Donald A. Gray
(1891–1939), landscape architect and designer in Cleveland from 1920 to 1939,
was born in Tyrone, Pa., graduated from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and attended Harvard University, afterwards working briefly with Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., in the Olmsted Bros. firm in Brookline, Mass., the premier landscape architects in America. Gray came to Cleveland in 1920, establishing a practice in landscape architecture and designing many private gardens and estates in Cleveland, the Heights, and outlying suburbs. In 1925 he traveled to England, studying the gardens of great houses there. He designed the landscaping for the development of Fairhill Road houses in 1931; the Cedar-Center apartments, the first federal public-housing project in the nation; and FOREST HILL PARK; and was responsible for some of the designs for the Cleveland Cultural Gardens in ROCKEFELLER PARK. Dedicated to “making a beautiful city of Cleveland,” Gray worked with Mrs. William G. Mather and Mrs. Charles A. Otis to develop the Cleveland Garden Center. In 1936, he helped preserve DUNHAM TAVERN, Cleveland’s oldest remaining house (1842), which he proposed be made into a museum. Gray designed the Horticultural Gardens for the GREAT LAKES EXPOSITION of 1936-37, later found just north of CLEVELAND MUNICIPAL STADIUM and were named for Gray after his death. He is buried in Highland Park Cemetery. (Encyclopedia of Cleveland History)
Donald Gray Gardens at the Great Lakes Exposition. Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University, General Photography Collection, Cleveland Memory Project.