The History of Plano, TexasThe city of Plano is located approximately 19 miles north of downtown Dallas, TX, within the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area. Originally founded in the 1840’s as a small settlement surrounding a sawmill, gristmill, and general store, Plano—meaning “flat” in Spanish—incorporated as a city with just under 500 residents in 1873. In 1881, most of the city’s central business district was destroyed by a massive fire, but the residents banded and quickly rebuilt. Unlike many other areas around Dallas, Plano did not feel a surge in growth until almost a hundred years later, when the population went from 3,700 to 17,900 to 72,000 in just a 30-year period of time. The city’s economy shifted from being strongly agricultural to being based on manufacturing, retail and other industries. Large companies such as Frito-Lay and JC Penny moved their headquarters to Plano, increasing the area’s appeal.
Today Plano boasts a population of around 250,000 people, and is one of the largest suburbs of Dallas. On many occasions, the city has been highly acclaimed as one of the nation’s most livable communities due to its strong economy, low poverty rate, strong housing market, and excellent schools. In fact, Plano was ranked by CNN Money magazine in 2005 and 2006 as being one of the best places to live in the Western United States, and in 2008, Forbes.com ranked Plano as one of the three “Top Suburbs to Live Well” near Dallas. Major corporations that are headquartered in Plano include Cinemark Theatres, Perot Systems, Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, Electronic Data Systems, Rent-A-Center, and UGS.