Dedicated in 1994
In 1994, the Texas Trees Foundation dedicated Pioneer Plaza to the City of Dallas providing a focal point with historical significance for downtown Dallas. The Plaza commemorates Dallas’ beginnings by celebrating the trails that brought settlers to Dallas. The site features native plants and trees and a flowing stream in a natural setting and a re-creation of a cattle drive in bronze with longhorn steers being driven by three cowboys on horses. Each piece of bronze art was created by artist Robert Summers of Glen Rose, Texas. It is located adjacent to the Dallas Convention Center at Young and Griffin between the historical Pioneer Cemetery and the Dallas Convention Center. Pioneer Plaza represents the largest public open space in the central business district. Developed on what was once a 4.2 acre parking lot, Pioneer Plaza is second only to Dealey Plaza as the most-visited landmark in downtown Dallas.
The Plaza, located in front of the Dallas Convention Center, depicts a cattle drive featuring three cowboys and a herd of forty longhorn steer. Cast in monumental scale (larger than life size) the Plaza has become the second most visited tourist attraction in the downtown area. Only Dealey Plaza, the site of the Kennedy assassination, attracts more visitors each year. The Plaza is situated on a 4.2-acre site, which was donated by the City of Dallas to construct this magnificent open space. Under the direction of Trustees and Project Co-Chairs, Jim Lake (deceased), Diane Scovell and Jack Beckman, $4.8 million in private funds were raised from individuals and local businesses. The design of Pioneer Plaza was begun in 1992 with site work beginning late that same year. The Plaza is a work in progress, and additional steer will be added, as appropriate, to complete the herd. Maintenance of the facility became the responsibility of the Dallas Convention Center late in 1996. Other features of Pioneer Plaza include a waterfall, man-made cliffs, native plant life and the small historic details on the sculptures.