About Downtown

Our History

Initially settled by Anglo-Americans in the 1840s, Plano was incorporated June 2, 1873, six months after the Houston and Texas Central Railway opened and made our city the trading center of the farming community of southwest Collin County. Today, the city of Plano occupies approximately 72 square miles with a population greater than 285,000. By the 1990s, Historic Downtown Plano was the sleepy remnant of a farming community nearly forgotten amidst suburban expansion. Today, the Downtown Plano Arts District is experiencing a renaissance and reemerging as an urban center stimulated, in part, by access to light rail transit. So far, more than 50,000 square feet of private development has occurred, more than 1,100 urban apartments have been built or approved, and historic commercial and civic buildings have been restored in the compact 80-acre downtown area.

Then & Now

Despite our city’s tremendous growth, the core of Downtown Plano has remained largely unchanged. A significant number of existing buildings have remained standing since the rebuild after the fire of 1895. Many of the commercial occupants stayed consistent throughout the early 20th century. Until the 1960s, Downtown was the place in Plano to conduct business or do some shopping. During the 1980s, Downtown changed from a traditional business center to a specialty retail district composed of antique stores and gift and clothing boutiques. By the 1990s, the city had begun investing in the revitalization of the historic area by expanding the municipal center and renovating Fire Station #1. In 2002, the DART station at 15th Street began service to Downtown Dallas. Today, Downtown Plano is a vibrant community of performing arts, galleries, event venues, unique shops and restaurants that are independently owned and operated, set against the backdrop of historic buildings, the Plano DART station and beautiful Haggard Park.

Parking & Directions