Topiary Park

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Topiary Park
Old Deaf School Park
Topiary Park, Columbus, OH.jpg
The park's central design, replicating A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
Topiary Park
Type Urban park
Location Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Coordinates 39°57′40.0″N82°59′15.2″W / 39.961111°N 82.987556°W / 39.961111; -82.987556 Coordinates: 39°57′40.0″N82°59′15.2″W / 39.961111°N 82.987556°W / 39.961111; -82.987556
Area9.182 acres (3.716 ha)
Opened1980s
Designer
  • James T. Mason
  • Elaine Mason
Administered by Columbus Recreation and Parks Department
Public transit accessAiga bus trans.svg COTA alt logo.svg 10, 11
Ic directions bike 48px.svg CoGo
Website Official website

Topiary Park is a 9.2-acre (3.7 ha) public park and garden in Columbus, Ohio's Discovery District. The park's topiary garden, officially the Topiary Garden at Old Deaf School Park, is designed to depict figures from Georges Seurat's 1884 painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte . It is the only park based entirely on a painting. [1]

Contents

The park is officially named Old Deaf School Park, as it was part of the campus of the Ohio Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, known today as the Ohio School for the Deaf. [2] It is owned by the city of Columbus and maintained by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. [3]

Description

Aerial view in autumn Columbus, Ohio JJ 60-crop.jpg
Aerial view in autumn
Parkland and seating adjoining the Columbus Metropolitan Library to the park CML Main Library new wing.jpg
Parkland and seating adjoining the Columbus Metropolitan Library to the park

The park is located in downtown Columbus. It features topiaries trimmed into life-size shapes of men, women, children, animals, and boats and arranged to resemble the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte . [1] [4] Specifically, there are topiaries of 54 people, eight boats, three dogs, a monkey, and a cat. [5] It also hosts 220 trees, including 35 different species. [6] The park hosts jazz concerts. [7]

The park is adjacent to the Main Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library system. The branch was renovated around 2015, with one of the architect's goals being to join the library to the park. [8]

The gatehouse, near the southeast corner of the park, is the park's main entrance. The 2,400-square-foot (220 m2) building holds offices, restrooms, and an information desk and gift shop. It was constructed in 1998, designed in brick and resembling a French countryside house to match the park's theme. The building was funded by the City of Columbus, Motorists Mutual Insurance, and the Friends of the Topiary Park. [4] [9]

History

The land originated as part of the 10-acre (4 ha) campus of the Ohio Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, and a dormitory was built there for the school. When the school moved locations in 1953, the neighborhood declined. Most of the school's buildings burned down in 1981, leading to the development of the park, which helped revitalize the area. [4] [2]

The park was first developed in the mid-1980s as Old Deaf School Park. [9] Topiary Park and its garden was conceived by Columbus artists James and Elaine Mason. It was built as a garden exhibit for the AmeriFlora exhibition that took place in Columbus in 1992, [1] and was sculpted in 1989, along with installation of hills and a small pond, meant to represent the River Seine. [2]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Gottsacker, Erin (July 3, 2017). "Curious Cbus: What's The Story Behind Topiary Park?". WOSU Radio. Archived from the original on October 20, 2018. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 "Topiary Garden (Deaf School Park)". City of Columbus, Ohio. Archived from the original on October 20, 2018. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  3. "Home". Topiary Park. Friends of the Topiary Park. Archived from the original on October 20, 2018. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 Hamper, Anietra (2018). Secret Columbus: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. Reedy Press. ISBN   9781681061252 . Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  5. Hoevener, Laura; Weeks, Terri (2010). Adventures Around Cincinnati. Mill City Press. p. 184. ISBN   9781936107438 . Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  6. "Old Deaf School Park Tree Walk" (PDF). Friends of the Topiary Park. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 9, 2018. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  7. "Discovery District comes into its own". The Columbus Dispatch. August 31, 2017. Archived from the original on October 21, 2018. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  8. "Columbus Metropolitan Library: Main Branch serving downtown Columbus". Schooley Caldwell. Archived from the original on October 21, 2018. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  9. 1 2 Darbee, Jeffrey T.; Recchie, Nancy A. (2008). The AIA Guide to Columbus . Ohio University Press. p. 75. ISBN   9780821416846.