“Preston Hollow: A Brief History” by Jack Drake

Jack Drake was walking his dog one day around his neighborhood. As they strolled down Lakehurst Avenue, Drake noticed one of the houses was much older than the rest on the street. And it sparked his curiosity.

“I knew there had to be something significant if the house is that much older,” Drake says.

The Trinity Christian Academy junior wrote a letter to the homeowner and received a call three days later. That was the first interview he conducted in his project to research the history of Preston Hollow.

Drake knew there wasn’t a plethora of historical information available about our neighborhood, so he wanted to provide a resource. He decided on a book because it’s something people can have in their homes. Plus, he thinks it’s something people are more inclined to remember after they’ve read it.

He set out to research and write his book in May 2020. Though he was able to locate some information from old newspaper articles and city records, the bulk of his research came from interviews with Preston Hollow neighbors.

What resulted was a 176-page book, “Preston Hollow: A Brief History.” It saves the neighborhood’s history, a part of which is lost each time an old home is torn down and replaced with a modern mansion.

Here’s something Drake found particularly fascinating. The congregation of his church, Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, formed in the 1940s. Raising money for a church was difficult, so while funds were collected, the congregation held services in the gym of Texas Country Day School, which is now St. Mark’s School of Texas. The architect who designed PHPC was Mark Lemmon.

Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church on a Sunday. Photo by Danny Fulgencio.

Drake’s book, which covers everything from the 1850s until the 2019 tornado, was published Monday and can be purchased on Amazon, Arcadia Publishing and Barnes & Noble. Its foreword was written by neighbor Mark Cuban.

My goal when I wrote this book is that the residents of Preston Hollow could learn, understand and appreciate its history,” Drake says. “Now, with all the development, there’s kind of a tension between the old and the new. And I’m hoping that the old, historical houses can kind of coexist with the new houses and tie in well together.”