The Highland Park Village in Dallas is recognized as an area that made national history. The Highland Park Village is the United States' first shopping center and the prototype for shopping centers around the nation. Highland Park Village was opened in 1931 and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. When the Village first opened its doors to the public in 1931, it was a cluster of booths and games with a large Ferris wheel being the focal point. Contestants at the games could win a grand prize of a pony. Highland Park Village followed that tradition and raffled a pony off for many years.
The masterminds of Highland Park are Hugh Prather and Edgar Fillpen who eventually hired Wilbur David Cook to help plan the community. The area of Highland Park was designed by the Beverly Hill's architect, Wilbur David Cook. The noted architect took Highland Park and created an area that rivaled Beverly Hills in its beauty. It is still considered by many as one of the most beautiful communities in the United States.
The two creators of Highland Park (Hugh Prather and Edgar Fillipen) wanted to create a a shopping center that would double as a town square. The architecture of Highland Park was inspired by Barcelona and Seville, Spain. Elements of Spanish and California culture and architecture went into the construction of Highland Park Village. The park has mediterranean flair that includes arched windows and doors, red tile roofs, brick walkways and beautiful landscaping.
Highland Park Village sits on approximately 9.9 acres and has retail square footage measuring 200,000 square feet. The property is managed by Henry S. Miller Interests, Inc. With all of its space, Highland Park Village has dozens of shops that cater to a wide range of needs. Clothing, books, leather goods, eyewear, and fragrances are all for sale in the village. Many of the shops and boutiques are more upscale than what a customer might find in a regular shopping mall. Chanel, Hermes, Jimmy Choo, and Tory Burch offer high-end designer items to the upper-class locals that surround Highland Park Village.
There are three main restaurants located in the shopping square; Cafe Pacific, Patrizios, and Who's Who Burgers. The restaurants give visitors three core choices of either seafood, pizza and pasta, or cheeseburgers. Smaller food and beverage stands can be found throughout the village as well.
The village is also home to many fundraisers and annual celebrations. The village hosted a children's annual fundraiser in 2007 and has a Christmas tree lighting ceremony every year. During the holiday season visitors to the shopping center can enjoy a trip in a horse-drawn carriage. Horse-drawn carriage rides are available through the entire month of December and originate at the Highland Park Village. The carriage ride takes tourists around to see all of the holiday lights. One of the main attractions of Highland Park Village is the Regent Highland Park Village Cinema. The theatre has old-world charm with modern big-screen releases. Visitors to the theatre love the Cinema for its antique ambiance and reasonable prices.