In 1903, Rock Island and Gulf Railway employees J.O. Schulze and Otis Brown arrived in Texas to survey land for a potential rail line between Dallas and Fort Worth. J.O. Schulze and Otis Brown discovered a stretch of land that was halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, and decided that it would be the ideal spot for a town. Otis Brown’s wife Netta was a huge fan of the writer Irving Washington. Irving Washington is best known for his fantastical short stories “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Schulze and Brown decided to name the new city “Irving” in Washington’s honor.
On April 14th 1914, Irving officially became a town. Irving started out as a small agricultural community which specialized in dairy, poultry, and cotton farming. Unlike much of the United States, the Great Depression did not slow Irving’s growth. In the 1950s, the town of Irving annexed more land to keep up with a steadily growing population, The arrival of the University of Dallas invited more growth. In 1971, the Texas Stadium that served as the home of the Dallas Cowboys for 30 years opened its doors. An international airport, a convention center, and countless new developments followed. When Irving celebrated its centennial in 2003, city leaders decided to focus on bolstering Irving’s nightlife to attract more visitors. In recent years, Irving has become the home base for over 10,000 companies. Small businesses and large corporations alike flock to Irving to participate in the city’s booming economy.
A THRIVING CULTURE
In addition to expanding economically, Irving has continued to expand culturally. Irving is now home to the Las Colinas Entertainment District. The Las Colinas Entertainment District features numerous bars, restaurants, and music venues. The Toyota Music Factory in the Las Colinas Entertainment District hosts some of the biggest names in music. The Toyota Music Factory features a movie theatre called the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema that serves food and drinks. The Irving Arts Center hosts regular exhibitions, such as a collection of images by Bill Wittliff that chronicles the filming of the beloved TV miniseries _Lonesome Dove. _The Water Street District features delectable tacos, boutique shops, and the opportunity to take a leisurely gondola ride on the waters of the Mandalay Canals. SUP NTX Stand Up Paddle North Texas offers paddle board lessons and rentals for residents and visitors who wish to paddle across the Mandalay Canals.
Irving began as a small farming community nestled between Dallas and Fort Worth. Today, Irving is a diverse, booming city that continues to attract new residents, businesses, and visitors. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy the Mustangs of Las Colinas sculpture in Williams Square, stroll through the Las Colinas Entertainment District and search for Texas Bluebonnet blooms, or watch a local band perform under the stars at the Toyota Music Factory’s outdoor Texas Lottery Plaza stage. Irving has thrived from day one, and will surely continue to be one of the most prosperous, vital cities in all of Texas.
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