Topiary Garden/ Deaf School Park
480 East Town Street, Columbus, OH 43215 view on map
Location: Central Columbus
Situated in downtown Discovery District, the Topiary Garden Park sits on the remnants of the Old Deaf School Park. Though it has become affectionately known as the Topiary Garden Park, the park land actually dates back to the early 19th century, when it was a dormitory and campus for the adjacent Deaf School. Today, the Topiary Garden in Old Deaf School Park is the only public park of its kind, not only in Ohio, but in the world as well. The Topiary Garden is a living recreation of Georges Seurat’s famous post-Impressionist painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of LaGrande Jatte.
The idea for the topiary garden was conceived and sculpted in 1989 by Columbus artist James T. Mason and his wife Elaine, also an artist. The pond is meant to represent the River Seine was installed in late 1989, as were the artificial hills. In the years since its creation, the Topiary Garden has appeared in a multitude of magazines, periodicals, books, and documentaries including Life, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, and programs aired on the BBC.
The Topiary Garden Park is open daily from dawn until dusk, and admission is free to all visitors. April through November is the recommended time for viewing the garden, as the park is blooming in full. Don’t forget to stop at the point of “As He Saw It,” the marked location that represents how Seurat saw the scene as he was painting it.