David R. Williams

David R. Williams, (1890-1962), was a Texas architect designing dream-worthy houses in the great state.

To continue on the theme of my last post, I am featuring additional homes by the talented David R. Williams. Known as the father of Texas modern architecture, Williams was inspired by pioneer and Hill country homes. His Spanish colonial work was the result of working in México designing simple homes for the employees of an oil company.

Beautiful houses built in the 1920’s and 30’s are my passion. My longtime dream is to live in a Spanish-style gem from this era. Still waiting…I am getting old so I need to hurry up if I am going to realize this dream. I often write of old homes because the details are so stunning and show such care.

David Williams’ homes epitomize 1920’s and 30’s architecture as thoughtful details abound inside and out.


700 Paulus, architect David R. Williams, Dallas. (Photo: Douglas Newby)

Williams designed this house in 1926 for Dr. Rayworth Williams, his younger brother. This home is in the Lakewood area of Dallas. Spanish revival is my favorite architectural style. I wish I had access to pictures of this interior. There are still a few homes in Highland Park built in this era that wear the multi-hued roof tiles. They always remind me of home – “Dallas-style Spanish”.


4408 St. Johns Drive, Highland Park. (Photo: Douglas Newby)

While I absolutely covet the Spanish house, the style above is more typical of Williams’ style of architecture.


Gorgeous ceiling in this Highland Park home. (Photo: Douglas Newby)

The worn beams make this room inviting, but then notice the brick detail just under the beams. One more reason to love the care put into older homes by dedicated architects such as Williams.


Lovely brick veranda with brick arches. (Photo: Douglas Newby)


Back view of 4408 St. Johns Drive, Highland Park. (Photo: Douglas Newby)

If my husband saw this photo he would immediately associate this house with Dallas as there are so many beautiful brick homes there. It has that “Dallas” look.


St. Johns Drive, Highland Park. (Photo: Douglas Newby)


Elbert Williams home, 3805 McFarlin Boulevard, University Park. (Photo: Douglas Newby)

Above was the last private home designed by Williams in 1932. It was created for the former University Park Mayor, Elbert Williams – no relation. Later it became the home of a friend’s grandmother. It was in my neighborhood so I remember this house well, at least from the outside. Unfortunately, I never went inside. The exterior reminds me of my grandparents’ home. I imagine theirs had this same whitewashed brick originally.

Williams incorporated charming details such as latticework, dentil masonry, wood paneling, and scalloped wood into his designs.


Lattice treatment on an upstairs porch similar to the Lynch house in Oak Cliff. (Photo: Douglas Newby)


Interior wood paneling and scalloped ceiling detail. (Photo: Douglas Newby)


Foyer of 3805 McFarlin, University Park, Dallas. (Photo: Douglas Newby)

This foyer is such a surprise. Sort of dated but also sort of timeless. It is dramatic but simultaneously subtle with its soft coloration. I love it.


Bold unusual detail of blue beams mixed in with the stained wood ceiling. (Photo: Douglas Newby)

The wood details on the right hand side of the photo remind me of some in the Lynch Oak Cliff house.


Lone star detail. (Photo: Douglas Newby)


Brick dentil treatment. (Photo: Douglas Newby)

The multi-talented Williams was also responsible for the concept of the lovely neighborhood of Greenway Parks just outside of the Park Cities. This area was unique in that there is shared green space behind the houses where kids can run free and neighbors can congregate. Happily this area of town has not undergone the brash destruction and rebuilding that the Park Cities has seen. The GP homes have an understated beauty and graciously sit on their large lots. To learn more about David R. Williams see here and here.

Casa V can work with your architect to build the house of your dreams.