Eastman Reading Garden

Eastman Reading Garden: Arial ViewAn Urban Oasis

The Eastman Garden is dedicated in honor of Linda Ann Eastman (1867–1963), Director of the Cleveland Public Library from 1918 –1938. Linda Eastman worked at the West Side Branch (Cleveland’s first branch library), launched plans for the landmark Main Library building, and initiated many services to institutions and the visually impaired.

A brief history:

  • July 8, 1937: previously an unkept city park, the land between the two Main Library buildings opened as an outdoor reading garden
  • September 30, 1937: dedicated as Eastman Park
  • 1959: closed for the construction of the tunnel connecting the Main and Business & Science Buildings
  • May 4, 1960: re-dedicated as the Eastman Reading Garden
  • September 18, 1998: current garden dedicated after construction of the Louis Stokes Wing. Complete
    re-design includes public art, landscaping and
    commemorative paving stones
  • Today: the garden remains a popular spot for reading, relaxing, lunching, birding and people-watching
  • Garden is wireless

Public Art

See Also: Migration
Andréa Keys Connell

Photo by Soojin Choi

Andréa’s creations will bring this unique outdoor space to life with storybook inspired artwork. The scenes that she creates attempt to show how the past and the present, dream and reality, familiar and unfamiliar, can exist together in an environment that is uncanny.   The installation will be open to the public on Friday, June 12. Read more about the exhibit here.

Photo: © Don Snyder

Photo: © Don Snyder

Reading a Garden
Maya Lin, Artist 
Tan Lin, Poet

A private space for thoughtful reflection, Lin’s work features a gently flowing pool of water surrounded by granite paving blocks carved with an abstract language poem. (Funded by a grant from the George Gund Foundation)

Photo: © Cervin Robinson

Photo: © Cervin Robinson

Garden Gates
Tom Otterness

Whimsical bronze figures are busy at work in Tom Otterness’ garden gates – reading, climbing and building. A puzzle of words and parts of words, selected in collaboration with Maya and Tan Lin, form the grille-work of the gates and invite passersby to enter the garden. The gates are crafted of solid bronze.

Eastman Reading Garden: Bronze Figure

Photo: © Don Snyder

Bronze Figures
Tom Otterness

These amusing figures act as garden mascots and add a touch of humor. Favorites of children and adults alike, Tom Otterness’ whimsical little people populate the garden, surrounding areas and window ledges.