Cleveland June 15, 2018
These Vintage Photos Show How The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Have Changed… And How They Haven’t
Cleveland’s lovely landscape has been entrancing since the city’s founding. No matter where you go in The Land, there is something incredible waiting to captivate the eye. However, a few particular spots are lovelier than others, and they have remained beautiful for decades. Few places compare to the splendor of Cleveland’s Cultural Gardens, as evidenced by these vintage photos that will take you back in time.
British Cultural Garden (1926)
In the photo above, the well-dressed City Manager Hopkins and Ethel Barrymore stroll into the British Garden for a tree planting ceremony. This garden was actually the first in Rockefeller Park and was originally named the Shakespeare Garden when it was dedicated in 1916.
Polish Cultural Garden (1935)
Here, we see construction workers building what would become the Polish Garden. At the dedication ceremony, an elm tree from Poland was planted in the peaceful space, but the highlight of this garden is the ornate fountain depicting figures representing the arts and sciences, as well as ornamental animals. The Polish Cultural Garden is located at the corner of St. Clair and East Blvd.
German Cultural Garden (1936)
The enchanting German Garden hides the largest statue in Rockefeller park; the Goethe-Schiller monument, which was originally dedicated in Wade Park in 1907 and rededicated in Rockefeller Park in 1927. This garden is overflowing with monuments, many of which are devoted to icons like Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach. You can visit this lovely garden at 1036 East Blvd.
Slovenian Cultural Garden (1936)
In this images, locals work on constructing the Yugoslav Cultural Garden, which was eventually renamed the Slovenian Cultural Garden. When it was dedicated it in May of 1938, over 100,000 people paraded in support of the new garden. This lovely garden is still a beautiful spot to visit today and is located near the intersection of St. Clair Ave. and East Blvd.
Hebrew Cultural Garden (1937)
This enchanting little garden was the next to be constructed after the inaugural Shakespeare Garden. It was dedicated in 1926 as a monument to the Zionist movement, and this gorgeous fountain is its crown jewel. As the second garden constructed in Rockefeller Park, this pretty plot signified the start of the expansion of the Cultural Gardens, a strand of creations that continues to grow to this day.
Hungarian Cultural Garden (1938)
This lovely little garden was unofficially dedicated in fall of 1934 on the birthday of Hungarian composer Ferenc Liszt, who was honored with the unveiling of a plaque with his likeness. The formal dedication would not come until 1938, however, when thousands of people showed up to celebrate its beauty.
Italian Cultural Garden (1940)
This gorgeous garden captures the spirit of the Renaissance, featuring upper and lower levels and grand walkways that are overflowing with beauty. This charming amphitheater is one of its loveliest features and continues to draw crowds, particularly when it hosts summertime performances. In 2007, over a million dollars was put into its restoration, and the beauty of this exquisite site continues to captivate visitors to this day.
Greek Cultural Garden (1943)
The Greek Garden was dedicated in the year of 1940, but its influences date back thousands of years. Its iconic pylon is symbolic of the Parthenon, and the entire garden celebrates the spirited Greek approach to philosophy, art, and literature. This gorgeous garden can still be visited today at 1000 East Blvd.
What started as a simple Shakespearean Garden has since grown into 32 exquisite landscapes, each honoring a different area of this diverse planet that we call home. We’re so lucky to have this multicultural gem located right here in Cleveland!
Do you have a favorite Cultural Garden in Rockefeller Park? Let us know in the comments below!
While you are visiting the lovely gardens, you simply must begin your journey at
the entrancing Rockefeller Park Greenhouse.