Welcome To Texas: Pioneer Plaza

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – In downtown Dallas, at the corner of South Griffin and Young, expect to be thrown back in time.

Lynn Rushton is the Public Art Collection Manager and explained that the City of Dallas had a clear vision. “They wanted to create some sort of tourist attraction that represented our heritage,”  she said.

The Herd at Pioneer Plaza does that.

Back in the 80’s city leaders wanted to turn an underutilized parking lot into something special. “It was a flat parking lot,” Roushton said. “So they created the height and the flow down to make it look like Texas would have looked as you are driving cattle through.”

(credit: Russ McCaskey/CBS 11 News)

(credit: Russ McCaskey/CBS 11 News)

In the 90’s Pioneer Plaza began to take shape. The beginning of cattle drive bronze sculpture was put in place and over the years more pieces were added.

Currently the sculpture consists of 49 bronze steers and three trail riders.

The Herd sparked a lot of debate during construction. Some were critical of the sculpture saying Dallas had never been a major site for cattle drives, but today, visitors find it impressive.

“Pretty interesting. It was enough to bring me out of my way,” said Joe Alagno, who was in town visiting the plaza from Chicago. At times tour groups come by the bus load to see it.

In fact, Pioneer Plaza is the second most visited and photographed attraction in Dallas.

Irene Beckelman was part of a tour group checking out the sculpture and was impressed. “I like the authenticity,” she said. “The detail on the Vaquero for example and the details on the animals. I think it’s very well done.”

(credit: Russ McCaskey/CBS 11 News)

(credit: Russ McCaskey/CBS 11 News)

The sculpture also has international appeal. “It’s amazing,” said one visitor from China. Another from Sweden said, “I have to visit this park here. There are lovely people. Amazing park. Huge sculpture. Like Dallas.”

Around the world, Dallas will always be known for cowboys, cattle and the old west. And a permanent reminder, shines brightly at the corner of South Griffin and Young.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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