Though once nothing more than a city block of commercial structures and parking facilities, Main Street Garden has become one of the premiere public parks in Downtown Dallas. Located at the east end of the city’s Main Street District, this 1.75-acre park provides a centrally located escape from the buzz of Downtown while also serving as an outdoor venue for live entertainment and community programming.
The History of Main Street Garden
The $17.4 million park was funded primarily by the City of Dallas via the 2003 and 2006 bond programs. Once the site was cleared, construction officially kicked off in November 2008, and one year later, the park opened to the public.
Due to its location, Main Street Garden sits among some of the busiest streets in Downtown, including Main, Commerce, St. Paul and Harwood, and represents the beginning of a new park-friendly era in Downtown Dallas. After the opening of Main Street Garden in 2009, both Civic Garden and Klyde Warren Park followed in 2012. Just one year after that, the Dallas Park Board also approved an update to the Downtown Park Master Plan that included the four core parks advocated by Parks for Downtown Dallas: Pacific Plaza, Carpenter Park, Harwood Park and West End Square.
Park Amenities and Features
Main Street Garden, designed by NYC-based landscape architecture firm Thomas Balsley Associates, offers many enjoyable amenities for its visitors. The park features a splash fountain, toddler play area and an urban dog run, making it a great destination for families. The northeast corner of the park is home to a flower garden, which showcases salvaged materials from the old site and a sign with more information about the area’s history.
The park features a splash fountain, a recently renovated playground and urban dog run, making it a great destination for families.
The park also has a shade structure, public art installations and a café, though it’s not uncommon to see food trucks lining the perimeter of the park, too. Since it’s often visited by professionals in the area, Main Street Garden conveniently offers free Wi-Fi.
In addition to these features, the park is also home to a main stage and great lawn, which serves as a concert green for live entertainment. Among the most popular events held at the park each year is the annual Homegrown Fest, an all-local music and arts outdoor festival. Plenty of community programming also takes place at Main Street Garden. Most recently, an interactive public art exhibit called Impulse, featuring musical, glowing seesaws, was displayed in the park.
The park’s location itself is even its own special feature. It sits near Old City Hall, an official Dallas landmark that was once the site of the 1963 assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald, plus the Mercantile Bank Building, another official Dallas landmark that happens to be the only major skyscraper constructed during World War II. On Commerce Street is also the Statler, known as the first modern American hotel.
The Iconic Park series highlights the parks, trails and public spaces unique to Dallas. Although Parks for Downtown Dallas’ mission is to build the four priority parks in Downtown, we recognize the value in promoting the success of all parks and green space across the city.