University Park, home to a nationally ranked private university, the George Bush Presidential Center, and many stately homes and parks, encompasses 3.73 square miles about five miles north of downtown Dallas.
Snider Plaza, a shopping center at Hillcrest Road and Lovers Lane with an array of popular dining spots, charming boutiques, and long-time shops, including Lane Florist, serves as a “town square” of sorts.
But to find the University Park Public Library, visit the Plaza at Preston Center shopping center at Preston Road and Northwest Highway. It also boasts high-end boutiques and trendy restaurants.
University Park began as a cluster of homes surrounding SMU, founded in then-rural Dallas County in 1915. The university provided utility services until it couldn’t support the growing population. After Highland Park and Dallas rejected annexation requests, residents voted to incorporate as a city in 1924, according to uptexas.org.
When first incorporated, the city encompassed 515 acres, 380 homes, and 1,200 residents. It grew to 20,000-plus residents by 1945. Since the 1940s, the population and area of University Park have remained relatively stable in the range of 23,000 to 25,000.
Open the holidays on the Sunday before Thanksgiving at Snider Plaza, where the Rotary Club of Park Cities and the city of University Park host a Tree Lighting celebration featuring carols, dancing, vendors, and activities near the plaza’s fountain.
GET TO KNOW YOUR PARKS (uptexas.org)
• Burleson Park, 3000 University Blvd. – baseball/softball diamond, double tennis courts, basketball court, and playground.
• Caruth Park, 3400 Caruth Blvd. – a soccer field, turfed T-ball field, two playgrounds, numerous picnic tables, and a pond.
• Coffee Park, 3400 Northwest Parkway – a trail system, picnic facilities, athletic field, and barrier-free playground for children of all ages and abilities.
• Curtis Park, 3500 Lovers Lane – Holmes Aquatic Center, double tennis court, and playground with a view of the Turtle Creek ponds.
• Davis Park, 4519 Drane Drive – a playground designed for ages 3 to 8, a walking/jogging trail, and picnic tables.
• Elena’s Children’s Park, 2900 Hanover St. – dedicated to families who have lost a child.
• Germany Park, 6401 Lomo Alto Drive – rubberized track and a double tennis court.
• Goar Park, 3800 University Blvd. – an open-air gazebo gifted by the University Park Foundation to commemorate the U.S. Bicentennial, a picnic area, and two soccer fields.
• Smith Park, 4000 Greenbrier Drive – practice soccer field, tennis courts, a playground, and picnic facilities.
• Williams Park, 3800 University Blvd. – a playground, a soccer field, a double tennis court, and a fishing pier.
• Hitzelberger Park, 3332 Lovers Lane – a water wall and Parental Embrace sculpture.
• Shaddock Park, 4084 Lovers Lane – fountain, benches, paved walkways.
• Humann Park, 2611 Rosedale Ave. – two small playgrounds, botanical plantings.