Tom Hilker, a 79-year-old retired architect, says his love affair with Preston Tower started in 2003 when he moved from a 2,500-square-foot townhouse to 1,100 square feet on the tower’s 25th floor with a view of downtown. Ten years later, he lives in a one-bedroom, 710-square-foot condo that he renovated with the goal of aging in place.
“I’m thrilled to live in a building with neighbors who accept me for who I am,” Hilker says. He served on the building and library committees. “As a retired architect, I feel a personal fondness for Preston Tower. To live in the most iconic example of midcentury modern architecture in the city of Dallas is a dream come true. Where else could I find wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling glass facades providing a magnificent view of all of Preston Hollow and the cities beyond?”
Hilker, a member of the first graduating class at Thomas Jefferson High School, modified his unit to include minimal walls and large open areas with doorways that can accommodate a walker should he need one.
Stylistically, he wanted to replicate the feel of the building from 1966. Furnishings are a combination of classic examples of the period, such as the Womb chairs in the living room, the Grasshopper chair in the bedroom and the Tulip dining table. He also added current contemporary pieces such as the two-seat sofa from BoConcept, the Summer dining chairs from Houzz and the glass-top cocktail table and side tables from Bova Contemporary Furniture. Primary colors are used everywhere, and track lighting sets off his extensive art collection.
Hilker started collecting art in 1988. He has five paintings by Michi Susan and art glass, including a large blue “Evil Eye” by Romano Dona, a glass maker in Murano, Italy. “I’ve loved all of the houses I’ve ever lived in, but this is my favorite. It’s the smallest home I’ve ever had, but at this point in my life, it’s perfect for me.”
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