Turtle Creek is one of North Texas’ treasures that seems to only get better and better with age. The creek with its mammoth trees and lush grounds rebound beautifully from torrential rainstorms, sweltering summer heat and frigid ice storms thanks to Mother Nature, the City of Dallas and the Turtle Creek Association.
Way back in the past century, the west side of the creek used to be the site of stately mansions enjoying the breezes coming from the water, a 17½-acre private park (today’s Turtle Creek Park) and “The Old Jesuit.” On the other side of the creek was a quiet neighborhood with winding roads through a hilly terrain. Homes ranged from towering traditional to sleek mid-century. Here such people as Edward Marcus, Lawrence Marcus, author Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, artist Bart Forbes, landscape architects Marie and Arthur Berger, interior design Gerry Sporleder and Judge Barefoot Sanders enjoyed the feel of living in the country in addition to the convenience of location to downtown Dallas.
It was never surprising to see a resident in a boat keeping company with the ducks and geese on the creek. On one occasion a raft was launched with musicians on board to entertain party guests at a home along the creek.
Connecting the two dramatically different sides of the creek were stone bridges dating back to the 1930s during the New Deal era.
But as Dallas downtown was growing with office buildings and businesses, so the Turtle Creek area became ripe for change. It was in 1958 that 3525 Turtle Creek (known to locals simply as “3525”) rose high over the aging mansions. With such penthouse residents as actress Greer Garson and philanthropists Nancy Chandler and Evelyn Lambert, 3525 was the virtual neighborhood of the chic Who’s Who.
The other side of the creek was also seeing change with the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Dallas Theater Center being constructed in a heavily wooded area.
But it would be decades before high-rise living really settled in. Sky-high living just couldn’t compete with the suburb rage. Eventually, that way of thinking and living changed as the city attracted newcomers from New York, Chicago, California and other worldly places. By this time the mansions were showing their age big-time, with one of them actually being home base for the Texas Hare Krishnas in 1971.
The results were today’s high-rises like The Claridge, The Warrington, 21 Turtle Creek, The Renaissance and The Mansion Residences boasting luxury living as it sfinest.
That’s why the Turtle Creek Association is taking full advantage of its unique residences for its 20th Anniversary Tour Of Homes presented by Urban Allie Beth Allman And Associates.
On Saturday, October 9, guests will be able to virtually tour five homes at 3525, The Claridge and The Warrington without budging from their own home. Starting at 1 p.m. a program hosted by CW33 TV Anchor Ron Corning will share “personal stories, architectural anecdotes, and glimpse into fine collections of art, heirlooms and unique design of these residences in the sky.” The homes will feature contemporary living, eclectic, mid-century, modern contemporary and traditional designs.
Just one of the highlights will be the two-story penthouse at The Warrington owned by the late Judy “the Queen of Turtle Creek Boulevard” Pittman.
According to Turtle Creek Association President JD Trueblood, “By bringing people inside stunning Turtle Creek homes through a virtual tour, we are able to make improvements to the creek’s public outdoor spaces. The continued preservation and beautification of this Dallas treasure is an ongoing labor of love.”
Virtual tour tickets range from $25 to $175. For an additional $500, guests will attend an exclusive in-person reception that evening at Perot Companies Urban Campus along Turtle Creek co-chaired by Garry Cox and Don McDermett and hosted by The Perot Companies’ Ken Reese and Honorary Co-Hosts Linda and Mitch Hart with live entertainment, dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvre and cocktails. But due to the limited capacity, advanced ticketing is required.
* Photo provided by Turtle Creek Association