Pioneer Plaza in Dallas

I live in North Texas.

Let me tell you a little about where I live. I live in The Colony, Texas in Denton County. It is part of the North Texas metropolitan area. I like to say I live in North Texas. North Texas is centered upon the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, the largest metropolitan area in Texas.

People in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas sometimes use the terms “Metroplex” and “North Texas” interchangeably. However, North Texas refers to a larger area that includes many rural counties. The North Texas climate is subtropical with hot summers. It is also continental, characterized by a wide annual temperature range.

I have personally experienced temperatures as high as 113 degrees (1980) and as low as 5 degrees (1983). The record low is -8 degrees. Average annual precipitation also varies considerably, ranging from less than 28 to more than 48 inches. Severe storms are frequent in the spring, as the area lies in the southern section of “tornado alley”.

Occasionally, I will share a few interesting thoughts on North Texas and include some pictures I have taken.

Pioneer Plaza:

Located just north of the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas is Pioneer Plaza. It is a large public park in the Convention Center District of downtown Dallas, Texas. The center piece of the Pioneer Plaza is large sculptures. It is a heavily visited tourist site. Located next to Pioneer Park Cemetery which features the Confederate War Memorial, the two offer the largest public open space in Dallas’ central business district.

Background of Pioneer Plaza:
The land was once railroad and warehouse property. Built on land cleared as part of the failed Griffin Square development, developer Trammel Crow gets credit for the idea behind the sculptures and plaza. He wanted an iconic “Western” sculpture in the City of Dallas. He assembled a group to give the sculptures. Begun in 1992, the $9 million project started on 4.2 acres of land donated by the City of Dallas. $4.8 million of the cost came from private funds raised from individuals and local businesses.

Sculpture:
The large sculpture celebrates the nineteenth century cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail. It was the earliest and easternmost route by which Texas longhorn cattle moved to northern railheads. The trail passed through Austin, Waco, and Dallas until the Chisholm Trail siphoned off most of the traffic in 1867.

Artist Robert Summers of Glen Rose, Texas created 70 bronze steers and 3 trail riders sculptures. Each steer is larger-than-life at six feet high. All together the sculpture is the largest bronze monument of its kind in the world. Set along an artificial ridge, man-made limestone cliff the native landscaping with a flowing stream and waterfall creates a dramatic effect.

Maintained by the adjacent Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center, Pioneer Plaza is the second most visited tourist attraction in downtown Dallas.

I took these pictures of the sculptures in December 2008. Click on them and they will enlarge.

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Creative Commons License
Longhorns at Pioneer Plaza in Dallas, Texas by Jimmie A. Kepler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://jimmiekepler.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/cropped-100_1613.jpg.

Taken by Jimmie A. Kepler in December 2008 at the Pioneer Plaza near the Dallas Convention Center in downtown Dallas the photo is of the Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive. Created by artist Roberts Summers of Glen Rose, Texas, it consists of bronze pieces – 40 longhorn cattle herded by 3 cowboys on horses.

Source: Additional information on Pioneer Plaza can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_Plaza.

March 6, 2014

General Santa Anna (Public Domain)
General Santa Anna (Public Domain)

On This Day in Texas History:

It is Thursday March 6, 2014. It is the 65th day of 2014. There are 300 days left in the year. On this date Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna recaptured San Antonio on March 6, 1836, after a thirteen-day siege; the Mexican army suffered an estimated 600 casualties. Of the official list of 189 Texan defenders, all were killed.

To Protect and To Serve:

I was pulled over by my local police this morning as I was driving to work. The officer said the light was out over my license plate. They checked my driver’s license, state inspection, and car insurance. When I arrived at Starbucks, I checked. The lights over the license plate work, were on, but were very dim. I will need to get that checked.

It is a mjaor surprise when flashing lights appear in my rear view mirror. I immideately loooked at my speed. I was ten miles per hour under the speed limit. I had my seat belt fastened. I wondered why they pulled me over. I knew it wasn’t to wish me a good morning. Oh well. so goes life.