Kiest Park Pergola (c. 1934)

3080 South Hampton Road, Dallas, Dallas Co.

Owner: City of Dallas | Architect: Norman Alston Architects
Original Designer/Architect: Wynne B. Woodruff, Landscape Architect

When a structure is a crucial part of public place and that structure disappears, it is appropriate to rebuild it as it once was, as the people who created the space intended. This is the case with Kiest Park Pergola in Dallas.

In the 1930s, Edwin Kiest, publisher of the Dallas Times Herald newspaper, donated 247 acres to the City of Dallas to create a large regional park for all citizens to enjoy. Originally constructed in 1934, the Pergola was the apex of a beautiful formal garden designed by architect Wynne B. Woodruff and funded through the Works Progress Administration. Over the years it was the site for family picnics and special events and was well maintained until the budget cuts of the 1980s when the park fell on hard times and the pergola was removed.

In 2000, Oak Cliff residents began raising money and developing a positive relationship with the City of Dallas and other organizations with the common goal to restore Kiest Park and the Pergola. Its reconstruction is worthy of recognition as a byproduct of the neighborhoods’ resolve to replicate missing historic conditions as closely as documentation would allow.