Sorry we are experiencing system issues. Please try again.
Plano is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, located approximately 20 miles north of downtown Dallas. The city of Plano is a part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Plano lies mostly within Collin County, but includes a small portion that extends into Denton County.
The city is a hub for many corporate headquarters. Plano was also considered to be the safest city in the nation by Forbes in 2011
European settlers came to the area near present-day Plano in the early 1840s. Facilities such as a sawmill, a gristmill, and a store soon brought more people to the area. A mail service was established, and after rejecting several names for the nascent town (including naming it in honor of then-President Millard Fillmore), residents suggested the name Plano (from the Spanish word for “flat”), as a reference to the local terrain, unvaried and devoid of any trees. The name was accepted by the post office.
In 1872, the completion of the Houston and Central Texas Railway helped the city to grow, and it was incorporated in 1873.By 1874, the population had grown to more than 500. In 1881, a fire raged through the business district, destroying most of the buildings.The town was rebuilt and business again flourished through the 1880s. Also in 1881, the city assumed responsibility for what would eventually become Plano Independent School District (PISD), ending the days of it being served only by private schools.
At first, the population of Plano grew slowly, reaching 1,304 in 1900, and rising to 3,695 in 1960. By 1970, Plano began to feel some of the boom its neighbors had experienced after World War II. A series of public works projects and a change in taxes that removed the farming community from the town helped increase the overall population. In 1970, the population reached 17,872, and by 1980, it had exploded to 72,000. Sewers, schools, and street development kept pace with this massive increase, largely because of Plano’s flat topography, grid layout, and planning initiatives.
During the 1980s, many large corporations moved their headquarters to the city, including J. C. Penney and Frito-Lay, which encouraged further growth. By 1990, the population reached 128,713, dwarfing the county seat of McKinney. In 1994, the city was recognized as an All-America City. By 2000, the population grew to 222,030, making it one of Dallas’ largest suburbs. Plano is surrounded by other municipalities and therefore cannot expand in area, and there is little undeveloped land remaining within the city limits. However, as of July 2012, one large tract of land was being developed: Turnpike Commons at the intersection of Renner Road and the George Bush Turnpike (bordered also by Shiloh Road to the east). The development is expected to feature apartments, medical facilities, restaurants, a Race Trac gas station, and a hotel.
There was an epidemic of heroin abuse among young people in the 1990s. The Plano authorities created an anti-drug campaign with the name “Operation Rockfest.”
In 2013, Plano received top-scoring nationally in a livability index according to an algorithm created by AreaVibes.com, a Toronto-based company specializing in such data. AreaVibes ranked Plano at the top of the list of U.S. cities with populations between 100,000 and 10 million. Another chart, “Best Places to Live in 2013”, also has Plano ranked number 1. In September 2017, a mass shooting occurred where 9 people were killed.
Parks and recreation
Although Plano is named for the flat plains of the area, large trees abound in the city’s many parks. One such tree, estimated to be over 200 years old, resides in Bob Woodruff park near Rowlett Creek on the city’s east side.
There are two main open space preserves: Arbor Hills Nature Preserve (200 acres) and Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve (800 acres). Bob Woodruff Park and Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve are connected by biking trails, making the green space one large uninterrupted park space that is larger than Central Park in New York City (840 acres). Go Ape, a family-friendly place with outdoor activities like zip lining and Tarzan swings, is at Oak Point Park and Preserve. The yearly Plano Balloon Festival that happens every September is also in Oak Point Park and Preserve. Total acreage of all spaces managed by the Parks department totals 3,830.81. The Plano Master Plan has the acreage growing to 4,092.63 when complete.
There are five recreation centers: Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center, Carpenter Park Recreation Center, Oak Point Recreation Center, Liberty Recreation Center, and Douglass Community Center. Carpenter Park Recreation Center, Oak Point Recreation Center, and Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center have an indoor pool, while Liberty Recreation Center, has an outdoor pool. Plano Senior Recreation Center is a recreation center dedicated to seniors. There are three swimming pools owned by Plano Parks & Recreation: Harry Rowlinson Community Natatorium, Jack Carter Pool, and Plano Aquatic Center. All of the pools are indoor except for Jack Carter Pool. Douglass Community Center houses the Boys & Girls Club of Collin County. For pet owners, there is The Dog Park at Jack Carter Park.
The City of Plano also owns and operates three performing arts venues and one conference center under the auspices of the Parks and Recreation Department. These venues include the Courtyard Theater, the Cox Playhouse, the Amphitheater at Oak Point Park, and the Oak Point Park Nature and Retreat Center. A fourth performance venue, McCall Plaza, is under construction in the historic Downtown Plano neighborhood.