As told to senior editor Keri Mitchell by Sally Rodriguez, Dallas Park and Recreation Department’s historian. Photo is courtesy of the Dallas Municipal Archives and curated by Rodriguez.
I didn’t even know this park existed until about a year ago. I was doing research for Crawford Park in Pleasant Grove. There’s a maintenance facility there, and the [Texas] Office of Environmental Quality needed to know how old it was, so I went and looked. This building [in bottom righthand corner of the photo] was a concession stand, restrooms and storage. That building was moved to Crawford Park, and the file mentioned “moved from Union Terminal Park,” so I had to go figure out what that was.
We bought Union Terminal Park in 1945 as a west entrance to Union Station. You know the underground tunnel that goes from Union Station to the Hyatt Regency, under the railroad tracks? I just thought that was built with the Hyatt, but no. If you lived in Oak Cliff, rather than going all the way around, you could park here and enter Union Station. This is now Riverfront (used to be Industrial) at the bottom of the photo. And where Reunion comes into Riverfront? You can see it right there. So this is where the Hyatt sits today (location map).
We only owned Union Terminal Park for about 10 years, and it was purchased in 1955 when I-30 came through. The city doesn’t move its buildings very often, but when the land was purchased by what is now TxDOT, this building was only a year old. We are still using that building today at Crawford Park. We have offices with staff in it.
• Rodriguez authored the book “White Rock Lake,” available at area bookstores and through arcadiapublishing.com. Look for aerial photos of Kiest, Kidd Springs and Lake Cliff parks in future issues.