developments of large houses have spread, a number of similar, related terms have been coined, including “Beltway Baronial,” “Starter Castle,” “Monster Homes” (Canada),"Tract Mansions,” “Mini-Taj Mahals,” “Garage Mahals,” “Big Foot,” “Big Hair House” (Texas), “Texas Tuscan,” “Jumbo Abode,” “Gable-opolis” and “faux chateau.” The term “parachute home” refers to the perceived disregard for regional and immediate site considerations (as if the home had just been dropped from the sky). Closely related, but significantly different in both physical characteristics and social associations, are the “Persian palaces” of Los Angeles.

Wikipedia: Southfork Ranch
Southfork Ranch is a location near Plano, Texas in the community of Parker, Texas where the Dallas television series was filmed. It is located at 3700 Hogge (pronounced “Hoag”) Drive.

The house was built in 1970 by Joe Duncan and was known as Duncan Acres, named after his family. The property was originally 200 acres in size. The “Mansion” at Southfork Ranch is actually a 4769 sq. ft. house with a 957 sq ft enclosed garage that was turned into a den/card room.

Wikipedia: Dallas (TV series)
Dallas is a highly popular, long-running American prime-time television soap opera that originally ran from 1978 to 1991. It is centered around the Ewing family, a wealthy Texas family in the oil and cattle-ranching businesses. The show debuted in April 1978 as a five-part miniseries on the CBS network, then was broadcast on that network for 13 seasons, from Saturday, September 23, 1978, to Friday, May 3, 1991.

20 November 1989, People magazine, pg. 118:
FLOWERS ABROAD, FLAK AT HOME
Sure, she’s fun. Sure, she’s fresh. And in Texas, Fergie was downright friendly. But is that any way for royalty to act?
(...)
Fergie and Andrew have distinguished themselves among the younger royals for choosing to live in a modern home rather than in a period estate, such as Prince Charles and Princess Di’s Highgrove or Princess Anne’s Gatcombe Park. Their future home, Sunninghill Park, is now under construction on five acres near Windsor Castle, 25 miles from London.

Though the $3.2 million, ultramodern property, with its elaborate security system, is a gift from the Queen, it has been dubbed the Dallas Palace by the press and widely denounced as a blight on the
British landscape: ‘’If you want to know what Fergie’s new mansion will look like,’’ suggested the tabloid Today, ‘’take a look at your nearest Little Chef ((fast food)) restaurant.’’ And guess who catches
the flak? Fergie, who lovingly approved every red brick in her ranch-style palace. 

1 September 1996, Washington (DC) Times, “Life is royal at the Dallas Palace” by Nancy S. Murray, travel section, pg. 1:
When Rosewood Hotels and Resorts in Dallas opened its ultraluxurious Lanesborough Hotel on London’s Hyde Park Circle several years ago, the London press dubbed it “Palace Dallas.” The writers were alluding to the grandeur of the hotel, which was like no other in their city—and arguably anywhere else except Dallas, the home of Rosewood’s flagship hotel, the Mansion on Turtle Creek.

22 February 2001, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “To Swiss, Marc Rich Is a Key Taxpayer” by Marjorie Miller, pg. A1:
The glass office building on Baarerstrasse that Rich built after fleeing the United States in the 1980s is a centerpiece of modern Zug, dubbed a “Dallas palace” after the television show about rich Americans.

Dallas Morning News
06/15/01
LAP OF LUXURY
Resort-like Looks and Prime Location Expected to Drive Success of Vaquero
By Steve Brown / The Dallas Morning News
(...)
“Our guidelines are going to prevent the ‘big hair houses’ you see in some suburbs – the Dallas palaces,” he said. “We are making them pull those roof lines down.”

10 September 2001, The Evening Standard (London, England), “F1 racer Jenson is hoping for a fast sale"{ by Richard Allen, pg. 9:
RACING driver Jenson Button’s Colonial-style mansion has gone on the market along with nine other houses at one of the country’s most exclusive estates.

The Formula One star’s [pound]2.75 million “Dallas Palace” is among a crop of big houses for sale on the St George’s Estate, near Weybridge, Surrey—and the five-bedroom pile is nowhere near the most expensive.

1 November 2001, Builder, pg. 81
Texas turnaround:
Once the domain of the big hair” house, the Lone Star state is about to revert to its architectural roots-if these two builders have anything to say about it.
by Carolyn Weber

ROB SELL AND MICHAEL DIKE ARE messing with Texas. Emphasizing diverse, character-rich, neo-classical designs, the partners of Village Homes in Fort Worth are out to change the face of production housing in their market.

The pair’s design philosophy is a far cry from what they encountered when working for a large-volume production builder in Austin, Texas. The “big hair” house and the “Dallas Palace,” with requisite brick facades and soaring two-story foyers, dominated the product line. “We were building the typical two-- story, arched entry, front-loaded garage product,” says Dike.

Garstang Courier (UK) (August 10, 2005)
New homes will be for ‘locals’
(...)
Coun David Sharples welcomed the homes plan, saying there had been too many “Dallas Palaces” built in the rural area, the cost of which were beyond the reach of young local people.

The Education Wonks
The town of Anna is a suburb of wealthy Plano, itself a suburb of Dallas. Anna does have a few farms left, but also lots of Dallas-Palace McMansions. These parents are used to getting what they want, they have $ and political influence. I’m betting on the parents.
Anonymous | 04.19.07 - 12:53 pm |

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Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, September 16, 2007 • Permalink