- About Denton
- Downtown Denton
Downtown Denton and the Square
Denton was established in 1857 at the location where today’s courthouse stands and was incorporated in 1866.
As the city grew and prospered, downtown became the city’s commercial center. Downtown Denton represents the heart and soul of the community—the courthouse in its square is one of the finest in Texas, and the square itself is an integral part of the city’s culture. Festivals, celebrations, and other activities are held in the square and among its historic buildings.
The Denton Main Street Program began when the City of Denton received its official designation as a Texas Main Street City in 1990. The City has since celebrated numerous marked physical and financial improvements in the area. Over $132+ million has been reinvested in Downtown Denton.
As an Accredited Main Street Program for 33 years, the City of Denton Historic Preservation Office works to ensure the integrity of the Denton Square District (DSD), which is home to the Denton County Courthouse Square Historic District, a National Register Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This special historic district comprises 50 buildings, sites, structures, and objects, including eight local landmarks and 30 resources that are “contributing” to the historic value of the National Register Historic District.
The City of Denton is committed to a Downtown that functions as a vital business and civic center, bustling with activity and investment, through our services, new projects, grant programs, and designations for the district.
- Downtown Master Plan
- The Original Denton District
- Historic Preservation
Downtown Master Plan
The goal of the Downtown Master Plan Update is to evaluate the vision for Downtown Denton and the surrounding area, set clear policy direction, and support implementation strategies that will continue the economic growth of Downtown, enhance pedestrian experience, and preserve the character of the Downtown.
The existing Downtown Master Plan is 20 years old, and the subsequent Downtown Implementation Plan (DTIP) is 12 years old. The Denton 2040 Area Plans include updating the Downtown Master Plan Update. To follow along with the update, visit the Downtown Master Plan Update page on Discuss Denton.
To learn more about the existing plan, visit the Downtown Master Plan webpage.
The Original Denton District
The Original Denton District (ODD) is a cultural district centered around downtown Denton. The area encompasses the creative people, unique places, and authentic cultural resources that make Denton unusual and eccentric in the best way.
To learn more, visit the Original Denton District website.
Attractions in Denton, Texas
When you live, work, or play in Denton, you're immersed in a local culture rich with history and creativity.
Denton Firefighters Museum
The City of Denton Firefighters Museum takes visitors on a journey to honor brave firefighters, past and present. The Museum hosts a collection of fascinating memorabilia from the 1800s to modern day, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the evolution of firefighting over the last 150 years.
To learn more about the Denton Firefighters Museum, click here.
The City of Denton's Public Art Committee (PAC) celebrates Denton's cultural heritage and diversity by encouraging collaboration between artists and the community. The PAC makes recommendations on the commissioning, placing, and installation of public art.
Other Denton Attractions
For other Denton-area things to do, visit Discover Denton, Denton's Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).
Parking in Downtown Denton, TX
The City of Denton provides parking spaces in the downtown area. Visit the Downtown Parking GIS Map to see parking lots, street parking, and hourly limits.
Downtown Parking Lots
The City manages three parking lots downtown. The Cedar Street parking lot (86 improved spaces) is located at the corners of McKinney and Cedar Streets adjacent to the Development Service Center, the E. Hickory Lot (102 spaces) behind the Wells Fargo building, and the McKinney/W. Oak lot (125 spaces), a gravel lot across from the Main City Hall on McKinney St.
All three parking lots are within a five-minute walk of the Historic Court House on the Square and offer free unlimited daily parking.
To learn more about parking in downtown Denton and paid and private lots, visit the Denton Main Street Association's Parking webpage.
Back-in parking along E. Hickory St. was a part of the “Hickory Grand Street” capital project. The project spanned from the Downtown A-Train Station to Locust Street and included pavement construction, sidewalk widening, implementation of Americans with Disabilities Act standards, landscaping, parking reconfiguration, pedestrian lighting, and power supply for future growth.
Advantages of back-in parking over traditional head-in angled parking include:
- Drivers can pull out directly into the travel lane rather than needing to back out into oncoming traffic;
- Drivers are better able to see oncoming traffic and bicyclists;
- Car doors open such that they block access to the street and guide pedestrians to the sidewalk, notably safer for children;
- The trunk of the car is accessed from the sidewalk rather than the street for loading;
- Back-in parking better accommodates on-street handicapped parking; and
- While parking, drivers have an “eye-to-eye” line of sight with approaching road users.
City of Denton Services in Downtown Denton, Texas
The City of Denton began its revitalization efforts in 2002 with the goal of creating a thriving and prosperous downtown. With the belief that downtown should be clean, safe, attractive, and an enjoyable place to walk, we've implemented the following services:
The Denton Police Department has a unit of officers assigned to serve Downtown Denton. These officers respond to calls for service, perform high-visibility patrol, work with community stakeholders, and assist with special events on the Square. One lieutenant and two sergeants supervise the unit. Officers can frequently be seen walking, biking, or driving around Downtown to ensure this vibrant area is safe for all.
Recently the City implemented an exclusive pedestrian phase, an all-way crossing, at the four traffic signals around the square to improve pedestrian safety.
How does it work? At an all-way crossing, all vehicles temporarily stop, allowing pedestrians to cross an intersection in every direction safely at the same time.
Valet Trash and Recycling
City of Denton Downtown operates under a valet trash and recycling service model. The valet service assisted in improving the overall aesthetics of the downtown to help keep a cleaner and more attractive area to visit and allow patio seating year-round. The smaller footprint of the carts allows for more parking and safer walking spaces. The size of the carts prevents any illegal dumping in the area. The valet service runs seven days a week, preventing any overflow.
- Odor control
- No Illegal dumping
- No overflow
- Less heavy truck traffic
City of Denton Partners
The City of Denton develops partnerships and engages in strategic marketing efforts with the following organizations:
Denton Main Street Association
Denton Main Street Association (DMSA) is a membership organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Downtown Denton.
Link to Denton Main Street Association
Discover Denton, a division of the Denton Chamber of Commerce, is Denton's Destination Marketing Organization.
Link to Discover Denton
Denton County Office of History and Culture
The Denton County Office of History and Culture operates the 1896 Courthouse-on-the-Square and the Denton County Historical Park, including the Bayless-Selby House and Quakertown House museums.
Link to Denton County Office of History and Culture
Denton Chamber of Commerce
The Denton Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization dedicated to advancing the general welfare and prosperity of the Denton Area so that its citizens and all areas of its business community prosper.
Link to Denton Chamber of Commerce
Greater Denton Arts Council
The Greater Denton Arts Council (GDAC) provides foundational support for Denton’s artists and community arts organizations. GDAC presents a full schedule of programs and exhibitions in its flagship facility in historic downtown Denton, the Patterson-Appleton Center Arts Center.
Link to Greater Denton Arts Council
Stoke is a coworking space and entrepreneur center helping entrepreneurs start, build and grow their businesses.
Link to Stoke Coworking
Historic Preservation | Denton Square District (DSD)
The Denton Square District (DSD) is home to the Denton County Courthouse Square Historic District, a National Register Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
To learn more about how the City of Denton's Historic Preservation Department is protecting and enhancing the Denton Square District, visit their webpage.