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The Topiary Park: A Best Kept Secret

Walker Evans Walker Evans The Topiary Park: A Best Kept Secret
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Prior to 2010, The Topiary Park was hands down the nicest green space to be found in Downtown Columbus. This one-of-a-kind space is the only park in the world based on a painting (George Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte”) and illustrated through topiary.

But in the two years since 2010, we’ve seen the dedication of Columbus Commons and The Scioto Mile, both of which have cast a bit of a shadow over the serene lawn behind the library with their crowd-drawn amenities, event-hosting pavilions and high traffic locations. By comparison, The Topiary Park could now be considered a hidden gem located a bit off most people’s radar.

“There has been a growing interest in public parks within the last few years and Columbus has intelligently responded through the addition of the Scioto Mile and Columbus Commons,” said Carlene Palmquist, Executive Director of the Topiary Park. “These Downtown parks create a unique sense of space for the city as well as provide a draw to pull more people downtown to experience the entire city.”

The 230 events hosted at Columbus Commons in 2012 certainly outweigh the programming of the Topiary Park, but some would argue that not every green space requires a busy calendar to be an attractive destination. The Topiary Park has open stretches of grass that are great for hosting impromptu picnics, kickball games or quiet escapes for reading books or relaxing. Still, the Topiary Park does host some group gatherings that are worthy of note.

“The Topiary Park celebrated its 20th Anniversary in July with an event geared to show our history and accomplishments,” said Palmquist. “In addition, the park is hosting its fourth year of the PBJ & Jazz Family Concerts with the final two shows of the season on August 11th and September 8th.”

As to what the future holds for this urban oasis… that’s in the process of being determined right now.

“We’re in the middle of preparing a new strategic plan for the park, which will address our goals and programing for the next five years,”  said Palmquist. “I don’t have more to share at this time, but keep watching.”

Until then, the park is open for your enjoyment from sunrise to sunset, 365 days per year. Grab a blanket and head on down to enjoy this hidden gem.

More information can be found online at www.topiarygarden.org.

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  • Asch

    I’ve heard this place mentioned before but I haven’t so much as seen a picture. Thanks for this, I’m going to have to go for a picnic sometime soon to check it out!

  • I tell people to go here all the time. I love this place. Such a unique part of the city. Nice to have it highlighted like this.

  • Loungin9

    Good info. Interesting timing of posting with Fete en Blanc coming soon. My guess is it will be here. ha!

  • peanutnozone

    I used to live a block down from this place in 2009…lovely park. In the winter the figures blanketed with snow are beautiful..the small pond gets frozen and you can walk out to the boat. It’s expansive and nice for picnics.

    Not to derail, but just down the street about half a block, between Washington and Parsons, there is the Kelton house, which has a beautiful garden in the back with a fountain on the adjoining property…at night with the footlights it’s amazing.

    I don’t know why more people don’t live in this neighborhood, it’s amazing what with the parks and such.

  • stephentszuter

    This park is right by my house. It’s wonderful.

  • This is a beautiful and imaginative space. I attended a wedding there and it was fantastic!

  • I find the Topiary Park so pretty and peaceful.

  • “Not to derail, but just down the street about half a block, between Washington and Parsons, there is the Kelton house, which has a beautiful garden in the back with a fountain on the adjoining property…at night with the footlights it’s amazing.”

    +1! I worked at the Kelton House (and lived next door) all throughout college…
    if anyone is visiting the Topiary Park, I suggest walking a bit East to take a tour. A bit more info:

  • Another great “hidden gem” located near by is the Columbus Performing Arts Center (formerly known as The Davis): http://www.columbusunderground.com/davis-performing-arts-center-a-best-kept-secret

  • I love the topiary park! It’s run by volunteers too! It’s very impressive.

    Also not to derail, but the Tim Knapp Memorial Garden is a new section to the existing Topiary Park and it’s turning out to be really wonderful!

  • The topiary park will forever be near and dear to my heart. My husband proposed to me there. Right after his big proposal a nice homeless gentleman congratulated us then asked if he could bum a smoke.

    Ah, the memories….. (seriously, I do love this place).

  • cowtownposse

    Love Topiary Park. Used to go there all the time when a friend of mine lived Franklin a stone’s throw away.

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