Garland, Texas

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City of Garland
—  City  —
Location within Dallas County and the state of Texas
Coordinates: 32°54′26″N 96°38′7″W / 32.90722°N 96.63528°W / 32.90722; -96.63528
Country Flag of the United StatesUnited States
State Flag of TexasTexas
Counties Dallas
Incorporated 1891
 - Type Council-Manager
 - City Council Mayor Ronald Jones
Douglas Athas
Laura Perkins Cox
Preston Edwards
Larry Jeffus
John Willis
Barbara Chick
Rick Williams
Darren Lathen
 - City Manager Bill Dollar
 - City Attorney Brad Neighbor
 - Total 147.9 km2 (57.1 sq mi)
 - Land 147.9 km2 (57.1 sq mi)
 - Water 0.0 km2 (0 sq mi)
Elevation 168 m (551 ft)
Population (2000)
 - Total 215,768
 - Density 1,458.7/km2 (3,778/sq mi)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 75040-75049
Area code(s) 214,972
FIPS code 48-29000[1]
GNIS feature ID 1388185[2]

Garland is a city in Dallas County in the U.S. state of Texas. It is an inner suburb northeast of Dallas and is a major part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 215,768, making it the tenth-most populous city in Texas and the eighty-sixth most populous city in the United States. Garland is within a short driving distance of most major attractions in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area.



Settlers began arriving in the Peters colony area around 1850 but a community wasn't created until 1874. Two communities sprung up in the area: "Embree," named for the physician K. H. Embree, and "Duck Creek," named for the local creek of the same name. A rivalry between the two towns ensued as the area began to grow around the Santa Fe Railroad depot. Eventually, to settle a dispute over which town should have the local post office, Dallas County Judge Thomas A. Nash asked visiting Congressman Joe Abbott to move the post office between the two towns, which was done in 1887. The new location was named "Garland" after Attorney General Augustus Hill Garland. Embree and Duck Creek were combined to form the city of Garland. In 1891, the new city was incorporated. By 1904 the town had a population of 819 people.

In 1920, local businessmen financed a new electrical generator plant (sold by Fairbanks-Morse) for the town. Out of this was formed Garland Power & Light, the municipal electric provider that still powers the city today.

On May 9, 1927, a devastating tornado destroyed much of the town and killed 17 people, including the former mayor S. E. Nicholson.

Businesses began to move back into the area in the late 1930s. The Craddock food company and later the Byer-Rolnick hat factory (now owned by Resistol) moved into the area. In 1937, KRLD, a major Dallas radio station, built its radio antenna tower in Garland, and it is operational to this day. During World War II, several aircraft plants were operated in the area, and the Kraft Foods company purchased a vacant one after the War for its own use. By 1950, the population of Garland had exceededed 10,000 people.

From 1950 to 1954, the Dallas/Garland area suffered from a serious and extended drought. To supplement the water provided by wells, the Garland began using the water from the nearby Lake Lavon.

Following World War II, the suburban population boom that the whole country experienced also reached Garland. By 1960, the population had nearly quadrupled from the 1950 figure to about 38,500. By 1970, the popublation had doubled to about 81,500. By 1980, the population reached 138,850.

In 1998, Garland attracted media attention from a failed millennial prophecy advocated by the Chen Tao group, which predicted that on March 31, 1998 God would be seen on a single television channel all across North America.[citation needed]

The Historic Downtown Garland Square has plans for renovations.

Recent developments

In the 2000s, Garland added several notable developments, mostly in the northern portion of the city. Hawaiian Falls waterpark opened in 2003 (Garland formerly had a Wet 'n Wild waterpark, which closed in 1993). The Garland Independent School District's Special Events Center,[3] an arena and conference facility, opened in 2005, as did Firewheel Town Center, an outdoor mall with more than 100 businesses.

Future Developments

The success of the Special Events center has allowed for Hyatt Hotels to join in partnership with Garland ISD, and will be expected to host many future events.[4]


Garland is located at 32°54′26″N 96°38′7″W / 32.90722°N 96.63528°W / 32.90722; -96.63528 (32.907325, -96.635197).[5] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 57.1 square miles (147.9 km²), all land.

Climate chart for Garland, Texas
average max. and min. temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: / NWS


  • The average warmest month is July.
  • The highest recorded temperature was 111°F in 2000.
  • On average, the coolest month is January.
  • The lowest recorded temperature was -3°F in 1989.
  • The maximum average precipitation occurs in May.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1900 202
1910 1,054 421.8%
1920 4,505 327.4%
1930 8,958 98.8%
1940 5,698 −36.4%
1950 10,547 85.1%
1960 38,501 265.0%
1970 81,437 111.5%
1980 138,857 70.5%
1990 164,748 18.6%
2000 215,768 31.0%
Est. 2008 218,577 1.3%

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 215,768 people, 73,241 households, and 55,443 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,778.1 people per square mile (1,458.7/km²). There were 75,300 housing units at an average density of 1,318.5/sq mi (509.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65.27% White, 11.87% African American, 0.60% Native American, 7.35% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 11.99% from other races, and 2.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.58% of the population.

There were 73,241 households out of which 41.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.3% were non-families. 19.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.37.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $49,156, and the median income for a family was $53,545. Males had a median income of $35,859 versus $29,392 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,000. About 6.8% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.3% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.


This is the more than 100 year old Garland High School. This lineart graphic displays the historic front of the high school that faces South Garland Ave in the Downtown Garland District.

Most of Garland is in the Garland Independent School District (GISD). Parts of Garland extend into other districts, including the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), the Mesquite Independent School District (MISD), and the Richardson Independent School District (RISD).

The GISD does not have school zoning, so GISD residents may apply to any GISD school.

The GISD portion of Garland is served by several high schools. Garland High School is home to the district's International Baccalaureate program. North Garland High School is the math, science and technology magnet. Lakeview Centennial High School is GISD's "College and Career" magnet school. South Garland High School is known within the community for its vocational cosmetology program. Other GISD high schools include Naaman Forest High School, Rowlett High School, and Sachse High School.

The MISD portion of Garland is served by Price Elementary School, Vanston Middle School, and North Mesquite High School.

The RISD portion is served by O. Henry Elementary School, Liberty Junior High School, and Berkner High School, which are in the western portion of Garland.

As of November 2006, the GISD had 52,391 students and 3,236 teachers, for an average ratio of 16.2 students per teacher.[1] The 2006 GISD property tax rate was $1.5449 per hundred dollars of assessed property value.[2]

Colleges and Universities

In May 2004 the expansion for Dallas County Community College District was approved by voters to build five community education campuses in under served or fast-growing areas of Dallas County.[6]

Dallas County Community College District decided to allow Richland College to oversee the development of the project and broke ground in Fall 2007 on its Garland Campus located at the corner of Glenbrook Drive and Walnut Street. The campus is projected to finish construction in April, 2009. Classes are scheduled to begin in June, 2009.[7]

The new facility will include space for classrooms, computer laboratories, a multipurpose exposition space, conference center, and community-based organization offices, and will provide both academic and workforce development classes to Garland-area residents and businesses.

It is anticipated that only continuing education, non-credit, career-related classes and training (continuing education non-credit) will be offered. See FAQ regarding sample of classes that may be held. A limited amount of college credit, general education courses that support career educational training and corporate training as designed specially for individual companies and organizations will also be offered.[8]

Neighborhoods and historical communities

  • Centerville
  • Eastern Hills
  • Duck Creek
  • Embree
  • Rose Hill
  • Border of Richardson and Dallas



Major highways

  • Interstate 30
  • Interstate 635
  • President George Bush Turnpike (toll)
  • State Highway 78
  • Belt Line Loop (some parts are named as First Street and Broadway Blvd)


One train track runs parallel to Garland Road, coming out of Mesquite and heading all the way through the other side of Garland City.

Light rail
  • DART: Blue Line
    • Forest/Jupiter Station
    • Downtown Garland Station


The city of Garland operates the city's water system and waste services. Electricity for about 85 percent of Garland is provided by the city's municipal utility, Garland Power & Light (GP&L). Electricity for the other 15 percent was formerly provided by TXU, but is now supplied by multiple companies after deregulation of the Texas electricity market.

In 2008 CNN and Money Magazine released their list of the Top 100 Places to Live, and Garland was ranked number 67. The city’s comfortable, hometown feel in the midst of a thriving metropolitan area was just one of the outstanding characteristics mentioned in the report.

Some of the Garland assets mentioned in the article were the solid base of sound infrastructure, excellent city services, and responsive, locally-owned utilities, anchored by Garland’s Environmental Waste Services, Water and Wastewater Utility, and Garland Power & Light.

Environmental Waste Services

Garland’s award winning Environmental Waste Services, headed by Lonnie Banks, has long been recognized as the gold standard for customer service. Waste management personnel have voluntarily moved heavy waste containers for citizens who have physical limitations that prevent them from “putting their trash out.” They have gone far beyond just “picking up the trash” to providing real compassionate caring service to Garland’s citizens. This level of service along with the city’s weekly bulk pickup has resulted in a very clean and healthy environment for the residents.

Water and Wastewater Utilities

Garland is an original member city of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). The vision of the City fathers in the early 1940’s resulted in Garland and its companion member cities benefitting from reliable, high quality, affordable water from the water district’s many reservoirs. Most significantly, last year Garland residents were only minimally affected by the region’s worst drought in almost a century. The water district’s decision to move forward with a high tech ozonation of its raw water will result in a higher quality safe water with a significant reduction in the chlorine currently used.

The effluent from Garland’s Wastewater Treatment Plant flows through a NTMWD man- made, 1,840-acre wetland. This provides a natural habitat for a wide variety of birds and reduces the sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus contents of the water to a drinkable level. Through the use of selected aquatic plants, this environmentally friendly project will provide millions of gallons of reusable water and reduce the environmental impact.

Garland Power & Light

Garland Power & Light Logo

Garland Power & Light (GP&L) was founded in 1923 to provide Garland residents not-for-profit public utility services, locally controlled by its citizens. GP&L provides services to nearly 68,000 customers making it the third largest municipal utility in Texas and the 41st largest in the nation.

Garland Power & Light has three gas-fired generating plants, which combined have 640 megawatts of generation capacity. In addition, Garland partners in the Texas Municipal Power Agency which operates the 462 megawatt coal-fired Gibbons Creek Power Plant. Garland's electric distribution system has 1,007 miles of overhead lines and 1,000 miles of underground lines. Its transmission system consists of 23 substations and 133 miles of transmission lines. Garland's peak load for 2007 was 483 megawatts, with annual operating revenues of nearly $238 million dollars.[9]

The two national indexes are System Average Interruption Frequency Index SAIFI and System Average Interruption Duration Index SAIDI. SAIFI is the number of times power is lost, and SAIDI is the length of time the power is out. These standards compare the frequency and duration of power outages and the customers affected. Garland is one of the few power providers that posta their SAIDA/SAIFI numbers.

Move Towards Green Energy

In an effort to provide its citizens with the broadest green power opportunities, the City Council recently passed a residential wind energy ordinance. They already had a residential solar panel ordinance. In addition to traditional fossil fueled power generating stations, GP&L owns a hydro-electric facility at the Lake Lewisville dam and purchases wind turbine power.

GP&L like all private utility services (such as cable television, internet service, phone service, and other electric service providers) pays the city for the right to use City easements. All cities generate general operation funds from the leasing of their public right-of-ways to utility service providers. GP&L’s fund transfers to the City are commensurate to those fees collected from similar right-of-way agreements with private providers throughout the City.

Points of interest

The Patty Granville Arts Center.

Cultural arts & entertainment

  • Historic Downtown Garland
  • Patty Granville Arts Center is a complex owned and operated by the city. Included within the complex are two elegant proscenium theatres which seat 720 and 200, respectively. Also included as part of the complex is the Plaza Theatre, which has seating for 350. The Atrium at the Granville Arts Center is a 6,500-square-foot (600 m2) ballroom encased in glass on two sides and opening onto an elegant outdoor courtyard. The Atrium provides civic, community and commercial organizations the opportunity to house banquets, receptions, trade shows, and conventions.
  • The Garland Opryis a non-profit organization which has been providing the Garland community with weekly Country and Gospel music entertainment for over 32 years.
  • The Plaza Theater
  • Pace House

Parks & recreation

  • Spring Creek Forest Preserve & Park Preserve
See also Spring Creek Forest Preserve
  • Rowlett Creek Preserve and Mountain Bike Trails
  • Firewheel Golf Park
  • Hawaiian Falls
  • Surf and Swim @ Audubon Park
  • Lake Ray Hubbard
  • Lake Lavon, tributary to Lake Ray Hubbard

Popular culture connections

The animated television series King of the Hill was created by former Garland resident Mike Judge, who used elements of Garland as an inspiration for its setting — the fictional (and similar-sounding) town of Arlen.

Other former and current Garland residents who have gained national and international recognition include singer LeAnn Rimes, actress Crystal Bernard, musician Dean Sams of the band Lonestar, singer Amber Dotson, and Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee, Gene Summers[10]

According to a postcard from Buck Owens dated 3-31-98 he wrote: "Enclosed autograph. Thought you might get a kick out of knowing (that) Garland, (TX) is where I went to school (grades) 1-2-3 when we decided to move to Calif. (in) 1938- Buck Owens."[11]

Garland has also had its share of sports stars including NFL placekicker Mac Percival, NFL All-Pro Bobby Boyd, NFL Safety Melvin Bullitt and NBA players Mookie Blaylock and Ricky Pierce.

Long before the infamous Waco incident, David Koresh attended Garland High (he dropped out before graduating).[citation needed]

3D Realms, the video game creator is best known for creating the Duke Nukem series, is in Garland. Some episodes of the Chuck Norris television series Walker, Texas Ranger were filmed in Garland, as well as some scenes for the Fox Network series Prison Break. Garland has a street called Star Trek Lane, the first and probably the only official place name of the Star Trek television series created by Gene Roddenberry (who was born in El Paso, Texas).

Mitchel Musso, who is Oliver on Disney Channel's Hannah Montana, was born and raised in Garland, TX.[citation needed]

The sport of Agility for dogs all started in Garland, Texas when Kenneth Tatsch, President and USDAA Founder, created The United States Dog Agility Association] to introduce the sport to north America and to include all breeds of dogs. Founded in 1986, the USDAA is now international and considered the world's largest independent authority for the sport of dog agility, with more than 22,000 registered competitors. The most recent international competition that was held in Garland was at Winter's Park in approximately 2002.[12]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved on 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Special Events Center
  4. ^ Garland ISD's events center profits take center stage | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth | Dallas Morning News
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved on 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ DCCCD: DCCC Trustees Approve Purchase of Land for Garland Education Center
  7. ^ Richland College to break ground on Garland campus
  8. ^ DCCCD: Garland Campus FAQ
  9. ^
  10. ^ Rockabilly Hall of Fame
  11. ^ postcard
  12. ^ USDAA page

External links

  • The City of Garland Home Page
  • The Garland Landmark Society, Inc.
  • Garland, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
  • Garland Online Local Garland News Website
  • Headlines about Garland from The Dallas Morning News
  • Downtown Garland Historic Downtown Garland Business Association Website
  • Garland Civic Theatre
  • A Local Interactive Forum Discussing Politics, Education, Business, City, and Cultural Arts
  • Information on Garland Real Estate
  • Garland, Texas is at coordinates 32°54′26″N 96°38′07″W / 32.907325°N 96.635197°W / 32.907325; -96.635197 (Garland, Texas)Coordinates: 32°54′26″N 96°38′07″W / 32.907325°N 96.635197°W / 32.907325; -96.635197 (Garland, Texas)

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