Robert Emery calls himself the mayor of Preston Tower.
He dreamed of living in the glamorous 29-floor midcentury high rise on Northwest Highway near Preston Road since his mom drove him past the building when he was a boy. Emery first resided there in an efficiency. Seven apartments and 33 years later, he dwells in the tower’s penthouse with his cat, Bodacious T. DogScratcher. The two have a stunning view.
Emery, who owns a salon in the tower, provides a quick tour of the distinctive curved building, which includes businesses ranging from salons, chiropractors and a tailor to oil companies on the first and second floors. He seems to know every resident, whether they’re in the garage, doing laundry or walking their dogs by the famed “Birds in Flight” sculpture out front. The tower is a microcosm of life in a Preston Hollow neighborhood, and the elevator is the great equalizer.
The first major skyscraper in the Preston area opened in 1966 at a cost of $10 million. The Dallas Times Herald called it “Dallas’ curvy new movie star.”
Architect Jacob E. Anderson designed the building, and Hal Anderson developed it. When it opened, the building boasted 263 living spaces, commercial spaces including a food mart, men’s and women’s fashion centers, a beauty salon, barbershop, pharmacy, French restaurant, stock brokerage, travel agency, house physician and coffee shop, according to the Dallas Times Herald.
Chez Anthony on the first floor was a “supper club par excellence” that Hal Anderson described as “sophisticated, genteel with a continental atmosphere and cuisine.”
“We’re creating a virtual city of apartment homes in a vertical high-rise concept,” Hal Anderson told the Dallas Times Herald.
The apartments were converted to condominiums in 1978.
“Preston Towers, along with 3525 Turtle Creek, showed affluent Dallasites that luxury apartment life was possible,” says Dallas Morning News architecture critic Mark Lamster. “That it was such a prominent landmark in North Dallas made it a signpost for that new kind of lifestyle.”
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