George Gund Foundation gives $5 million to Public Square project

CLEVELAND -- As the city of Cleveland prepares for a dramatic redesign of Public Square, the George Gund Foundation has donated $5 million to the effort.

To honor the gift, the northern event lawn will be known as the Gund Foundation Green.

The grant will provide continuing funding for the Group Plan Commission, which has engaged the renowned landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations to "reinvent" Public Square as a welcoming, active, energetic and sustainable public park. Today's grant is in addition to a $500,000 grant from the Foundation in 2012 that funded early design work and enabled broad community input for the project.

"The George Gund Foundation is very proud to have been a strong and early supporter of this exciting project and the collaborative process that has shaped the community-focused vision behind it," said David T. Abbott, executive director. "This additional grant will now help to accelerate implementation of that vision."

Mayor Frank Jackson said, "We appreciate the Gund family and their foundation for stepping forward with this significant grant. Through their longstanding and continuing support, they are helping to reshape our city in ways that will benefit Clevelanders for generations to come."

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald said, "Along with businesses, the philanthropic community is an essential partner in leveraging the public sector investment that will revitalize downtown and link it to our lakefront. We greatly appreciate the Gund Foundation's ongoing support of this great initiative."

Anthony J. Coyne, Group Plan Commission chairman, added, "Years from now, Clevelanders will look at catalytic projects like this as defining moments in our city's rich legacy. This is a tremendous opportunity to do something truly exciting and world-class."

The $30 million Public Square project is part of an even broader effort that includes enhancing the malls and linking Lake Erie to the city's core. For more information about the Group Plan Commission and its projects, visit


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