Home Business Kelcy Warren’s $10 Million Donation Connects Uptown and Downtown Dallas

Kelcy Warren’s $10 Million Donation Connects Uptown and Downtown Dallas

Kelcy Warren’s $10 Million Donation Connects Uptown and Downtown Dallas

Most people looked at downtown Dallas and saw division. A highway went directly through the heart of the city, separating uptown from downtown and making it difficult for people to get between them. Locals also decried the lack of an urban center, such as a large public park, where families could meet to visit and play games. Entrepreneur and philanthropist Kelcy Warren decided to change all that.

Who is Kelcy Warren?

Kelcy Warren launched Energy Transfer, a natural-gas pipeline company, in the early 1990s. Having recently passed his 60th birthday, Warren is now worth billions of dollars. He has also reached the distinction of being one of the 400 wealthiest people in the United States. However, he has never forgotten his humble beginnings and has always sought to serve the community with his personal wealth.

Kelcy was the youngest of four sons born into a working-class family in Gladewater, Texas. He holds his parents in high regard for instilling a strong work ethic in their sons and insisting that all four of them attend and graduate from college, since the parents never did. Warren has fond memories of attending church regularly as a family and of his parents each taking a role in leading his Boy Scout troop.

Although he never had much money while growing up, Kelcy Warren feels he hit the jackpot with faithful, involved parents. One or both parents often took on odd jobs, such as delivering the newspaper in the wee hours of the morning, and requiring their sons to help them.

Kelcy began taking on odd jobs himself by age 12, saving money for college. Unfortunately, he flunked out of his college his first year due to having freedom he didn’t know what to do with. His father came to the rescue, offering him a job and the chance to make up the credits at a local community college before re-enrolling at the University of Texas in Arlington that fall.

After winning a scholarship from the National Science Foundation in the mid-1970s, Warren became deeply interested in methane gas production. He earned a degree in civil engineering in 1978 and accepted his first full-time position with Lone Star Gas Company. His second employer was Endevco, which he and a business partner purchased in 1992 and renamed Cornerstone Natural Gas.

Kelcy Warren Became Interested in the Park Project Over a Decade Ago

As one of the biggest names on the Dallas philanthropy scene, Warren was anxious to work on the project to create a true city center by connecting the two separate halves. He pictured the Dallas city center being home to a large community park, open-air restaurants, and an amphitheater for concerts.

Kelcy Warren was so ambitious about the project that he donated $10 million of his own funds right away. An additional $40 million for the city center in Dallas came from wealthy local families.

Klyde Warren Park Named After Kelcy’s 10-Year-Old-Son

When the inauguration of the new park and city center occurred in October 2012, Warren’s son, Klyde, was just 10 years old. Before Klyde can inherit anything from his father one day, he must agree to spend at least one day per month cleaning the park. Kelcy hopes that working to take care of the park will give Klyde an appreciation for philanthropy that he will engage in on his own.

The City Center Joins a Long List of Philanthropic Endeavors in Dallas

Since Texas residents pay no sales tax, projects of this nature often fall into the hands of philanthropists like Kelcy Warren. Some of the most iconic buildings in Dallas, listed below, all had backing from wealthy philanthropists who stepped in to do what the state could not without the advantage of tax revenue.

  • Dallas Museum of Art
  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • George W. Bush Presidential Library
  • Nasher Sculpture Center
  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Dallas is the adopted hometown of Kelcy Warren, and he will always do what he can to ensure its beauty and upkeep. He understands how important community is to everyone and he feels proud that some of his funds went towards creating the new city center that Dallas residents love so much. 

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Deidre Holtz was born and raised in New York City and she graduated from Colombia University, where she earned a degree in English literature and a minor in business. After graduation, she began her career as a freelance journalist, writing for a variety of publications and websites. Deidre is known for her in-depth reporting on a wide range of business and financial topics. Throughout her career, she has covered a wide range of subjects, including the latest trends in technology, finance, and business.