Highland Park Village: A Historic Strip Mall
Highland Park, Texas is an enclave municipality within the city of Dallas. Along with its northern neighbor, University Park, Highland Park forms the über-rich duo known as the Park Cities. Within Highland Park, right across from the posh country club, is a historic strip mall called Highland Park Village. Declared a national landmark in 2000, Highland Park Village is one of the oldest car-centric shopping centers in the country. It’s also got some very nice Spanish-style architecture, so I drove down there on a warm February morning for some pictures.
In the late 1920s/early 1930s, two local developers decided to build a “downtown square” for the town of Highland Park. They traveled around to Barcelona, Seville and California to get ideas. I have to say, they did a pretty good job of capturing the Spanish mission style. I’ve been all over Spain, and I can tell you that Highland Park Village captures the look of the Alhambra (though the Alhambra doesn’t have a parking lot and a Starbucks within its walls.) It’s certainly no substitute for real Spanish architecture, but it’s better than most of the strip malls you find nowadays. In a city know mostly for shopping and dining, Highland Park Village does it right.
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