Klyde Warren Park | A Park Bridging Dallas
If you’ve driven around Dallas you have more than likely taken the below-grade spur connecting I-35 E to 75 and I-45 on the north side of downtown. The spur was constructed in 1983 and effectively divided Downtown Dallas and Uptown. But, the vision wasn’t to keep the city divided forever. According to former NTC President, Dan S. Petty, the plan all along was to one day cap the highway with a park.
That patience in urban planning paid off when the park held a “ground-making” ceremony in September 2009 after construction began earlier that year.
The complex design was led by two design firms, landscape architecture by The Office of James Burnett, and structural engineering by the Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. The design and construction of the park was managed by Bjerke Management Solutions.
Construction of the park was funded through a public, private partnership including $20 million in bond funds from the city of Dallas, $20 million in highway funds from the state and federal government through TxDOT, and nearly $50 million from private donations. The biggest contributor was businessman Kelcy Warren who gave $10 million to the project; the gift gave him naming rights which he used to name the park after his then-nine-year old son.
The park not only bridged Downtown and Uptown, but it also became a crowning jewel in the region’s green space portfolio. Spanning three city blocks, it connects the Arts District with Uptown, and is home to everything from a friendly chess match to yoga classes, dog walkers and kids, well, being kids. Klyde Warren Park also served as a catalyst for economic development.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, the first phase of the Park is one of the most frequented destinations in the city, and it is estimated that Klyde Warren Park has had a $2.5 billion economic impact on Dallas.
Klyde Warren Park is currently expanding to its Phase II, scheduled for completion in 2024, will provide additional open space, event space, retail, and parking on two separate deck structures over the freeway. The 1.5-acre expansion includes a three-story, enclosed special events pavilion that will contain a café, rooftop deck, and special events ballroom to provide ongoing financial support for the park. The pavilion will offer space for a single ground-floor tenant and will serve as a gateway into the city. Additional plans for the pavilion include a 36,000-square foot multi-use green space for markets, festivals, and recreation.