Sheppard King was the son of Confederate War veteran who migrated to Waxahachie in 1882. Mr. King made a fortune in Cotton then later in oil. He married Bertha Wilcox and moved to Dallas in 1891.
The architect of this expansive Mediterranean-style home was a twenty-four old prodigy named J. Allen Boyle. The Kings were inspired by worldly travels, embarked on a tour of Europe with their architect, curating antique pieces, authentic fixtures and luxurious materials. The architecture is influenced by 16th century Renaissance Italy. Ornate interior décor is inspired by grand estates in Spain, Italy, England, France and elsewhere. In 1925, the opulent manor was complete, including a cantilevered staircase and the first private elevator in Dallas. President Roosevelt stayed in the home in 1936 when in town to dedicate a statue of Robert E. Lee, erected in nearby Lee Park, where it remained until 2018.
Swiss artist Peter Mansbendel was hired and executed elaborate carvings throughout the home. From the plaster ceiling to the paneling and stone fireplace, the room is a reproduction of the parlor of an elegant home built in England’s Bromley-by-Bow, east of London. -The original dining room is a creation of French architect M. Jacques Caree. The room has an inlaid ceiling composed of 2,400 separate pieces of wood that takes six carpenters three weeks to install. The house is set on solid bedrock Texas limestone, with a 9′ deep basement that was originally a silver vault, but today serves as a wine cellar. Painted rusty pink, the stucco-covered walls vary in thickness from 15 to 36 inches.
In 1979, The Rosewood Corporation purchased the property and transformed it into a world-class restaurant and hotel. The Mansion Restaurant opened to rave reviews and extraordinary national acclaim in 1980. In 1981, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, the luxury hotel, was added to complement the original residence, with 143 guest rooms and suites designed with an inviting ambiance. The hotel opened with a grand gala benefiting the local arts and education communities, an early indication of a strong commitment to philanthropic endeavors.
Throughout the years, modern design elements have been introduced while preserving historic details. Meticulously restored interiors, hand-carved fireplaces, marble floors and stained-glass windows preserve the estate’s original magnificence.