The renovated park brings a variety of new neighborhood amenities, including Downtown’s first public outdoor basketball court
DALLAS, Texas (May 3, 2022) – Today the City of Dallas celebrated the opening of Carpenter Park, a renovation and expansion of Carpenter Plaza, a park dedicated in 1981. Carpenter Park is located at 2201 Pacific Avenue on the eastern edge of Downtown Dallas near Deep Ellum and Old East Dallas. Changes to the surrounding road network allowed for the development of a contiguous 5.75-acre park with an array of new features.
“The reimagination of Carpenter Park is the result of over a decade of coordination and planning by the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy, and numerous other state and local agencies, institutions and residents” said Amy Meadows, president and CEO of nonprofit group Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy. “For decades, this park was a place people drove by and through but did not step into. We look forward to seeing Dallasites and visitors explore their new and improved park.”
Carpenter Park features Downtown’s first public outdoor basketball court, a dog run, an interactive fountain, environmental play elements for kids, gardens, walking paths, and public art. Two significant pieces of public sculpture are incorporated in the park’s design. Robert Berks’ statue of John W. Carpenter has been refurbished and reinstalled at the park entrance at Live Oak and Pearl Street. Robert Irwin’s Portal Park Piece (Slice) has been reconceptualized and retitled by the artist for the new site conditions in the renovated park. The new title of the sculpture is Portal Park Slice. This is the only time in his career that Irwin has agreed to alter a work.
“Carpenter Park offers a unique experience to visitors that you will not find anywhere else in our park system” said John Jenkins, director of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. “From the public art to the stunning nighttime lighting, this park adds something special to the Dallas landscape.”
Carpenter Park is the third of four Downtown Priority Parks to be constructed through a public-private partnership between the Dallas Park and Recreation Department and Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy (DDPC). The Dallas Park and Recreation Department contributed $15.4 million in 2017 bond dollars approved by Dallas citizens for Downtown parks. Private donors and DDPC contributed $4.7 million in development costs for Carpenter Park, including a $3 million gift from the John W. Carpenter III family. The Carpenter family has gifted an additional $500,000 to Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy to establish a permanent endowment for Carpenter Park that supports critical maintenance and future capital improvements.
The Priority Parks program for Downtown started with the opening of Pacific Plaza in October 2019, followed by West End Square in March 2021. Harwood Park is the final park in this public-private initiative and is currently under construction in the East Quarter District near the Dallas Farmers Market.
“This new network of neighborhood parks in Downtown Dallas is dramatically changing the experience of residents, businesses, office workers and visitors – indeed our entire citizenry – and will distinguish our center city for decades to come,” commented Robert Decherd, founder and chairman of Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy.
Opening Week Events: Downtown Dallas, Inc. is proud to extend the celebration of this historic park opening with a series of free events at the park beginning Tuesday and running through Saturday night:
- Tuesday, May 3, 7pm – Let’s Salsa! Dance Class
- Wednesday, May 4, 8:15pm – Discover Downtown Movie Series: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Thursday, May 5, 7:30pm – Yoga-Rita Night
- Friday, May 6, 7:30pm – Music on the Mound
- Saturday, May 7, 10am – 6pm – Carpenter Park BESTival!