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Richardson (Dallas County)

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First settled in the 1840s in the area around present Richland College, the town relocated to the new Houston and Texas Central Railroad line in the early 1870s. The Texas Electric Railway, connecting with Waco, Corsicana, Dallas, and Denison in 1908, made Richardson an early commuter suburb, but growth was slow until the mid-1950s, when Central Expressway (U.S.75) opened to Dallas. The location of Texas Instruments on the new freeway stimulated rapid corporate and residential expansion through the late twentieth century.

The Texas Instruments campus (1958) by O’Neil Ford and Richard Colley is at 13500 N. Central Expressway. Although unfortunately not visible from the street, the Semiconductor Building is one of the most important projects of Ford’s career, both architecturally and personally. One of the first purpose-built facilities for the post–World War II electronics industry, the plant was structurally designed by engineer Félix Candela, with long-span, thin-shell-concrete hyperbolic paraboloid roof modules. Company founders Cecil H. Green, J. Erik Jonsson, Eugene McDermott, and Patrick Haggerty became important clients for Ford, as well as civic leaders and philanthropists in Dallas.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.

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