United States

Cleveland Cultural Gardens

This collection of more than 30 gardens in or adjacent to Rockefeller Park originated with the establishment of the Shakespeare Garden (now the British Garden) in 1916. Its purpose, to commemorate the culture of Britain, with support from a coalition led by the Shakespeare Memorial Committee and the City of Cleveland, inspired city leaders to replicate the concept with additional themed gardens honoring America’s diverse immigrant population. A partnership formed between the city, the newly established Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation, and the Federal Government, with the first Cultural Garden, the Hebrew Garden, dedicated in 1926. Over the following two decades, Works Progress Administration (WPA) funding was used to complete dozens of additional gardens, with local landscape architects including Ashburton Tripp, James Lister, Donald Gray, and Thomas Jones, among others, employed to complete the designs. Plantings, statuary, and signage interpret the cultural lifeways of a diverse array of immigrant communities. Between 1929 and 1950, the German, Italian, Hungarian, Slovak, Irish, Greek, Polish, Czech, Lithuanian, Carpatho Rusyn, and Ukrainian Gardens were established, many with ongoing support and maintenance provided by Cleveland’s immigrant communities. The Peace Garden of the Nations (1936) represents the Cultural Gardens goal to promote civic pride and world peace and contains intermingled soils retrieved from historic sites around the world. More than a dozen gardens were later established, including the African American (1977), Chinese (1985), and Indian (2005) Gardens, with many more slated for development. The Rockefeller Park and Cleveland Cultural Gardens Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Location and Nearby Landscapes

Nearby Landscapes