Highland Park Village Celebrates 85 Years: A Historical Lookback

May 26, 2016
Highland Park Village

While the names Tom Ford, Chanel, and Jimmy Choo may tickle your fancy, no other name rings more true than that of one of the longest operating outdoor shopping destinations, Highland Park Village.

Whether to see or be seen, window shop or swipe, or to catch up on the latest who-what-where, the ultimate designer shopping destination is celebrating 85 years, with even more plans for expansion and new stores in the near future.

But first, a look back over time…

Highland Park Village

The year was 1906. Entrepreneur John S. Armstrong envisioned a new and exclusive community that would take the now Highland Park community by storm. He purchased 1,326 acres of farmland just north of the town of Dallas, which was eventually passed down to his sons-in-law, Hugh Prather and Edgar Flippen, a year following his death.

“Prather and Flippen worked diligently to carry out Armstrong’s distinct vision for what would be called ‘Highland Park’ given that the elevation is 130 feet above downtown Dallas with numerous public green spaces scattered throughout the community,” said current Highland Park Village owner and managing director, Ray Washburne. “They even enlisted the renowned designer of Beverly Hills and noted architect, Wilbur David Cook, to lay out the new town.”

Highland Park Village Theatre

Desiring an attractive shopping center as a focal point for the new town, Prather and Flippen garnered global inspirations from Mexico, Spain, and California to cultivate the architectural framework for the new Highland Park retail destination.

Prominent architects Marion Fooshee and James Creek helped to bring the vision to reality — taking what was once a mere dream and transforming it into an ultra-elite shopping center.

Boasting many firsts, including the first ever air-conditioned theater in Texas, Highland Park Village has grown by leaps and bounds under the original leadership of John Armstrong, transferring down the path to many others, to the now current owners, Ray and Heather Washburne, and Stephen and Elisa Summers.

Attracting visitors from all around the world, what was once envisioned as a town square, is now celebrating 85 years, and is still one of the essential landmarks in Dallas history. From celebrity appearances and exclusive store openings, to the best in luxury retail shopping, Highland Park Village continues to thrive and preserve its stature as America’s first outdoor shopping center.

Highland Park Village Theatre

So what’s next for Highland Park Village?

While the past year hailed openings for international brands Alice + Olivia, Bandier, CĂ©line, Dior Beauty, Etro, Theory, and more — the summer and fall of 2016 will introduce even more popular labels, with exclusive pop-up shops and additional events scheduled to celebrate the 85-year milestone.

Adding even more icing to the cake, Highland Park Village recently unveiled its new Personal Shopping Salon for customers, introducing complimentary personal styling services for shoppers — yet another upgrade to the ever-evolving Village.

All images used courtesy of Highland Park Village.

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