A June 1962 issue of Dallas Morning News heralds a new housing trend sweeping Dallas — “foxy new condo buildings,” as the full-page news feature calls them, that offer a pool, patio and simple luxury lifestyle.
Such a building is “the fashionable” Turtle Creek North, a 13-story gleaming white stucco building located at 3701 Turtle Creek Blvd. near Blackburn St. in Oak Lawn. The prestigious Turtle Creek address features one and two bedroom apartments and four bedroom penthouses. Turtle Creek North is where you will find two listings by Allie Beth Allman and Associates agent Sanders Avrea – apartment 4H which is now under contract, a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment that was completely renovated by Allie Beth Allman Realtor Kyle Crewsand for-lease 4E, a fully furnished one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment that is a sought-after corner unit with something a little extra inside that will call you home.
Crews alerted us to the apartments and the building’s rich mid-century history, and of course we love our Midcentury Modern here. But I also can’t resist the opportunity to jump in my proverbial time machine to see what Turtle Creek North was like at the start. (If you don’t want to time travel, just scroll down to the home link and call Sanders.)
Tall and brown and young and beautiful
A lithe woman rests her hip and left leg on the wrought-iron railing of her patio in downtown Dallas. The photo is taken in shadow, with only the woman’s stylish cigarette pants, perhaps a sleeveless top, and an unmistakable beehive shown against the bright sparkles of a cool blue swimming pool a few floors below.
Dallas’ early ’60s jet set lived in and loved these newly constructed luxury residences throughout Oak Lawn, Preston Hollow, and of course “behind the pink wall” where kitten heels and cocktails were required.
“This city of homes and yards is becoming more and more a metropolis of apartments,” it Dallas Morning News wrote. “Some say the huge explosion of garden apartments in Dallas – built around a pool and patio, often bordered by banana trees or palm trees – is unparalleled in the world.”
In this metropolis of luxury high-rises, there were two types of tenants representing very different demographics—differences I will describe with the help of the music of the time, specifically the Billboard Top 100 singles of 1962.
Dallas’ high-rise scene
There were prominent Dallas names who had some money to throw around for this trendy new luxury, or former homeowners — “solid citizens who have surrendered to the battle of crabgrass and bagworms, utility bills and repairmen, bookkeeping and taxes.” These were the ones who dropped the needle on 1962’s hit, “Moon River” by Henry Mancini with a martini in hand at the end of a long Mad Men-esque workday.
Then there were the young professionals whose appetite for luxury exceeded their bank balances. They crammed two or three roommates into an apartment, bought the best egg chair and tulip table lookalikes they could afford, cut up the space with a folding rattan screen or two, and voilá, they had the ubiquitous bachelor or bachelor pad. Think of this brand of tenant as more of a toned down version of Holly Golightly. (I mean, Audrey Hepburn’s Holly did hailing from Tulip, Texas.) But these were the high-rise tenants who might have kept quieter neighbors awake playing records and “Twistin’ the Night Away.”
Without a doubt, Turtle Creek North had the affluent “Moon River” crowd. Kyle Crews, the realtor who renovated a two-bedroom here, said early residents included employees of the Neiman Marcus department store downtown, or ultra-wealthy society types who could use a pied de terre for shopping trips or entertainment.
Names of the well-known mailbox included Earle Cabell, 60’s mayor of Dallas, US Congressman, and later namesake of the Federal Courthouse, who lived here. So did Marion Fooshee, half of the acclaimed Dallas architectural team of Fooshee & Cheek, the firm that designed Highland Park Village and the most exclusive residences in all of Dallas. A couple of Straussers also lived here, such as former mayor Annette Strauss.
An All-Star makeover
In 1966, Turtle Creek Properties, a six-person joint venture group, purchased the high-rise. This was a who’s who of Dallasites, including department store titans Richard A. Gump and Stanley Marcus, businessmen Theodore Strauss and Robert Strauss, and two others. They undertook extensive remodeling and refurbishment in 1967, and in the early 1970s the flats were converted into flats for sale.
“Several of the original tenants who worked for Mr. Marcus purchased their units and are still in residence – along with new generations of owners,” says Crews. “Additionally, the building originally had its own private club called for dinner and drinks.”
This building offering had a few different incarnations. In 1963 it is Mr. Peppe’s Restaurant. In 1964, new owners transformed the built-in restaurant into the French and Swiss restaurant Beau-Rivage (but they kept Mr. Peppe’s chef). It was the Turtle Dove restaurant in 1967, which became the site of lady tea and cucumber sandwiches. All very proper with gloves and tiara.
How Turtle Creek North lives
“For someone who needs a second home in Dallas or a pied de terre-type of place, it’s perfect. Or divorce and need a nice ‘immediate home’ in a great mid-century building on Turtle Creek,” Crews said.
From the listing:
Completely renovated in 2022 spacious two bedroom, two bath mid-century modern condominium in the iconic Turtle Creek North boutique building! New open kitchen with quartz worktops, all new cupboards and stainless steel appliances. Two new complete bathrooms, many cupboards all equipped with Elfa storage systems. LVP wood plank flooring throughout. Large living room and dining room with custom wood appliqués with accent wall adjoin a spacious terrace. Building amenities include valet parking, fitness center, pool and 24-hour concierge.
Listing for 3701 Turtle Creek Blvd. Apt. 4H — pending contract
Crews’ renovated unit at 4H is a spacious two-bedroom, two-bath 1,340-square-foot apartment that is fully furnished. It is now awaiting a $400,000 contract. But don’t worry, Sanders also has a fantastic lease.
4E now leasing
From the listing:
This beautifully updated corner unit is reminiscent of a sophisticated New York apartment and comes fully furnished! Upgrades include hardwood floors throughout, an updated kitchen with marble countertops, custom built-ins with exceptional storage and a spa-like bathroom. This 4th floor condo overlooks Turtle Creek Blvd and a large, private deck. Tons of natural light throughout the spacious floor plan. The amenities of this mid-century modern building include a pool and fitness center as well as excellent staff.
Listing for 3701 Turtle Creek Blvd. Apartment 4E – now for rent
Avrea says Apt. 4E is a first-class find for many reasons. We’ve established that Turtle Creek North is a fantastic building with a foxy nod to the early 60s. But this 4E lease is one of only a small handful in this 13-story Turtle Creek North high-rise that has its own in-unit washer and dryer.
Not a juicy enough nugget? The condo is a sought after corner unit overlooking Turtle Creek Blvd. with gorgeous, lush treetops and people watching for days. A fitting retreat to hum some ‘Moon River’ if you’re feeling ‘the mean reds’ or the blues. So I’ll give you Holly Golightly’s thoughts on this place.
“If I could find a real place to make me feel like Tiffany’s [or like this lease at 4E]then I would buy some furniture and give the cat a name.”
Sanders Avrea of Allie Beth Allman and Associates has listed 3701 Turtle Creek Blvd., #4E for rent at $3,000/month.