University Park, Texas

Coordinates: 32°50′58″N 96°47′31″W / 32.84944°N 96.79194°W / 32.84944; -96.79194
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University Park, Texas
Dallas Hall, on the campus of Southern Methodist University
Location of University Park in Dallas County, Texas
Location of University Park in Dallas County, Texas
University Park is located in Texas
University Park
University Park
Location in Texas
Coordinates: 32°50′58″N 96°47′31″W / 32.84944°N 96.79194°W / 32.84944; -96.79194
CountryUnited StatesUnited States
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City CouncilMayor Thomas H Stewart.
Liz Farley
Mark Aldredge
Bob Myers
Phillip B. Philbin
 • City ManagerRobbie Corder
 • Total3.69 sq mi (9.57 km2)
 • Land3.69 sq mi (9.55 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
548 ft (167 m)
 • Total25,278
 • Density6,857.84/sq mi (2,647.83/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (Central)
ZIP code
75205 & 75225
Area code(s)214, 469, 945, 972
FIPS code48-74492[3]
GNIS feature ID1377191[4]

University Park is a city in Dallas County, Texas, United States, in suburban Dallas. The population was 25,278 at the 2020 census.[2] The city is home to Southern Methodist University.

University Park is bordered on the north, east and west by Dallas and on the south by the town of Highland Park. University Park and Highland Park together comprise the Park Cities, an enclave of Dallas. University Park is one of the most affluent places in Texas based on per capita income; it is ranked #12. In 2018, data from the American Community Survey revealed that University Park was the second wealthiest city in the United States, with a median household income of $198,438 and a poverty rate of 4.2%.[5]

Addresses in University Park may use either "Dallas, Texas" or "University Park, Texas" as the city designation, although the United States Postal Service prefers the use of the "Dallas, Texas" designation for the sake of simplicity.[6] The same is true for mail sent to Highland Park.


Highland Park Presbyterian Church (HPPC) in University Park

University Park began as a cluster of homes surrounding the fledgling Southern Methodist University, which was founded in the then-rural Dallas County in 1915. The university supplied these homes with utility service until 1924, when the growing population could no longer be supported by the school's utilities. In response, the area's homeowners first sought annexation into the town of Highland Park, but were refused due to the high cost that would have been required to provide the necessary utility and safety services. Shortly thereafter, Dallas also refused a request for annexation on similar grounds.[7]

Community leaders organized to incorporate as a separate individual city. According to state law, incorporation required that area residents hold an election on the issue before the new city could be officially formed and recognized. On April 24, 1924, voters approved the measure by a 5:1 margin. Operating under the commission form of government, the city began the work of shaping the new government and addressing the pressing need to establish basic municipal services. To provide for the financial needs of the city, another election was held soon thereafter to authorize the issuance of municipal bonds. Passing by a near unanimous margin, the $150,000 bond issue funded the installation of a new water supply system, street paving, and the construction of a new city hall and fire station. When first incorporated, the city encompassed 515 acres (2.08 km2), 380 homes, and 1200 residents.[citation needed]

As a result of efforts to build and improve the city, University Park grew to a population of over 20,000 residents by 1945 and had become one of the most prestigious locations in the area. In fact, the community's attractiveness and tax value had risen to such an extent that the city of Dallas now wanted to annex University Park into its boundaries. At the time of the election,[when?] even the Board of Commissioners favored the annexation. In the largest voter turnout to that date and still one of the largest in city history, the annexation was denied by a 53% to 47% margin.[8]

In 1946 an election to adopt a Home Rule Charter was held, but the measure failed and the city continued to operate as a General Law city. In 1989, voters approved a Home Rule Charter which officially adopted a council-manager form of government and expanded the three member board of Commissioners into a five-member city council.

Since the 1940s, the population and area of University Park has stabilized at 24,000 residents and 2,350 acres (4.7 square miles). The city is now surrounded by Dallas on three sides and the town of Highland Park to the south.

Originally University Park was a middle class community.[9] Highland Park residents spearheaded the creation of the Highland Park Independent School District and asked the neighbors to the north to become a part of the district; taxes were lower since the district included University Park's population.[10] HPISD had no racial diversity in the 1950s and 1960s, when other Dallas-area school districts dealt with racial integration and white flight. The federal court orders to integrate had no effect in HPISD since it did not receive federal money.[11] As a result, values of HPISD-zoned properties in University Park rose dramatically and the demographic makeup became wealthier, with smaller houses being replaced by larger ones circa the 1970s.[12]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2), of which 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2) is land and 0.27% is water.[13]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
University Park racial composition as of 2020[15]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 20,334 80.44%
Black or African American (NH) 350 1.38%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 68 0.27%
Asian (NH) 1,936 7.66%
Pacific Islander (NH) 4 0.02%
Some Other Race (NH) 135 0.53%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 1,028 4.07%
Hispanic or Latino 1,423 5.63%
Total 25,278

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 25,278 people, 7,593 households, and 6,358 families residing in the city.


The city of University Park has consistently supported Republican presidential candidates in recent years. The seven most recent campaigns from 1996 to 2020 each earned over 60% of the city's vote, with the best showing being the 81.44% of the vote won by Texas native George W. Bush in 2000. However, the city's vote total is getting progressively more competitive, with Donald Trump only taking 63% of the 2020 vote compared to Mitt Romney, who took 81% of the city's votes in 2012.

University Park city vote
by party in presidential elections
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2020[17] 36.08% 4,966 62.66% 8,624 1.26% 174
2016[17] 30.65% 3,542 64.89% 7,498 4.46% 515
2012[17] 18.23% 2,102 80.62% 9,296 1.14% 132
2008[17] 23.43% 2,695 75.69% 8,707 0.89% 102
2004[17] 20.66% 2,422 78.45% 9,197 0.90% 105
2000[17] 15.79% 1,766 81.44% 9,106 2.76% 309
1996[18] 29.32% 1,312 63.11% 2,824 7.58% 339


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Highland Park High School

University Park is served by the Highland Park Independent School District (HPISD).[19] As such, it is served by the HPISD's McCulloch Intermediate School and Highland Park Middle School (which share a campus located partially in Highland Park and partially in University Park),[20] and Highland Park High School located in University Park. There are two HPISD elementary schools located in University Park (Hyer and University Park), two HPISD elementary schools located in neighboring Highland Park (Armstrong and Bradfield) and one elementary school located in the city of Dallas (Michael M. Boone Elementary). All five elementary schools serve sections of the UP city limits.[21]

A small portion of University Park west of North Central Expressway is in the Dallas Independent School District.[19] It is however not zoned for residential purposes.[22]

Colleges, universities, and institutions[edit]

Moody Coliseum

Southern Methodist University is located in the city of University Park. The Meadows Museum, which houses the largest collection of Spanish art in the United States, can be found on the campus. The George W. Bush Presidential Center, the presidential library for George W. Bush, can also be found on the campus, and was opened in 2013.

All of Dallas County (University Park included) is in the service area of Dallas College (formerly Dallas County Community College).[23]

Public libraries[edit]

Preston Center Plaza, which houses the University Park Public Library

The new University Park Public Library location is the second floor of Preston Center Plaza.[24] The old location was the first floor of a Chase Bank building at the southern end of Snider Plaza, at the intersection of Daniel and Hillcrest.[25] The owner of the former building, Albert Huddleston, charged the city $1 per year to use the building space, as of 2009.[26]

The library opened on June 7, 2001, as the University Park Book Bank in Snider Plaza. Before this, the town had no library. Residents could pay to use the Highland Park Public Library or the Dallas Public Library. On April 1, 2002, the book bank became a municipal library.[26]

Parks and recreation[edit]

The City of University Park operates several parks. They include Burleson Park, Caruth Park, Coffee Park, Curtis Park, Elena's Children's Park, Germany Park, Goar Park, Linear Park, Smith Park, and Williams Park.[27]

Burleson Park was named after James B. Burleson, who served as the Mayor Pro-tem and the city commissioner. University Park mayor H. E. Yarbrough dedicated the park on September 5, 1947.[28] Elena Children's Park was named after Mary Elena Franklin, a girl who died at the age of three in an automobile accident on August 2, 1997. Over 500 corporations, families, and foundations contributed to the park.[29]

The Holmes Aquatic Center, within Curtis Park, has a 50-meter (160 ft) pool, 1-meter (3.3 ft) and 3-meter (10 ft) diving boards, a water slide, and an accessibility ramp. The park also has a pool for younger children and a 1,500-square-foot (140 m2) sprayground. University Park residents and residents of the Highland Park Independent School District are permitted to use the park.[30] The city operates six tennis courts available only to University Park residents. Parks with tennis courts include Burleson, Caruth, Curtis, Germany, Smith, and Williams.[31]

The Moody Family YMCA is in University Park.[32] It was formerly known as the Park Cities-North Dallas Branch YMCA.[33] Circa 2014 its previous building was to be demolished, and the YMCA leased 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) in Preston Center for the period until its new building would open.[34] It received its current name after the Moody Foundation donated $8 million in 2013 with the new name on the new building.[35]


Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Note: the US census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[16]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2020 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): University Park city, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 8, 2024.
  3. ^ "U.S. census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "The 10 wealthiest cities in the United States". Tribune Media. January 11, 2018.
  6. ^ "ZIP Code™ Lookup | USPS".
  7. ^ Chang, Yushan (October 2006). Newcomer's Handbook Neighborhood Guide: Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin. First Books. pp. 24–25. ISBN 978-0-912301-70-9.
  8. ^ "City History | University Park, TX". Retrieved February 20, 2024.
  9. ^ Gray, A. W. (September 15, 2014). Poisoned Dreams: A True Story of Murder, Money, and Family Secrets. Blackstone Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4821-0187-4.
  10. ^ Gray, A. W. (September 15, 2014). Poisoned Dreams: A True Story of Murder, Money, and Family Secrets. Blackstone Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4821-0187-4.
  11. ^ Gray, A.W. Poisoned Dreams: A True Story of Murder, Money, and Family Secrets. AudioGO, September 15, 2014. ISBN 1482101874, 9781482101874. Google Books PT140-PT141.
  12. ^ Gray, A.W. Poisoned Dreams: A True Story of Murder, Money, and Family Secrets. AudioGO, September 15, 2014. ISBN 1482101874, 9781482101874. Google Books PT144-PT145.
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  16. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Dallas County, TX Elections".
  18. ^ [bare URL PDF]
  19. ^ a b "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Dallas County, TX" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 20, 2023.
  20. ^ "City of University Park." (map) City of University Park. Retrieved on December 7, 2011.
  21. ^ "Boundary Maps". Highland Park Independent School District. Retrieved April 18, 2021. - PDF map - Compare this map to municipality maps.
  22. ^ "Zoning Districts". University Park. Retrieved December 20, 2023.
  23. ^ "EDUCATION CODE CHAPTER 130. JUNIOR COLLEGE DISTRICTS". Retrieved April 1, 2024.
  24. ^ "Library FAQ". Archived from the original on February 15, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013. Retrieved on February 13, 2013.
  25. ^ "Hours & Location Archived 2012-02-01 at the Wayback Machine." University Park Public Library. Retrieved on November 29, 2011.
  26. ^ a b "UPPL - Friends of the Library for Park Cities". February 20, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2024.
  27. ^ "Parks Map Archived 2004-07-21 at the Wayback Machine." (Map) City of University Park. Retrieved on November 29, 2011.
  28. ^ "Burleson Park Archived 2013-04-16 at" City of University Park. Retrieved on November 29, 2011.
  29. ^ "Elena's Children's Park Archived 2012-09-15 at" City of University Park. Retrieved on November 29, 2011.
  30. ^ "Pool Archived 2006-06-16 at the Wayback Machine."City of University Park. Retrieved on November 29, 2011.
  31. ^ "Tennis Courts Archived 2006-06-16 at the Wayback Machine." City of University Park. Retrieved on November 29, 2011.
  32. ^ "Moody Family YMCA". YMCA Dallas. Retrieved April 25, 2021. MOODY FAMILY YMCA 6000 Preston Rd Dallas, TX 75205
  33. ^ "Texas". YMCA. November 11, 1997. Archived from the original on November 11, 1997. Retrieved April 25, 2021. Park Cities-North Dallas Branch YMCA 6000 Preston Rd Dallas, TX 75205-2020
  34. ^ Repko, Melissa (May 7, 2017). "Park Cities YMCA to move into temporary space in Preston Center during construction". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  35. ^ "Park Cities YMCA gets $8 million donation from Moody Foundation". The Dallas Morning News. November 11, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  36. ^ Wolf, Julie. "Biography: John Hinckley Jr". The American Experience. PBS. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  37. ^ "John Hinckley Jr. brings infamy to Lubbock". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. 2008. Archived from the original on September 25, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  38. ^ Michaud, Stephen G. "Killers Among Us." Dallas Observer. Thursday March 28, 2002. Retrieved on March 31, 2016.

External links[edit]