The Historic Texas Pool
The Texas Pool was envisioned in 1959 when Plano was mostly undeveloped ranchland. Famous Texan Herbert Hunt urbanized the area that would today become Dallas’ Telecom Corridor. As a centerpiece for Plano’s new development, a 168,000 gallon pool shaped like the great State of Texas was created. The Texas Pool was constructed from a design drawn into the Texas terra firma with a mesquite stick. It opened to the general public in 1961 and the Miss Plano Pageant was held at the Texas Pool that summer. Mr. Hunt named the surrounding neighborhood “Dallas North Estates” because he figured nobody would “know where in the heck Plano was.”
Generations of Texans learned to swim, shared summers, and created memories at the Texas Pool. Yet, over time, the fabric of society changed and the nearby neighborhood aged. Children grew up and moved away. Moms returned to the workforce. Fewer folks were home together for the summers. Time passed. New families moved in and the Texas Pool fell out of mind and knowledge.
Jump ahead to 2007, and the Texas Pool was in trouble. Public support and memberships plummeted. Repairs were left undone. There were big vacancies on the volunteer Board of Directors. For the first time in almost 50 years, there was fear that the Texas Pool was finished. A handful of dedicated volunteers, determined to save the Texas Pool, dove right in and changed the course of the Texas Pool’s future.
In 2013, the Texas Pool Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c) 3 corporation, was established for the purpose of preserving the Texas Pool facility and for community outreach. The Texas Pool Foundation is eligible for tax-deductible donations of cash, goods, and services. Through fundraising, the Foundation provides for the preservation of the Texas Pool, and promotes community-building events with access to swim safety education. The Texas Pool Foundation is seeking historic landmark designation for the pool. The Texas Pool is a vital link between Plano’s past, present and future.
Celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2021, the Texas Pool, with its unique architectural design and historic value, offers tourists, visitors, guests, and members alike an opportunity to swim across Texas. With support from the community, the historic Texas Pool will continue to be a community gathering place, legendary landmark for Texas-sized fun in the sun!
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation has a series of blog posts about Historic Landmarks in the Plano area. Part 5 is all about the Texas Pool. Here's a clip: "Dallas North Estates was envisioned in 1959 by Herbert Hunt to create a better first impression of Plano when driving north from Dallas. Hunt acquired land in West Plano and directed the William Herbert Hunt Trust to guide the development of a deluxe neighborhood. North Texas’ first planned community was named Dallas North Estates to cash in on the more well-known city to the south." Dive in (click the Texas star button) to learn more about the Texas Pool and Historic Plano:
On April 1st, 2019, the Texas Pool was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Texas Historical Commission provided essential research, and expertise in completing and submitting the National Register Application, officially declaring the Texas Pool to be the very first Texas-shaped pool. Read the complete National Register listing here: