Dallas has never been much of a walking city, but Klyde Warren Park will likely change that. The 5.2-acre deck park — which sits atop the recessed Woodall Rodgers Freeway — celebrated its grand opening this past weekend, taking the Big D down the path to a pedestrian-friendly city with an urban green space unlike anything the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex has seen.
Built atop the freeway, Klyde Warren Park covers more than 200,000 square feet, including areas such as My Best Friend’s Park for your pup and plenty of shaded areas. In fact, this is the place to be when that Dallas heat hits hard — more than 60 percent of the park offers shade. Aside from making Dallas more accessible by foot, the park will be an attraction in itself; the expansive green space will be the grounds for regular programming ranging from yoga and ballroom dancing to music festivals and storytelling. You can even practice your short game on the putting green.
Downtown and Uptown long have been separated simply because of a lack of walkable streets between both. “The need to connect these two areas of Dallas was the impetus for the park, an especially important addition now that the country’s largest arts district sits along Woodall Rodgers,” says Lauren Smart, the communications specialist at Klyde Warren Park.
Easy access to the Dallas Arts District — including the AT&T Performing Arts Center and the Nasher Sculpture Center — from the trendy Uptown neighborhood is sure to have quite an impact on the city, both socially and economically. Several high-rise apartment buildings and condos are in the works around the park and two restaurants (Stephan Pyles’ Stampede 66 and Lark on the Park) already have claimed territory. The park also will feature a LEED-certified restaurant run by John Coleman (previously of The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas) slated for a late summer opening; until then, Coleman will churn out burgers from his new food truck, Relish.
In an effort to go green, Klyde Warren Park adds 322 trees — most of which are Texas-native — to the city’s landscape. But those aren’t just for shade. At maturity, these beautiful trees will sequester an estimated seven tons of carbon per year, acting as a natural bio-filter.
In addition, the McKinney Avenue Transportation Authority — which runs the old-school trolleys that travel through the streets of Uptown — is set to expand the tracks to have a stop at the park in 2013. So this isn’t just another urban park opening; it’s an urban transformation.
Photos Courtesy of Klyde Warren Park