Park Towers - Small

Jon Anderson fills us in on a little bit of Dallas’ high rise history in his latest column for CandysDirt.com.

(Editor’s Note: This is the third installment in a hopefully regular series from Jon Anderson, in which he dishes on the inner-workings of life in the sky. Anderson’s take on Dallas high rise living is both entertaining and educational. You can read his first installment here and his second installment here.)

By Jon Anderson
Special Contributor

Buildings of the 1950s and 1960s

Beginning in the late 1950s, Dallas saw a decade of building for its first residential high-rises. These Modernist buildings included a quintet of buildings on Turtle Creek – 3525 Turtle Creek, Turtle Creek North, Park Towers, “21” and The Gold Crest – as well as Athena and Preston Tower on Northwest Highway. With the exception of “21” (originally built as low-income housing by HUD), these were tony pied-à-terre or the full-scale residences of those wanting as much urban high-rise living as Dallas could offer. They’re close enough for “city lights” views but far enough away to not actually be in the then lifeless downtown core.

Trivia: These buildings began life as either co-ops or rental apartments that only converted to condos after Section 234 of the Housing Act of 1961 enabled FHA (Federal Housing Administration) to insure mortgages on condos. By 1969, all states had laws governing the creation of condominiums. Puerto Rico passed the first condo law in 1958 and the first continental US building was in Salt Lake City. One side-effect of this heritage is that these buildings have master meters for utilities resulting in a single bill that’s divided between owners (and part of the monthly HOA dues). Something to factor in when evaluating HOA fees – and summer electricity bills.

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