Highland Park

Highland Park Information

Highland Park is a town located in central Dallas County, Texas (USA).

The population was 8,842 at the 2000 census. Located on Texas State Highway 289 and U.S. Route 75 (North Central Expressway), four miles north of downtown Dallas.

It is the 41st wealthiest place in the United States and the 19th wealthiest place with a population of over 1,000. Highland Park is the 4th wealthiest location in Texas by per capita income.

Highland Park is bordered on the south, east and west by Dallas and on the north by University Park. Highland Park and University Park together comprise the Park Cities, which share many joint services such as schools. Known in the area as having a high concentration of the wealthy and elite social classes, Highland Park is also home to the Highland Park Village shopping center.

The land now known as Highland Park was purchased in 1889 by a group of investors from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, known as the Philadelphia Place Land Association, for an average price of US$377 an acre, with a total of $500,000. Henry Exall, an agent, intended to develop the land along Turtle Creek, as Philadelphia Place, exclusive housing based on parkland areas in Philadelphia. He laid gravel roads, and dammed Turtle Creek, forming Exall Lake, before the Panic of 1893 brought a blow to his fortunes, halting development. Afterwards, he began a horse breeding farm. In the 1890s, Exall Lake was a common picnic destination for Dallas residents.

In 1906, John Armstrong (the former partner of Thomas Marsalis, the prominent developer of Oak Cliff), sold his meatpacking business, and invested his money in a portion of the former Philadelphia Place land, to develop it under the name of Highland Park. He chose this name as it was located on high land that overlooked downtown Dallas. Wilbur David Cook, the landscape designer who had planned Beverly Hills, California, and George E. Kessler, who had previously planned Fair Park and most of downtown Dallas, were hired to design its layout. Notably, twenty percent of the original land was set aside for parks. A second development in Highland Park was developed in 1910.

In 1913, Highland Park petitioned Dallas for annexation, but was refused. The 500 residents voted to incorporate on November 29, 1913, and incorporation was granted in 1915, its population then was 1100. The first mayor of Highland Park was W. A. Fraser. A third and fourth development were added to the town and 1915 and 1917, respectively. In 1919, the city of Dallas sought to annex Highland Park, beginning a lengthy controversy that lasted until 1945. J W Bartholow led the fight to resist the annexation. The final major land development occurred in 1924. In 1931, Highland Park Village was constructed, the first shopping center of its kind in the United States.

Due to its location near Dallas, Highland Park, had, by the early 1930s, developed a moderately large (8400) population, with few businesses. Eventually the school districts and newspapers of Highland Park and University Park were combined. In the 1940s, after the failure to annex Highland Park, Dallas began annexing the land surrounding it. Reaching a population high of just under 13,000 in the late 1950s, Highland Park afterwards grew only by building houses on the remaining vacant lots, and by the destruction of old buildings. Since 1990, Highland Park has maintained strict zoning ordinances. Known for its quality housing, the town still has many parks running along Turtle Creek, and is home to the Dallas Country Club.
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Most of the city (areas east of Roland Avenue) is served by the Highland Park Independent School District. The HPISD portion is served by Highland Park High School in nearby University Park. A minuscule portion of Highland Park (areas west of Roland Avenue) is zoned to Dallas Independent School District.  DISD schools that serve western Highland Park include Maple Lawn Elementary School, Rusk Middle School, and North Dallas High School.

In 2005, Highland Park High School’s football team won its first state championship since 1957, defeating Marshall High School 59-0. The team finished with a perfect record of 15-0, winning the Texas University Interscholastic League 4A-Division I state championship. The school has one of the most legendary high school football programs in the state of Texas, with Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Bobby Layne, and 1948 Heisman Trophy winner, Doak Walker. Highland Park is also the home of baseball superstar Clayton Kershaw.