Spotlight Series – Highland Park

Welcome to our Spotlight Series where we will be sharing something FAB about cities in our great D.FW…starting from A-Z.

19th Stop: Highland Park

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POPULATION

8,564

MEDIAN OWNER-OCCUPIED HOME VALUE

$1,000,001

FUN FACTS

  • The Town of Highland Park is located approximately 3 miles north of the center of Dallas.
  • The Town was incorporated in 1913.
  • The Town is 2.26 square miles in size.
  • Highland Park has approximately 8,900 residents.
  • The Town was named “Highland Park” because of its higher elevation compared to the surrounding area and because 20% of developed land was reserved for park space.
  • One of the oldest Christmas Traditions in Dallas County is the annual lighting of The Big Pecan Tree.
  • The Town is approximately 2 miles from Love Field Airport.
  • Highland Park is located approximately 30 minutes from DFW International Airport.

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The Big Pecan Tree

A true treasure in Highland Park is the grand old pecan tree on Armstrong Parkway at Preston Road. This mammoth tree is approximately 75 feet wide by 75 feet tall and is over 140 years old.

History
In 1843, Dr. John Cole of Virginia and the first physician of Dallas County, acquired 410 acres as a headright from the Republic of Texas. He began buying additional acreage that included the area that would become Highland Park and part of University Park.
The pecan tree was discovered by Cole’s son Joseph Cole while planting corn, when he unknowingly plowed over a small pecan tree. The story goes that Joseph Cole, having come home from the Civil War witnessing so much destruction and killing, staked the tree up to protect it, and hand-watered the pecan tree as a testament to life. In 1888, Joseph Cole, sold 294.9 acres to the Philadelphia Place Land Association, with the understanding that the purchaser would continue to protect the tree. The land on which the pecan tree stands was acquired by John S. Armstrong in 1908, for $21 per acre.

When developing the town years later, it is reported that Hugh Prather, Sr. was offered a million dollars for a lot that would include the pecan tree.  His sons-in-law, Edgar Flippin and Hugh Prather, hired the noted city planner George E. Kessler to design a parkway to protect the tree and provide it with a place of honor at the entrance of town

And because of the story, it became known as the “Million Dollar Monarch.   The first lighting of the pecan tree occurred during the Christmas holidays in 1927. The tree has been adorned with lights every holiday season since, except during World War II and during the 1973 energy crisis. The lighting of the tree is recognized as the oldest community tree lighting tradition in Dallas County.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Image result for Highland Park TX + million dollar monarchThe first lighting of the tree occurred during the Christmas holiday season  in 1927 to promote their new development, Highland Park West. The tree has been adorned with lights every holiday season since,except during World War II. and during the 1973 energy crisis. The lighting of the tree is recognized as the oldest community Christmas tree lighting tradition in Dallas County. The tree requires four men and almost one week to decorate with over 5,000 red, blue, orange, and green Christmas lights.

The Event
The Town of Highland Park will hold the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony for the “Big Pecan Tree” on Armstrong Parkway, just west of Preston Road, on the first Thursday of December.

Million Dollar Monarch
You can view KERA, executive producer Rob Tranchin’s Emmy Award-winning short story on the tree titled Million Dollar Monarch:

LOCALS LOVE

The walkability and safety of the city’s tree-lined streets, zealously patrolled by the town’s police force. And, of course, the private-school-quality education at public-school prices that Highland Park ISD provides its students.

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GOOD TO KNOW

The western edge of Highland Park falls outside the boundaries of the Highland Park school district, which is why you’ll see home prices drop significantly from one side of the Dallas North Tollway to the other. Still ain’t cheap.

DON’T MISS TURTLE CREEK

A stroll and picnic along Turtle Creek in Lakeside Park, set among jaw-dropping homes, is a lovely option for whiling away an afternoon. Then marvel at how many photographers show up to shoot family portraits there in the twilight.
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For more information about Highland Park and other communities within our exciting Dallas Metro, contact us at 214.769.2142.

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