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Warner Clark House

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1930, David R. Williams. 4408 St. John’s Dr.

After beginning his Dallas practice in 1923, Williams’s first houses in Highland Park were designed in the fashionable styles of the day for architecturally conservative clients. By the late 1920s, his ideas about a regionally appropriate Texas architecture began to solidify, first with several houses in Corsicana (CW13) and then with the seminal Clark House and the Elbert Williams (DS68) House.

Williams considered the Clark house to be his “very best job, mostly because of its orientation to the elements.” Sited on rising ground overlooking Hackberry Creek to the west, the L-plan house offers a guarded front to the street, with a two-level loggia and court opening to the rear. The wings are clearly shown as two simple blocks. The front-facing gable of the side wing has a low porch supported on ornamental iron pilasters protecting the entrance and extending beyond the house as a porte-cochere (the original front driveway is gone, with car access now from a rear alley). The soft rose brick was whitewashed to reflect the Texas sun, and shutters blocked glare at the windows. The rear loggia is supported on round brick columns and arches, appearing like a ruined mission, with a latticed, screened sleeping porch above.

The simplicity of the massing, the low pitch of the roofs, and the tall shuttered windows reflect Williams’s study of historic Texas houses, inspired by the Alsatian examples in Central Texas around Castroville, to which he would return at the Elbert Williams House three years later with more dramatic effect. The importance of craftsmanship to Williams’s concept of the “indigenous” house is reflected in the many interior fittings, paneled doors, newel posts, and copper light fixtures handmade by Lynn Ford, brother of his protégé O’Neil Ford.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Warner Clark House", [Dallas, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 166-166.

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