Three Observations About Klyde Warren Park

I was out of town this weekend and had to miss the big Klyde Warren opening. (Side note: thank you to everyone in Norman, Oklahoma, for your hospitality. Especially the defensive line of the Sooners, which was very accommodating to Cierre Wood.) So today was my first chance to see the park in operation. Three observations:

1. On the first weekday that the park was open, there was no food to be found. Zac and I had to hoof it over to the Winspear to find some food trucks. There were a couple dozen folks or so there. Meanwhile, a few hundred were over at Klyde Warren. I know, I know. Permits and so on and forth. Don’t care. I was hungry.

2. The place was lousy with school-age kids. What the heck? My kids are in school today.

3. North Olive is a jaywalker’s paradise. That’s the road that cuts through the park, between the side with the performance pavilion and the side with the ping-pong tables (which were both being used). You’re strolling through the park, enjoying yourself. Across the way, you see some people playing catch — and then there’s a road. No one is going to walk to the corner to cross. Not this guy. Even Zac, who is often frustrated by my wanton, unrepentant jaywalking, joined right in without saying a word.


  • mynameisbill

    Klyde Warren? More like Klyde Snorrin’ Park! Needs some dude out there juggling chainsaws with a hermaphrodite trapeze artist, who just kick a gnarly heroin habit, dangling high above him….while rabid shih tzu puppies are shot out of cannons. Go ahead and call me a dreamer, but this is the BigD and I thought we were supposed to dream BIG! Go America!

  • Joanna

    Tim, I can’t believe you missed the big weekend – it was amazing. Here are a few updates for you.

    Relish Burger, Chef John Coleman’s temporary food truck, will officially open tomorrow morning. Food will be in the park between now and when the restaurant opens mid-2013. His hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. We’re still working on a coffee/breakfast option between now and when the restaurant is finished. The Relish burgers are delicious. Our office is taking a field trip tomorrow.

    We had about 190 people in the park today during lunchtime. Pretty cool!

  • Davey

    Exactly! Where is the gator swamp? The mega bonfires? Archery targets? Seriously there is nothing to do there but walk around and climb on plastic crap? Let’s turn it up BigD. The only thing they got right was letting cars drive through the middle of it at 30+mph. At least put a sculpture of a nekkid woman or something…I am sure Rick’s or one many other local establishment’s would sponsor it.

  • “juggling chainsaws with a hermaphrodite trapeze artist, who just kick a gnarly heroin habit, dangling high above him”…next year’s Halloween costume.

  • downtown_worker

    I went on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

    Really enjoyed seeing the lunch crowd this afternoon and live piano performance (and looking forward to Relish starting tomorrow), since this is more in line with what the park will look like during non-event days.

    There needs to be a fountain or iconic sculpture on the eastern end of the park where a fountain was planned originally but scrapped from the final design. Something people will want pose for a photo with.

    The drive-thru banks absolutely have to go and be replaced by development compatible with the park (housing, hotel, cafe, retail, etc.).

    The DMA should demolish that car port and create a plaza facing the park.

    Bike lanes need to be added so that people can get to the park from downtown and the Katy Trail.

  • uptown_worker

    I also went on Sat, Sun and Mon, and I was also very encouraged to see plenty of people there today on the first normal weekday. I had googled to try to find out whether any food trucks would be around, and it seemed that the Winspear trucks were the only option. Nice to hear Relish will be there, but would definitely like to see some additional options. Maybe make that donut stand that was there over the weekend permanent!

    The fountain/sculpture point is actually really true, because it seemed that many people (myself included) couldnt find a good place for that iconic picture (like The Bean in Millenium Park or Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park). But there’s already so much crammed into that (relatively) small park, I’m not sure it’s realistic.

    I know Angela Hunt has already been all a twitter about this, but there’s no doubt they should just shut down Olive through the park. Everyone is just jaywalking across and it could be an accident waiting to happen. Olive doesnt serve much purpose there for car travel anyway.

    The coolest thing about this weekend for me was seeing Dallasites of all different colors, classes and stripes all together in one place. That’s a rare, rare occurrence in our city.

  • Kk

    It was really nice there last night, and the little donuts with a cup of cocoa was great. The biggest problem I see for its future is shade. Concrete benches with zero shade anywhere will not be inviting from sometime in May til October much of the day. Then theres the heinous reflection off some building nearby. Aren’t they running a help us create shade contest at City Hall to try and lure people? They need a Klyde Warren shade contest before next summer.

  • World Class Citizen

    Not a single swan. World class city, and not a single swan. Not even a swan truck. A park named Klyde in a world class city, without even a swan truck. Welcome to the new normal.

  • Wise Old Real Estate Guy

    Uptown Worker,

    Although there were people of many colors at this park this weekend, I recognized that many (most?) were connected with city and county government, the media, the political class and people who don’t live in Dallas, but they like the city to pay for their trophies amd real estate investments. Not exactly a “rainbow coalition” – just the usual suspects.

    The park is pretty cool, but I’m suspicious of its so-called self-funded maintenance budget. It’s not clear how much money is in the endowment, and according to the DMN, the city is on the hook for all infrastructure below the dirt. That will be costly if the beams had to be rebuilt because an unexpectedly bad tunnel fire. The endowment allegedly pays the $3M annual budget, which is the most expensive park and the city, and I would guess the most expensive per square foot. I’d like to no if there is an out clause that would turn over maintenance to the city earlier than the 50 year term in the agreement. Of course there is this kind of clause because the city of Dallas is commercial real estate’s piggy bank.

  • towski

    My humble suggestion for the iconic fountain/sculpture the park desperately needs – once the “retrofitting” is completed on the Nasher Sculpture Center’s “Walking to the Sky” by Jonathan Borofsky, they should permanently loan it to the park.

    Then again, I don’t know if the park has the structural capabilities to support it. I’m an office drone, Jim, not an engineer.

  • uptown_worker

    You may very well be right, WOREG, but at least over by the Children’s area, there were a whole lot of parents/brothers/sisters watching little ones that sure didnt look to me to be connected with the govt, media or political classes. Either way, it’s a step in the right direction. I hope some of the little (and not so little) issues we all have will get solved over time.

  • Brad

    That is an interesting question Wise Old Real Estate Guy. Is there an out-clause that would allow the foundation to wash its hand of the park maintenance?

  • Parkie

    It needs some homeless people…