Eastman Reading Garden

Aerial View of garden displaying the chairs, water art.An 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.

The Eastman Reading Garden is open during Main Library Hours, Monday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

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 has wireless internet access

Public Art

See Also

See Also is a collaborative effort between Cleveland Public Library and LAND studio to bring innovative and thought-provoking temporary works of art each summer to the Eastman Reading Garden at Main Library. See Also is funded through an endowment established by the late Lockwood Thompson, a trustee of the Library and avid art collector.

2021: Baggage Claim by Darius Steward

2020: Reflect & Refract Democracy by Rose DiSiano

2019: Cyril Lancelin

2018: Common Energy by Lauren Herzak-Bauman

2017: Dialogue by Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster

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.