Klyde Warren Park fuels Dallas’s recreational
renaissance—and falls in line with its plans
for artistic prosperity.
BY NANCY COHEN ISRAEL
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRANTON ELLERBEE
ity planners throughout the
country are realizing the value
of urban parks, seizing the concept of turning no man’s lands
into properties with purpose. With the late
October opening of Klyde Warren Park,
Dallas became the latest to create such an urban oasis. Spanning five acres over Woodall
Rodgers Freeway, between Pearl and St. Paul
streets, the park was designed to be an isthmus connecting Uptown and Downtown.
“The park is built on the foundation of
being clean, safe, and active,” says Mark Banta, president of Klyde Warren Park. The 30-
year green industry veteran and parks expert
was hired by the Woodall Park Foundation in
March. “We are going to have a tremendous
amount of programming, including yoga, tai
chi, chess, checkers, and pétanque.” This haven should provide something for everyone,
including a children’s garden and a dog park.
The plot intensified when chef John
Coleman, of Ritz-Carlton fame, landed a
spot in the park for his first solo venture.
Savor, a gastropub, will be the park’s main
restaurant while Relish, its companion kiosk,
debuts as a food truck until both restaurants
open in mid-2013. “John Coleman is a great
fit to open the park’s restaurant,” says Banta.
“He’s got a great vision for delicious food
and a social experience that will draw people
For the most part the programming ini-
tiatives of the park are simple, says Banta of
the free non-ticketed venue. “Our goal will
be to strike the proper blend of program-
ming balanced with music concert series
or movie series, etc.” Partnerships with the
Dallas Public Library and the University of
North Texas will facilitate reading areas, and
the environmentally friendly space will fea-
ture native plant and tree species irrigated
through LEED-certified means.
The park is subsidized through a public-