Cleveland Cultural Gardens

Cleveland, OH
United States
Cleveland Cultural Gardens

Landscape Information

Located in Rockefeller Park, the Cleveland Cultural Gardens extends approximately 1.5 miles on both Martin Luther King Jr. and East Boulevards. The Shakespeare Garden, a precursor to the Cultural Gardens, was spearheaded by the Shakespeare Memorial Committee and the City of Cleveland and inaugurated in 1916. Building on that garden, a partnership between the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation, the City of Cleveland and the Federal Government was formed and additional themed gardens were created celebrating America’s diverse immigrant population. The intention was to foster civic pride, encourage good citizenship, and promote world peace. In 1926, Leo Weidenthal dedicated the first garden, The Hebrew Garden. Fifteen other gardens followed honoring the German, Italian, Slovak, Yugoslav, Hungarian, Polish, American, Czech, American Legion, Lithuanian, Carpatho Rusin, Irish, Greek and Ukrainian cultures, many with the assistance of the WPA funding. Today there are 25 established gardens with others proposed. The American Legion Peace Gardens (Garden of the Nations and Garden of the States) represents the central theme of the entire Garden chain, “peace through mutual understanding.” Representative cultural garden designs are augmented by sculpture and statuary honoring famous citizens, including works by Alexander Archipenko and Cleveland-born Czech-American sculptor Frank Jirouch. The Rockefeller Park and Cleveland Cultural Gardens Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.