I am about to launch this new site dedicated to the life and work of landscape architect Horace William Shaler Cleveland. For a taste of what’s to come, you could visit my other website, minneapolisparkhistory.com, to see more about Cleveland’s contributions to the creation and design of Minneapolis’s highly regarded park system.
In 2008, I wrote City of Parks: The Story of Minneapolis Parks, for the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. The book was published on the 125th Anniversary of the creation of the Minneapolis park board by the Minnesota legislature — and ratification by Minneapolis voters — in 1883. (You can buy your copy of the book from the University of Minnesota Press here or from your favorite bookseller.) One of the early acts of the new park commissioners was to hire Cleveland to advise them. I outlined that story in the book, but I have since learned that there is so much more to tell of the man and his work than has been told before — by me or others — which I hope to do in these pages.
While Minneapolis and St. Paul benefitted more than most cities from Cleveland’s unique perspective, skills and passion, his story — or stories — are still worth knowing by people around the world who think about things as grand and public as cities and societies, yet as modest and personal as growing something green and beautiful.
David C. Smith