The Bud and Susie Rogers Garden
The Garden is a sequence of spaces that ascend in a W-E direction from S. High Street to S. Broadway. The terraces, each unique in character, also offer different modalities of use, be it the casual and passive to the active and event-driven. There is a gradation of planting as one ascends the garden. The planting becomes denser and more intricate moving away from High Street to the East, creating a more contemplative space away from the Café and Event Spaces. The character within each terrace is a reflection of the thematic planting that defines it.
The first space that one encounters is the Event Space at a lower elevation than High Street. A stair at High Street connects down to the Event Space. These stairs act as a threshold to delineate the Museum from the sidewalk. The Event Space is, in its essence, a plaza modeled after the many open spaces indicative of urban life. Made of durable materials, this space can house the most intensive uses, but remains flexible enough for those uses to vary based on the needs of the Museum and the community-at-large. Rimmed by ornamental planting along High Street and an elevated birch grove called the Canopy the Event Space possesses a sense of privacy and enclosure, making it suitable for private events. At night, the space is lit with soft moonlight from above, but on days of festive engagement, this space can be lit to act as the perfect platform for energy and excitement.
Above the seat walls of the Event Space is the Green. The Event Space and Green are connected by an ascending walkway as the journey into the garden’s more contemplative spaces begins. The Green is an open flexible lawn that can orient performances toward the Event Space below, but it also serves as moment of pause within the Garden. Flanking the Green to the south is the Feature Wall. A tall, elegant concrete wall, the Feature Wall is both art and the canvas for art exhibits.
Leaving the Green one begins their slow gradual ascent up the Criss-Cross. A winding path reminiscent of the rolling prairies of the Midwest, it is defined by soft, wafting grasses and Cor-Ten steel walls. This path is a slow meander that culminates at The Balcony, a reflective moment where museum guests can look back down upon the entire garden. At the Balcony one will find a long bench on which to sit and view performances in the Event Space below.
The final terrace at the top of the Garden is the Art Oasis. The Art Oasis is a woodland garden filled with native plantings of NE Ohio, reminiscent of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The intention is to create a layered garden canopy that offers solace and respite from the surrounding urban fabric. The garden is filled with smaller, intimate moments—of plantings and art—as well as a seating platform for lounging. The texture of the ground surface changes here from hard pavement to soft, decomposed granite that makes the visitor aware of a slower, deliberate pace. Mark di Suvero’s Eagle Wheel is showcased at the center of the Oasis.
Lined by trees, public access is provided by the Broadway Link, which is a direct pathway on the south edge of the garden, creating a new foot traffic pattern connecting downtown organizations from S. High Street to S. Broadway. The green pathway invites varied walking paces, including contemplative and meditative walks while fulfilling pragmatic point A to point B pedestrian travel in grace and beauty.