Cleveland, Ohio is home to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, world renowned cultural institutions and Drew Carey (remember Who’s Line is it Anyway? or the Drew Carey Show?)
It was also once home to some of the richest men ever born in America. Men who left their mark on the community. Men whose names live on today. One of those men was John D. Rockefeller, founder of the Standard Oil Company.
Rockefeller was a philanthropist who donated money for several institutions throughout Northeast Ohio. In 1897 he donated just over 270 acres of land to the city of Cleveland to be used as a park, offering recreation and relaxation to city residents. Today over 250 acres remain along with the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse, one of the attractions that are free in Cleveland.
The Rockefeller Park Greenhouse opened in 1905 to house and grow the plants used for many of the city’s parks. Today the greenhouse has evolved into a botanical garden with indoor and outdoor theme gardens.
Highlights of the garden include the orchid displays, the Talking Garden for the Blind featuring a statue of Helen Keller beside a hand operated water pump, gargoyles from one of the local railroad stations, a Japanese Garden and the four season statues in the front courtyard.
While I enjoyed my brief visit to the greenhouse, I would caution you to call ahead to ask if they have any special events that will coincide with your visit. My husband and I visited during some type of photography class/competition and really felt out of place with my basic DSLR compared to the cameras with lenses a foot long (yes, I suffer from camera envy). But more than that, it was difficult to get around inside the greenhouse amidst the tripods and made it impossible for my husband and I to get a good look around and to get some of the pictures I wanted.
There also happened to be an event across the street. Combined with the special event and whatever was going on with the photographers, it was nearly impossible to find a parking spot. We passed by the greenhouse twice before parking several blocks down the street and walking to the entrance.
The grounds do look like they’ve seen better days, but there is no charge for entrance so if you go, you may consider donating a few bucks for the continued upkeep of what has to be a costly operation.
Ready to visit the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse? Here’s some contact information:
Address: 750 E 88th St.
Cleveland, OH 44108
Phone Number: 216- 664-3103
Cost: Free Admission. Free Parking inside the gate and free on street parking.
Hours of Operation: Open daily from 10 am to 4 pm
Time to allow for a visit: 30 minutes to 1 hour or more
Appropriate for all ages.
Follow the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse on Facebook.
The greenhouse is near the Cultural Gardens, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lake View Cemetery, three more attractions that are also free in Cleveland.
Have you been to the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse? What did you think?
© 2013, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.