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August 28, 2007


Anthony Bien

I had the chance to visit the Cultural Gardens of Cleveland rather extensively for about two and a half hours on Monday. I left the Gardens somewhat saddened by the state that they are in. The Grounds themselves look rather unkept and are laden with empty beer cans & cheap wine bottles. The Polish Garden, for example, has only two busts left standing and has been ravaged by vandals. Upon observing the other Gardens one can not help to notice the grandeur that these gardens once exhibited. It is a shame that these gardens do not exhibit this in the present, especially with the plethora of cultural significence that they offer for any one who ventures into them for the purpose of learning about the numerous individuals who helped create the city of Cleveland. I was most impressed with the Italian, Hungarian, and German gardens. Hopefully, the project that we in this class are attempting to do will strike awareness in the hearts and minds of others in Cleveland and we as a whole can bring the glory back to the gardens that they so deserve. See ya in class!!

Kellie Alston

I completely agree with Anthony. I left the gardens depressed rather then uplifted at what I had anticipated would be an aesthetically pleasing experience. To begin with I got lost attempting to find the gardens. I asked no less then 5 people do you know where they are? Finally the last person pointed me in the right direction. Only one other person thought they knew where they were, but unfortunatly she sent me to the botanical gardens, but thankfully there I found someone who knew where they were. These are people who worked or lived in that general area, one was in scrubs, one a construction worker, etc... This endeavor only got better! Ha Ha! Once I arrived there was no place to park so a person must park in one of the adjoining neighborhoods. I encountered only 3 people at the outskirts of the gardens, two hit on me and one asked me if I wanted to buy drugs. Not a very positive experience considering I was there for a class project. As I traversed the gardens I became unaware at times where one ended and another began because everything is overgrown in spots. And of course as mentioned by Anthony faceplates were missing, including the birds around the fountain at the Italian Garden. Anyway after an hour and a half I ventured back to my car. But instead of going directly to the vehicle I walked the neighborhood on the top section of the gardens. There I found several people at there homes or walking. I asked again no fewer then 5 "Do you live here?" Yes, "Have you walked the gardens before?" and they all said NO! One went on to say that he had lived in the area most of his life, better part of 60 years if I had to guess, and he had never walked them only ran by them. He also said the faceplates had been stolen because times are tough and people stole them for the money! Made sense to me.
Dr. Tebeau later informed me that they are in storage getting "facelifts," I wish I could go in storage and get a facelift. That made me feet a little bit better. But of the 13+ people that I spoke with who were obviously Clevlenders, no one has taken an interest in the gardens enough to appreciate them and they are right there living and working amongst them. If Clevlenders do not want or appreciate going to the gardens how on earth would anyone else from outside the area be enticed to visit the gardens! No parking, very few benches to sit on while there, overgrown, to drive there is terribly confusing with all the loop de loops, its a real wonder in the state that the gardens are in why anyone would go there. It's sad to see what could potentially be a beautiful space be forgotten, I'm sure it wasn't always so, sad times we live in!


I've written extensively on this with similar feelings, altough with much more hope than you guys: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=9803836&blogID=448568192

Anthony J. Bien

In regards to the Gardens, it is a reflection of the city in itself.....once vibrant and full of life. Now it is desolate and abandoned screaming of past glory......it is extremely sad to see the magestic potential of these gardens just wasting away. In a sense, as mentioned above, the connections to the city itself are grandiose. The city is a prime example of urban decline and decay,it does not use its strengths properly. For example, the lakefront and the Cultural Gardens. This city was once great and still can become as great. We have the Clevland Orchestra, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and many other nationally acclaimed atractions. Still, there are many that are not being used properly such as the lakefront and the gardens. It is time to bring Cleveland back to its former glory in regards to its cultural and natural beauty. In order to run, we have to walk, and in order to walk we have to crawl.....this being said lets fix the Gardens and then move on to the lakefront.

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