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The easternmost segment of Garrett Place, just east of Sheridan Road on the Northwestern University campus, officially acquired an honorary name Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Shakespeare Garden and the Evanston organization that started it.

The honorary name bestowed upon the block by the Evanston City Council is Shakespeare Garden Founders Way, in honor of the women who had just founded the Garden Club of Evanston in 1915.

The group, which included the wife of the noted architect and city planner Daniel Burnham, chose as its  initial project the establishment of a garden on the Northwestern campus, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

Ever since its establishment a century ago, the garden has been meticulously maintained by the club and has been the site of hundreds of weddings, including that of Alan Cubbage, vice president of university relations at Northwestern, who spoke at Sunday’s event.

A proclamation read at a brief ceremony in the nearby Garrett Chapel by Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, designated June 14 as Garden Club of Evanston Day.

Mayor Tisdahl reads proclamation designating June 14 as Garden Club of Evanston Day.

Many of the club’s members chose to wear hats at the ceremony of the vintage worn at the time of its founding.

The garden, designed by the renowned  Danish-American landscape architect Jens Jensen, contains plants mentioned by Shakespeare in his writings.

A portion of the 70-by-100-foot garden on the Northwestern campus.

While many of the plants would not survive a Midwestern winter, more than 50 thrive in the 70-by-100-foot garden, including rosemary, lavender, thyme, daffodil, pansy, poppy, nasturtium, marigolds, and peonies.

In November 1988, at the urging of the Evanston Preservation Commission, the garden was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Cubbage, speaking on behalf of the university, thanked the club “for making that little pocket an oasis of quiet beauty on campus.”

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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