University Park, the town that grew up on the perimeter of Southern Methodist University, is considered one of the premier neighbors in Dallas. Known as half of the famed Park Cities community, (Highland Park is the other half) this enclave measuring less than five square miles houses many of Dallas’ top cultural destinations. To live in University Park is to be neighbors with some of the city’s greatest museums, performance and athletic venues. The Meadows Museum at SMU was founded by Texas philanthropist Algur H. Meadows. After a trip to the Prado Museum in Madrid, he was inspired to begin his own collection of Spanish art. As a result The Meadows Museum contains one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain including works by El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera, Murillo, Goya, Miró and Picasso. The campus is also the future home of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, scheduled to open in 2013, which will display over 43,000 archives from the presidency. The people who call University Park home can easily walk to great art, historical artifacts and Mustang sporting events.
With a community that is rich in culture and educational opportunities, University Park residents find any number of ways to connect with family, friends and neighbors. Drive along Mockingbird Lane on a Saturday afternoon in fall, and you’ll experience the vibrancy and excitement of living in a college town where students of all ages stroll through the SMU campus, attend sporting events, lectures and performances and lend a youthful energy to the surrounding area. As part of the nationally recognized Highland Park Independent School District, University Park residents have access to public schools that emphasize academics as well as arts and athletics. And within the neighborhood and school communities there are hundreds of service opportunities that range from fundraising races to home tours and playground initiatives. University Park also houses seven religious institutions, including some of the most beautiful and well attended churches in the nation. And Preston Center, located at the corner of Preston Road and Northwest Highway, boasts several upscale boutiques and restaurants and the very popular Sprinkles cupcake shop.
Living in University Park really is like having a home in an urban reserve, thanks to the 10 landscaped and well-appointed parks throughout the community. Drive a few blocks in any direction and you’ll see soccer, football and baseball fields filled with families enjoying life outdoors. There are also several basketball and tennis courts throughout this almost 100-year-old neighborhood. The cornerstone of the community, however, is the Holmes Aquatic Center (located within Curtis Park) which has a 50-meter pool, diving boards, a water slide and accessibility ramp. The Aquatic Center also has a pool for younger children and a 1,500-square-foot “sprayground,” perfect for cooling off after a long day of work or play. Residents of University Park and Highland Park Independent School District are permitted to use the Center. More fun can be found at Snider Plaza, which opened in 1927 and remains a thriving retail shopping center in the heart of University Park. Conveniently positioned at the corner of Hillcrest and Lovers Lane, its shops and restaurants are a year-round gathering place for residents and visitors.