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Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures

Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures

Overview

The famous Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures reside in Pioneer Plaza in downtown Dallas. The Plaza has historical significance in Dallas i.e., commemorating the city’s beginnings which was made possible by the trails that carried settlers to Dallas.

The Plaza is among the largest public spaces in the CBD given it features a 4.2-acre parking lot. Construction commenced in 1992 aided by private funds amounting to $4.8 million. While major construction work was completed the same year, the Plaza remained a work-in-progress, with additional sculptures being added over time to complete the herd.

The Plaza features many things ranging from native plants to a flowing stream. However, the cattle sculptures stand out. The sculptures (Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures) are a recreation of cattle drives. The cattle sculptures featuring longhorn steers being driven by cowboys on horses are a true representation of the city’s beginnings.

The sculptures can be found near the Dallas Convention Center between the historic Pioneer Cemetery and Convention Center. The sculptures alongside the entire establishment are maintained by the Dallas Convention Center. The center has been tasked with this responsibility since 1996. Besides being home to the famous cattle drive sculptures, the Plaza also features other small historical details, artificial cliffs, and native plant life.

Brief History & Significance

The Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures commemorate historic cattle drives that were common along notable trails like the Shawnee Trail. The trail was the earliest and easternmost passage through which Texas Longhorn cattle made their way to northern railheads. This trail passed via Austin, Waco and through Dallas until another trail (Chisholm Trail) took majority of the cattle traffic in 1867.

Creator and Setting

Every bronze sculpture was created by the renowned artist – Robert Summers from Glen Rose in Texas. The sculptures (49 bronze steers & 3 cowboys/trail riders) stand out for many things, including size and realistic nature. The sculptures are the largest bronze sculptures of their kind globally. Each cattle stand 6-feet tall and set along a manmade ridge, passing a manmade limestone cliff and natural landscaping featuring a waterfall and flowing stream to offer a dramatic effect.

Tourist Attraction

The sculptures can be described as monumental. Their sheer magnificence has made the Plaza a top tourist attraction in downtown Dallas. The only other Plaza that attracts as many tourists is the Dealey Plaza where former US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

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Location

           

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