McKINNEY, Texas — First impressions can be deceiving, but I’m going to go with the initial impression that smacked me in the face about the Collin County seat.
McKinney is a happening place to visit when you’re looking for something to do.
My wife and I had a dinner date this evening with two friends. We met at a high-end restaurant on the square in McKinney. Both of us were stunned at what we saw when we drove into the square and hunted for a place to park.
The city is alive, man!
Now, to be sure none of this should surprise longtime residents of McKinney (population, approximately 187,000) or of any of the communities that thrive nearby. We just were a bit astounded at how much activity we noticed all along the square.
The county courthouse moved out of the downtown district some years ago, we were told; it reminds me a bit of what has transpired in Canyon, Texas, the Randall County seat; my wife and I lived in Randall County for more than two decades and watched the county relocate almost all of its government offices from the city’s downtown square to other locations. Still, the square in Canyon has experienced a significant revival as the county, with help from historic preservation grant funds, dolled up the exterior of its historic courthouse building. The interior? It’s still vacant … but that’s another story for another time.
Collin County’s government offices have moved from downtown, but it apparently hasn’t stopped the square from becoming the place to see and be seen on a steamy Saturday night.
I will need to explore in a bit more detail how the city managed to maintain this lively look. Thus, I will do so.
For now, I want this blog post to stand as a testament to a grand first impression the city has made on two new Collin County residents.