You’ve never seen anything like this Turtle Creek Penthouse. Never. It’s easily the equivalent of the Palace of Versailles, but 22 stories into the sky. It’s a fantasy, a dream, a love story, and it’s finally available — after 40 years.
When I received a call asking for some input on how to present a Turtle Creek penthouse for sale, I didn’t over think the request because I consult on a lot of luxury properties. So, I jumped in the car and drove over to one of my favorite high-rises, 3525 Turtle Creek, to see the penthouse at 22A. For those of you that are new to Dallas, 22B was owned by film star Greer Garson. I love this building because it has character, class, and history. Pretty much everyone who is anyone, has lived here at one point or another. I’d never seen 22B. Somehow I’d missed the feature in Architectural Digest in 1981 and the D Home article in 2003.
So, when I met Ebby Halliday listing agent David Saustad high above Turtle Creek, I was completely unprepared for what I was about to see. I’ve seen Versailles. I’ve seen the Taj Mahal. I’ve seen untold gorgeous homes all over the world. I’ve never, ever seen anything that can compare to this Turtle Creek penthouse.
When you walk through the antique gated entrance, you glide into a fantasy world, the dream of visionaries the likes of which Dallas will never see again, and most of all, a visual love story. Although the photographs are breathtaking, they do not prepare you for the glamour, the drama, and the sheer beauty of this home.
The story begins with love, of course. The home is the ultimate valentine. The owner was a much-beloved figure in Dallas society, and she was deeply loved by the men she married. She built this home with her second husband who wanted her to have everything her heart desired. Years spent collecting gorgeous items from around the world meant there needed to be a repository worthy of those treasures. Who could you trust with such an endeavor back in 1978? There was only one choice in the entire country, the legendary design team of Loyd Taylor and Paxton Gremilion, owners of Loyd-Paxton Gallery.
“Although the scale of the Turtle Creek penthouse was enormous, there was no drama,” Taylor said. “We wanted to create that drama. The owners had multiple homes around the country but wanted something glamorous. Remember these were the days of black tie seated dinners and formal cocktail parties, and this space would see a lot of entertaining. We explained the concept, and they loved it.”
So, the work began. Taylor and Gremilion had an exterior commercial elevator installed to ensure the process went smoothly, hired 45 carpenters, and got to work.
“We love mirrors,” Taylor said. “We wanted something different, an obscure glass with a pattern on the back so, we had to get creative.”
The designers bought out every bottle of pearlized nail polish in Dallas. When they ran out, they contacted Revlon and purchased 50-gallon containers. To create the obscure appearance the duo cracked thousands of eggshells and glued them onto the back of the glass panels before applying the pearlized nail polish.
They mirrored the walls, the ceilings, pocket doors, and even the shutters that fold back over the windows in the dining room. Walls were opened up so the home could revolve around the central salon.
Although the owners had amassed large collections of art, antiques, and porcelains, the designers brought in a number of additional antique pieces and chandeliers. The marble table in the center of the salon came from the original Crespi Estate. It was donated to the Dallas Museum of Art. Taylor and Gremilion purchased it back in the days when the DMA held auctions. The curved banquettes were custom made specifically so the skirts of a ball gown would flow perfectly when a lady was seated.
The stunning Terrace Room was created from an existing outdoor terrace. An outside wall of 21 panels, each weighing two tons, was removed to make space for walls of beveled mirror, all assembled on site. Despite rumors of the Chinese screen being smuggled out of Hong Kong in pieces, Taylor assured me it was handcrafted in Chicago. “We had them made to look as if they are Coramandal. They were also made to be practical as they conceal a great deal of storage.”
The focal point of this room, however, is the sky. “We installed barrel-vaulted glass through the center of the ceiling, Taylor said. “We thought it would be pretty to look up and see the stars at night.” An automatic shade keeps the room from being overly bright in the daytime.
If you think it cannot get better, just wait. A green suede hallway leads to the master suite, and it has to be one of the most beautiful rooms in existence. A round bedroom was created out of metal to ensure no sound or light would penetrate. The walls were covered with a white-on-white striped French silk to mitigate any feeling of coldness from the metal. The pièce de résistance is a domed ceiling covered in silverleaf tea paper with a chandelier that came out of the Palace Theater. The dome was brought in over the city by helicopter.
The dressing room, master bathroom, and a private study wrap the bedroom in what feels like a warm embrace. Despite the elegance, the glamour, and the drama, there is a cozy feel to the entire 5,123–square-foot Turtle Creek penthouse.
The stunning Turtle Creek penthouse took only 10 months to finish. “We were on the project every day, and we went full speed,” Taylor said. “It’s the most exciting project we have ever worked on. It’s a timeless and happy space.”
If you’re longing to live between heaven and earth, in absolute splendor, this can all be yours for only $2.5 million.
Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years and a professional writer for 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying music at The University of Miami. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap. Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com