Welcome to the fourth issue of Crooked River on the history of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. After a hiatus, we have begun to update, the page with research essays and historical images. Included too is a link to the sound portraits, created by CSU students, that were aired on WCPN radio as part of its "Accents" programming in December 2002.
Why an issue on the Cleveland Cultural Gardens? The Cleveland Cultural Gardens embody the history of twentieth-century America. Most obviously, they reveal the history of immigration to, and migration within the United States, commenting especially on how we have built communities and constructed our identities as individuals and communities. Also, we find in the gardens the stories of the major conflicts that gave shape to the century: World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. Yet, even as the gardens contain the history of global conflict, they provide insight into the large social, economic, political, and cultural upheavals that roiled through the nation during the last century: the Great Depression, suburbanization, the Civil Rights Movement, and the deindustrialization of America's industrial heartland.
At once a story of hope and despair, joy and sadness, conflict and cooperation, growth and decline, the stones, paths, and memories of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens tell us what it means to be an American.
-- Mark Tebeau