The restored and improved Wade Oval is a 7-acre public park located in Cleveland’s University Circle and surrounded by some of the city’s most respected cultural institutions. Cleveland’s University Circle is an extraordinary cultural, medical, and educational district. Its concentration of institutions in one square mile is unsurpassed in the world. Among the important institutions that call it home are the renowned Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Botanical Garden, and Severance Hall (home of the Cleveland Orchestra) Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Western Reserve Historical Society.
MKSK prepared the plan and design documents to restore the park back to its prominence. Wade Oval serves as the ceremonial center of the University Circle district. Pedestrian connections between the three major institutions whose front doors open onto Wade Oval Drive now provide open “stages” for sculpture gardens (Art Museum), botanical displays (Botanical Garden) and children’s play (Natural History Museum). Various seating opportunities and park spaces provide year-round enjoyment for visitors, nearby workers, and area residents. While the emphasis is to activate Wade Oval throughout the year, much consideration was given to popular festivals such as Parade-the-Circle, which can bring more than 30,000 visitors to the Oval for the day’s activities.