The CLEVELAND CULTURAL GARDENS are located in the area known as Rockefeller Park, along MLK Blvd. and East Blvd., just south of St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. The gardens are part of the City of Cleveland Parks. This truly unique string of 25 nationality gardens is representative of the various nationalities living in the Greater Cleveland area. Each Garden is supported by a sponsor organization representing the nationality.
The CZECH CULTURAL GARDEN was dedicated on October 6, 1935. It is circular in layout with two entrance monuments which declare the purpose of the Garden:" A memorial to Czech parents who by their solid example set the high ideals of American citizenship." This Garden has the most statues of the many gardens in the park. The two full size statues, Komensky and Masaryk, are illuminated at night utilizing a solar powered system.
The focal point is a statue of Jan Amos Komensky, an educator and philosopher known as the father of modern education. Busts of Frantisek Palacky, Karel Havlicek Borovsky, Jindrich Simon Baar, and composers Berdich Smetana and Antonin Dvorak surround the pathway representing Czech culture and history.
The statue of T.G. Masaryk, the founder and first president, stands at the apex of the garden. A monumental wall completes the design with a frieze depicting the arrival of Czech people in Bohemia and later in America.
President and Mrs. Benes planted a linden tree in the garden in 1939 as a symbol of the flourishing Czech culture in the New World.
All the aforementioned statues were made by Frank Jirouch, 1878-1970, a Cleveland born artist of Czech descent.
Improvements to the Garden in recent years were made with the financial assistance from the Holden Parks Trust, the Czech Foreign Ministry and the Victor Ptak Family generous contributions.
CZECH CULTURAL GARDEN ASSOCIATION
Paul Burik, President
Blanche Vanis - Vice President
Ludmila Hyvnar - Secretary / Treasurer