Address:1030 Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Cleveland, OH 44108
Architect/Designer:Designing the garden was a collaborative effort by the Latvian Garden Committee, local Latvian architect Kalvis Kampe, Cleveland landscape architect Al Parker, and Latvian sculptor Ģirts Burvis.
Dedication Date:October, 2006
Contacts:Ilze Resnis, President , Latvian Garden Assoc. (440-285-3175); Anda Cook (216-651-0486)
History & Design:
The Latvian Cultural Garden’s entrance path begins with the Latvian flag flying freely and leads visitors to the arched granite stone sculpture which is surounded by a “Stream” sculpture, the “Namejs” sculpture and the “boat” bench. Birch trees are incorporated in the landscape, as they are prevalent in Latvia’s landscape and poetry.
The center arched sculpture is a granite boulder from Latvia sculpted by Ģirts Burvis with the center arch representing the passage of immigrants from Latvia to the United States. The silhouette is of a woman in traditional folk dress and signifies the strength and spirit of the Latvian people. Latvian design elements are engraved on the stone.
Two granite benches reminiscent of a boat and a “stream” rock symbolize the many rivers, lakes, and the Baltic Sea in Latvia. Another rock sculpture with an inscription and encircled with a traditional Latvian “namejs” design was created by Gaits Burvis. The “namejs” is recognizable to all Latvians and is one of the popular designs used in Latvian jewelry.
The Latvian Garden exists only by the efforts of Silvija Rutenbergs whose optimism and persistence has resulted in this beautiful garden and in the opportunity to have the Latvian community represented in the Cultural Gardens. Silvija Rutenbergs and Ilze Resnis began attending the Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation meetings and started the process of being the first garden in the “revival” of the Cultural Gardens. A Latvian garden committee was formed to include Anda Cook, Kalvis Kampe, Baiba and Egils Apelis, Zenta Apinis, Baiba and Bill Crawford, Dzintra and Vilmars Kukainis, John Resnis, and Inara Zarins, with the Latvian Association of Cleveland being the sponsor organization. Many thanks to the Committee members for their time and continued support for the Latvian Garden. Most of all, there would not be a Latvian Garden if it were not for the many generous donors who made the Latvian Garden possible.