A Place Apart, by Tom Griffin & Jon Marmor


Grieg Garden. Click photo to enlarge.

Photo by Kathy Sauber. Click photo to enlarge.
The Grieg Garden is the reverse of what folksinger Joni Mitchell once sang about—they "unpaved" a parking lot and put up Paradise. Until the renovation of the HUB Yard in 1990, the space south of Thompson Hall was for cars. Today it is for people (and squirrels). One of the UW's newest beauty spots, the Grieg Garden is a cozy clearing surrounded by trees and flowering shrubs. Located on the north side of the HUB Yard, it is best in the spring, when rhododendrons and azaleas frame the space in drifts of lavender, crimson, magenta and pink. On its teak benches—right out of a Smith and Hawken catalog—you will often find young couples holding hands or harried graduate students taking a break from the library. Dominating it all is a bronze bust of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. Originally cast for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909, a group of Scandinavian fraternal societies gave the sculpture to the UW in 1917. For many years he rested in front of the old Meany Hall; later he was placed in the HUB Yard. Today he is the centerpiece of this garden, but he has a mystery surrounding him. Grieg's nose lacks the patina on the rest of the statue—it is ever shining. Could it be true that one fraternity requires its members to polish the nose as a rite of passage?—Tom Griffin

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