Address:1000 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44108
History & Design:
The main entrance to the Greek Garden is on East Boulevard. It is flanked by two Doric columns representative of the type of column one would see while viewing the Parthenon on the Acropolis In Athens Greece. The central court is a sunken garden and forms the lines of a Greek cross.
Looking west from the main entrance is a pylon, the chief feature of the garden, symbolizing the wall of the Parthenon in Greece. Inscribed on the pylon are the names of 34 historic Greek figures representing the Greek spirit in philosophy, art, literature and science., e.g. Socrates, Homer, Plato, El Greco, Aristotle and Archimedes.
The reflecting pool in front of the Parthenon wall represents the substance of life-water- and is surrounded by circular seating.
On the opposite side of the Parthenon wall is the “Poets Bench,” flanked by two urns. In ancient Greece these urns were used as the watering vessels for the plants within the garden.
From the lower level of the garden on Martin Luther King Boulevard, two stair cases are visible. They ascend to the Parthenon wall, representing the climb upward one would experience to reach the Parthenon wall in Athens, Greece.
The planting beds are embellished with myrtle, a plant with historic Greek origins. Spire oaks which frame the two staircases on the west slope, represent the Cyprus trees that are prevalent in the Greek landscape. Sage is also a prominent planting within the central court. The Greek Cultural Garden is home to 89 trees of various varieties, i.e. ginkgo, oak, maple, beech and evergreens along with approximately 7,500 plantings.
In 1994, The Hellenic Preservation Society of Northeastern Ohio (HPS) representing the entire Greek community, renovated and replanted the Greek garden, using a master plan developed by Landscape Architect Jim McKnight.
The Society became the sponsoring organization for the Greek Cultural Garden and continues to support its maintenance, replanting and renovation efforts. In 1996, the year of the City of Cleveland’s Bi-Centennial, the garden was re-dedicated and presented to Michael R. White, Mayor of the City of Cleveland.