October 1, 2001 – City of Cincinnati On September 21st, the Cincinnati Park Board held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new 16-acre park along the Ohio River. The new park, Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park, is dedicated to international friendship and understanding, and it is also named after a prominent Cincinnatian, Theodore M. Berry who was the city’s first African-American mayor and a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement.
The park theme is particularly timely now, though it has been in the planning stages for a decade. The park will celebrate what people have in common across cultures and borders. It features garden areas devoted to the continents, intertwining pathways to encourage personal encounters (the path of man and the path of nature), an interactive fountain, a seating wall which will later receive mosaic tile treatment to be created in conjunction with sister cities in different countries, two commissioned works of art to
be selected from finalists chosen from a field of regional, national and international artists, a bike trail, a concession/rental building, and an earth form in the shape of two hands (not unlike the native american mounds found in the region).
The park connects on the west with existing riverfront parks, and it will eventually be linked with a greenway and bike trail to the east. The $8 million park was funded by the City of Cincinnati and the State of Ohio. Discussions are continuing with the seven sister city groups in Cincinnati about opportunities for further participation in the park. The City of Munich, Germany has agreed to design and fund the construction of a pavilion to be placed in the Garden of Europe. Three other pavilions and a series of small gardens are also planned, but will be built as private funding becomes available. Though a number of artistic elements are being incorporated into the basic infrastructure of the park, related to international iconography and graphic images, further art opportunities will also be explored through private funding. The park is slated for completion in April, 2003.
For more information, contact Steven Schuckman