Beyond Batten. First, there’s the house. None other like it in Austin. Dimensional Fund head David Booth invited fewer than 50 guests to his still-new residence planted on several landscaped acres above Lake Austin. Sculptures and installations outside, mostly contemporary paintings and smaller pieces inside. Assembled from alternating, angled planes of glass and white walls, it could very well double as an art museum. Security is paramount. So no photos of the museum-quality art, thank you. Then, there’s the cause. Austin’s Charlotte and Craig Benson created Beyond Batten Disease Foundation when their daughter, Christiane, was diagnosed with the extremely rare, harrowing condition. So far, they’ve helped put together $16 million for research. They have also combined the resources of other Batten families and foundations with related neurological disease groups to help identify a new treatment that promises to slow its progress. Now they are seeking $6 million over the next 18 months to prep the treatment for human tests. Like the house, their story is like none other.

-Mike Barnes

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