Update: While previous reports referred to part of the new structure planned for the Klyde Warren Park expansion as a “parking garage,” a spokesperson for the park said there would be far fewer parking spaces than what is expected. was originally reported. And VisitDallas said this week that it currently has no plans to rent the new building, a change from announcing the extension for the first time. You can read more here.
For the July issue of D Magazine, on newsstands now, I’ve written about the park building boom that downtown Dallas has experienced over the past decade. There is Main Street Garden, Civic Garden (formerly Belo Garden), Pacific Plaza, and West End Square. Carpenter Park and Harwood Park are on their way. There’s of course Klyde Warren Park, the 5.2-acre bridge park built on Woodall Rodgers and opened in 2012.
Generally people love parks and people really love Klyde Warren Park. Kids love fountains and playgrounds, adults love food trucks and public spaces and yoga classes. Pedestrians downtown appreciate the way it connects, over a freeway, the Arts District and Uptown. The city and the developers love the way this increases the value of neighboring properties. Thursday afternoon, I left the office and headed out to the park to sit at a shaded table, eat a cookie, and watch the world go by. It was the best 30 minutes of my week.
So why isn’t everyone liking Klyde Warren’s upcoming 1.7 acre expansion, which again made headlines this week after Dallas City Council approved the finances from him? of the market ? (Much of the money for the $ 100 million expansion comes from TxDOT, private donors, and maybe federal grants.) More park can’t be a bad thing, can it. ?
Note the relative success of each of the newer downtown parks individually, and you’ll find a few nits to choose from. But overall, the construction of parks is a potential boon for the city center because it gives the city center something it badly needs: greenery, pedestrian public spaces and a break from the monotony of the city. car traffic on one-way streets. Many of these parks have literally supplanted parking lots, as clear a symbol as one might ask of Dallas shifting away from the self-centered mindset that has often kept downtown from being what it should be. They are shared and open spaces where everyone is welcome.
Maybe that’s why Klyde Warren Park’s expansion makes it look like Dallas could ruin the good thing we have. Expansion plans highlight a parking lot and a new building that will house, among other things, a center for VisitDallas, the city’s recently besieged visitors’ office. (Update, 1:30 p.m.: While previous reports on this have characterized the structure as a “parking garage,” a spokesperson for Klyde Warren Park said the new extension building will only include about 15 parking spaces exclusively. for people working in the structure. Read more here.)
That’s a lot of enclosed space, although plans call for new green space in the form of Jacobs Lawn. The expansion would expand the children’s park while adding an ice rink that would be used in the winter. Better road links to the Perot Museum are also part of the deal. (All of this would complement the equally controversial “super fountain” that’s in the park’s future.)
Still parking? Visiting Dallas?
“Klyde Warren Park has shown that Dallas residents want more places to meet and an urban core that improves walkability,” the Dallas Morning News’ Mark Lamster wrote in 2018. “But this new expansion offers the opposite: it’s a garage with private event space, and public amenities are an afterthought. Specifically, there is almost no park in this park – the additional space that there would be is cut off from the rest of the park by the new structure.
Boosters said the parking garage is needed and the rental of the enclosed lodge included in the new construction will help fund park operations. The park is owned by the city, but is managed by a private foundation which pays for its maintenance. Renderings make expansion a great place for your company’s next corporate retreat. But does Dallas need its parks?