The Plano Story

Timeline of Plano History

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Overview of Development Eras and Themes

Plano's Native Landscape (ca. 11,000 BC - 1840)
First inhabited by Native Americans tribes, the Plano area would eventually be claimed by Spain, France, Mexico, and the Republic of Texas.  Plano's first Anglo pioneers begin to arrive after the Peters Colony is established to attract settlers to North Texas.

Plano's Early Years (1840 - 1872)
The community of Plano begins to take emerge as the first pioneer settlers arrive to establish farms, businesses, and institutions.  This era ends with the arrival of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad.

Downtown Plano Emerges (1872 - 1895)
With the arrival of the railroads, Plano begins to emerge as a center for business and agricultural commerce.  The era ends with the last great fire that destroys most of downtown.

Plano Persists (1895 - 1920)
Rebuilding from the fire, Plano begins to modernize with improvements such as electricity, gas, water, sidewalks, public schools, paved roads, and the Interurban railroad.

Small Town Plano (1920 - 1958)
Development was slow through the Great Depression, but growth would come following World War II and rapidly increase with the opening of Central Expressway (US 75).

Plano Welcomes Growth (1958 - 1985)
Rapid residential growth brings with it new shopping centers, offices, schools, and parks.  Plano begins moving westward and takes a primarily suburban form as farms are replaced with rooftops.

Corporate Plano (1985 - 2000)
In addition to continued suburban growth, large corporate office campuses locate on the city's west side and the opening of the Dallas North Tollway brings new growth and development.

Plano Today (2000 - present)
The days of rapid growth slow, but the DART rail brings renewed energy to downtown and major activity centers, such as Legacy Town Center and the Shops at Willow Bend, become popular.