Plano is a city in Texas, United States, with a population of 288,061 and a land area of 71.58 square miles. It lies mostly within Collin County, but a small portion of it extends to Denton County. The city is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area and is home to several headquarters of many international companies.
HISTORY OF PLANO
During the early 1840s, European pioneers came into the area near present-day Plano. The city’s birth is credited in part to the enterprises founded by William Foreman. He and his family began building facilities in the area, such as a sawmill, gristmill, and store, attracting more settlers to live in the city.
In 1848, Dr. Henry Dye, Plano’s first medical doctor, came to live in the area. Mail service was established two years later, and Mr. Foreman’s home became the city’s unofficial post office. Now that the people have grown into a closer community, Dr. Dye felt the need to institute a proper name.
He sent an application to Washington D.C. requesting the name ‘Fillmore’ in honor of then-President Millard Fillmore. The petition was rejected, and the name ‘Foreman’ was suggested; however, Mr. Foreman himself disapproved of the idea. Dr. Dye and the community then proposed the name ‘Plano’ (from the Spanish word for “plain”) as a reference to the area’s terrain, which was flat and treeless. The post office accepted the name Plano, and Mr. Foreman became its first postmaster.
Visitdowntownplano.com | An old railway in Plano, Texas
Although raising livestock was the leading business in the county, more and more people began farming the fertile, black land. The community built churches and schools, and local enterprises started to flourish. Towards the closing years of the 1850s, Plano’s growth was steady, but the arrival of the Civil War caused it to be at a standstill. After the war, the people of Plano returned to restore their destroyed farms and open trades to attract new people to the city.
In 1872, the completion of the Houston and Central Texas Railway made Plano the trading center of the farming community of the Southwest Collin County. On June 2, 1873, the city of Plano was incorporated, and C.J.E. Kellner was elected as its first mayor.
PLANO AS A BUSINESS HUB
During the 1980s, many large corporations moved their headquarters to Plano, including J. C. Penney and Frito-Lay, which significantly contributed to the city’s growth. Other huge companies such as Rent-A-Center, Ericsson, and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group are also headquartered in Plano.
Because of the city’s stout roster of offices, skilled workers flock to Plano to seek lucrative job opportunities in these world-renowned companies. The presence of these enterprises and the increasing talent pool create a cycle of growth within the suburb.
EDUCATION IN PLANO
This city is also home to the Plano West Senior High School, commonly known as ‘West,’ ‘Plano West,’ or ‘PWSH.’ It is a public high school catering to juniors and seniors. Plano West is recognized as the #1 comprehensive high school in the State of Texas, according to Newsweek’s 2016 list of best public high schools.
Collin College, headquartered in McKinney, Texas, has a Spring Creek Campus located in Plano. It opened in the fall of 1988 and is the largest campus by number. The Plano campus hosts the college system’s fine arts and athletics programs. A few notable features of the institution include a 30,000-square-foot art gallery, theater center, gymnasium, and tennis facilities. In January 2013, the college opened a beautiful 88,000-square-foot domed Thomas Jefferson inspired library.
PLACES TO BE IN PLANO
The 60,000-square-foot Crayola Experience at The Shops at Willow Bend is the most colorful place to be in Plano. Kids and adults alike will surely love exploring its 22 hands-on attractions: wrap and name your own Crayola crayon, be featured in a coloring page, build a melted wax spin-art, and see how crayons are made in a live factory show.
You can shop your heart out at the location’s 5,000-square-foot retail store where you can find the world’s largest selection of Crayola products and souvenirs, including plush items and apparel. General admission costs $20.99 at the door and $18.99 online. Kids under three may enter for free. If you’d like to avail of an annual pass, you may get one for $30.99.
Summers are more fun in Plano with the historic Texas Pool, which contains 168,000 gallons of saltwater shaped like the State of Texas. It has been declared as an official National Landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The place is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and features a diving board, two water slides, and an island with a shallow wading area for small children and adults. Enjoy a cookout with their BBQ grills and grab your munchies in their snack bar.
Downtown Plano Arts District
This charming location is home to lots of attractions that people of all ages will surely enjoy. Downtown Plano is the place to be for foodies as it is home to the city’s most unique restaurants. From Austrian to Italian cuisine to the more casual burgers, there is food here for every taste.
If you’re in the mood to shop, the brick-lined streets of Downtown Plano are teeming with boutiques selling clothing, accessories, furniture, handmade pottery, and many more. Several colorful art pieces displayed in the area that represent a part of Plano’s rich history will surely delight art enthusiasts.
To experience the most immersive virtual reality experience ever, one must visit The VOID. The attraction allows guests to travel into their favorite film and interact with their physical surroundings inside a dynamic, virtual world. Patrons are equipped with a vest, helmet, and virtual reality glasses and transported into another dimension where they can hear, feel, and smell what it’s actually like to be in the movie.
Up to four travelers can explore as a group in the six different dimensions: Jumanji, Avengers, Star Wars, Ralph Breaks VR, Nicodemus, and Ghostbusters. The VOID is the first in-theater and hyper-reality experience in all of Texas. Book a visit here.
Interurban Railway Museum
The electric railway is a significant part of Plano’s history as it spurred the city’s economic growth. This downtown gem, the Interurban Railway Museum, is a free history museum that features interactive exhibits on electricity, science, and the history of the City of Plano and the Texas Electric Railway. The place also offers guided tours through Historic Car 360.
Although admission is always free, donations are very much appreciated. The museum is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and every Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.
WHY VISIT PLANO?
Plano is a land of plenty, a place where there is something for everyone. Almost every night of the week, its streets are bustling with a plethora of activities to enjoy. Eat, play, shop, and live in this historic city where the sky is the limit!