The recent auction of late Dallas businessman Edwin L. Cox Sr.’s art collection made headlines around the world for its $332 million price tag.
But not much has been said about the sale of the oilman’s Highland Park estate, which sold quietly to billionaire banker Andy Beal for one of the highest prices for a Dallas-area property.
The more-than-century-old house sits on 7 acres along Turtle Creek, just south of the Dallas Country Club.
The storied property sold for more than $40 million, according to county records. Though the exact sale price wasn’t contained in the documents, deed records show Beal took a $41 million loan on the property. The property a few months ago was titled to a trust with an address listed at Beal Bank’s Plano headquarters.
Beal’s office declined to comment on his plans for the estate. Beal ranked as Dallas’ richest resident in Forbes’ most recent compilation of wealthiest Americans, with a net worth of $9.9 billion.
The Highland Park mansion was never publicly listed for sale in the Realtors’ multiple listing service but was quietly shown to potential buyers.
“I would say it is probably the most desirable property in Highland Park,” said top real estate agent Allie Beth Allman, who has heard that Beal plans to renovate the house.
Cox — who died in 2020 at 99 — had owned the grand Beverly Drive house since the mid-1970s.
It had previously been the home of fabled Park Cities socialite Susie Rose Lloyd. Rose Lloyd was known for her over-the-top parties and eccentricities.
Legend has it that when she received a copy of the town of Highland Park’s annual budget in the mail, she thought it was a bill and paid it. And when the Dallas Country Club dumped sewage in Turtle Creek, she put cement in the golf course’s pipes to back up the effluent.
Her beaux arts-style mansion that the Coxes purchased came complete with a third-floor ballroom, a “caviar room” and an entrance foyer with a stained glass ceiling. The mansion was designed by noted Dallas architect Herbert Greene.
The Coxes remodeled and enlarged the house, preserving many of its historic features and adding a swimming pool and enclosed tennis court built partly underground.
The annual property tax bill on the spread is more than $791,000.
“It’s really the most pronounced house of that style in Dallas,” said real estate agent Douglas Newby. “Can you think of any other house that’s more iconic than this one?
“This is on the corner of Preston and Beverly Drive — the epicenter of Highland Park.”
While many other older Park Cities homes have been demolished to make way for new mansions, Newby said he’s hoping that won’t happen to the Cox house.
“If there is any home that should be saved it’s that one.”
The two dozen artworks that auction house Christie’s sold on Nov. 11 featured paintings that once adorned the walls of the great house. The sale included works by Monet, Cézanne and van Gogh and attracted a worldwide audience of bidders from 27 countries.
The Cox estate is the second mansion along Turtle Creek recently purchased by Beal.
In 2016, Beal bought the more-than-century-old home of late Dallas developer Trammell Crow at 4500 Preston Road. He tore down the 10,000-square-foot Tudor-style house with plans to build.
But the property — more than 6 acres — sold earlier this year to Dallas attorney Leslie Ware. It’s valued for taxes at more than $33 million.
The Cox family in 2019 bought another landmark Dallas mansion, the 14-acre Crespi Estate on Walnut Hill Lane in North Dallas.
Built in the 1930s by a cotton baron, the Crespi Estate includes a 27,000-square-foot, 10-bedroom, five-bath mansion, a 3,347-square-foot guesthouse and a 4,836-square-foot pool house.
The Crespi Estate was also previously owned by Beal.
Note: An earlier version of this story said the $41 million in financing was provided by a Cox family trust. But Andy Beal’s office said the seller provided no financing. Records show the deed of sale included a vendor’s lien.