The (sculpture) gardens of Goodrich Avenue and Leech Street,
as well as the North High Bridge Park
A creative(!) community
development project of the Bohemian Hill
of Upper Town and Uppertown Triangle, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. The park's multi-cultural projects reflect the history and diversity of the neighborhoods and city, and are dedicated to peaceful co-existence.
St. Paul's High Bridge was completed in 1895, and destroyed by a tornado in 1904. Almost a century later, 1987, a new bridge replaced the old. A half-acre park was landscaped at the north end of the bridge. This was planted in a variety of crab apple trees, conifers, and dwarf honeysuckle. A large center circle, 84 feet in diameter, was mounded in a simple design with sod with seven linden trees at the perimeter. However, it soon became obvious that the center plantings were in trouble:
In 1988 I was designated by a neighborhood committee to form a North High Bridge Task Force under the neighborhood "Federation" and plant a garden in the center space. The neighbors agreed that this was an important gateway into the Uppertown Neighborhood, and an ideal spot for river viewing and casual conversation. However, we were unaware of the severity of the growing conditions in the park, and all plantings died.
1n 1993 the City of St. Paul was proceeding with its federally mandated sewer-separation project. In the Uppertown Neighborhood, huge underlying rock formations had to be cut out with giant saws to make way for the new sewer pipe. This rock was Platteville Limestone with some calcite and dolomite, and twelve dump trucks were brought in to form walls for a day lily garden. The City provided a beautiful mix of soil and mulch, a watering fountain, and the Minnesota Hemerocallis Society donated day lilies. Students from the St. Paul Open School came forward, washed the roots and planted them. Trees were replaced and the first garden emerged!
The remaining stone was then transformed by Zoran Mojsilov, a Yugoslavian-American artist, into the "Watcher" thanks to a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and local fund raising,
Dedication: Halloween 1995
The Watcher, a sculpture by Zoran Mojsilov
Pumpkins for the dedication
Green Chair I & II
1991 & 2002
Peace Pole in four languages
Czech, Hmong, Spanish, English; Dedicated June 17, 1997
Community Gate Project