Even if a park inside a shopping mall sounds odd, it brings the calming nature of the outdoors inside to Cleveland’s citizens. On July 16, Tower City Center unveiled Skylight Park, working with real estate firm Bedrock and Cuyahoga Valley National Park to highlight natural beauty and greenery.
The attraction draws inspiration from the classic Midwestern foliage native to Ohio and was hand-selected for the space. The park features Eastern Purple Coneflower and the Black-eyed Susan, as well as “Mindful Moments,” encouraging shoppers to take a moment to reflect and find encouragement.
Ivy Greaner, Bedrock COO, says reimagining Tower City is important in order to bring more Clevelanders back into the shopping mall.
“Making sure that we're taking care of Cleveland by encouraging all businesses, all front facing businesses, storefronts … is very important to have people want to come downtown,” Greaner explains. “We want people to enjoy the city if they're living downtown to stay downtown so that they make businesses thrive and keep the city front and center for what anybody wants to do.”
Here are three things to know before you check out Skylight Park.
Encouraged to reflect. Most shopping malls don’t let you stop and take a breather, but Skylight Park’s calm and inviting atmosphere will. Drawing direct inspiration from the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley’s National Park’s Mindful Moments, the park places quotes and mantras alongside the greenery for shoppers to stop and reflect. Inclined platforms create space for short strolls through real and artificial shrubs and flowers. “Parks are just great locations where people feel good to be able to do things,” Greaner says. “While summer is a great time for people to be outdoors, we all know that the weather isn't perfect all summer long, so this brings summer inside also. It's a safe place without being rained on, and green always makes everybody feel good.”
Family fun. Kicking off July 16, Skylight Park will provide family-friendly programs and events through the summer, including Tower City Center’s new lunchtime music series on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. CVNP rangers will also make occasional visits to Skylight Park for an educational event called Misunderstood Critters and Creatures. Families can stay updated of the park’s schedule through their website or @towercitycle on Instagram.
Honoring the people. Skylight Park’s building phase took only six weeks, but the design phase ensured that the proper permits and implementation of environmental policies were in place before its grand opening. “[Skylight Park] was an opportunity,” Greaner says. “We wanted to partner with a park systems to make sure that we were thinking about where we could do indigenous plants. We wanted to do this park the way people who do this for a living do parks."
Get ahead of the weekend by signing up for our free weekly “In the CLE” newsletter — your guide to fun throughout The Land. Arriving in your inbox every Wednesday, this weekend to-do list fills you in on everything from concerts to museum exhibits — and more. Click here to subscribe.