13 Feb What happened to Vickery Park, an amusement park in Northeast Dallas? Curious Texas investigates
Profile image for Elvia Limón
Bolton’s parents had enjoyed the amusement park in their day, too. They used to tell him about all the times they visited when they were dating in the 1940s.
“They talked about how it was this great place,” he said. “Of course, my parents are long gone, so they can’t answer my questions.”
A newspaper advertisement touts year-round entertainment at Vickery Park Pavilion. (DMN archives)
That’s why he asked Curious Texas: As a child, I once went to Vickery Park, a famous private amusement park. Where was it, and what happened to it?
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Vickery Park was located at 7400 Greenville Ave., near Walnut Hill Road. It opened in the 1940s, around the time the small town of Vickery — located in what is now Northeast Dallas — was annexed by the city of Dallas, according to The News’ archives.
Riley Hickman operated Vickery Park until 1959. (The Dallas Morning News archives/. )
The 28-acre property had a miniature golf course, an amusement park with flying swings and other rides, picnic areas and a swimming pool. The park claimed to have the biggest pool in Texas at the time.
The park also hosted square dancing nights and often had live music events.
A small item in The Dallas Morning News announced Vickery Park’s reopening in 1971. (DMN archives)
After roughly 20 years of parties and picnics, the Vickery Park site was donated to the Seventh Day Adventist Church as a hospital site, but the plans fell through once the church realized the area was too small, according to The News’ archives
The church reopened the park in 1971, with some new rules. First, the sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited. The park also closed on Saturday. The reopened park included a miniature train, baseball batting cages and picnic areas available for rent.
<p><span style="font-size: 1em; background-color: transparent;">A strip shopping center near an empty lot once occupied by the amusement park now bears the Vickery Park name. The area is also the home to the American Heart Association’s headquarters and several residential and commercial buildings.</span></p>(Elvia Limon)
A 1973 DMN headline announce’s the park property’s sale to a development company. (DMN archives)
The church sold the site two years later to the Dorchester Development Co., which planned to build several apartment complexes, offices and retail businesses in the area to accommodate Dallas’ growing population. The American Heart Association’s new headquarters was included in the development, and the building is still there today.
American Heart Association 7272 Greenville Avenue; Dallas. (Jae S. Lee/Staff Photographer)
The area now has several apartment and retail stores, but there is still some of the historic Vickery Park visible to passersby. An empty parking lot with a shuttered retail building and a shopping center marquee bearing the Vickery Park name still stand on the northeast corner of Greenville and Pineland Drive.
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