Meijer Gardens opens Padnos rooftop

Meijer Gardens Stuart and Barbara Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park will look a little different the next time you visit.

The Grand Rapids attraction has opened the Stuart and Barbara Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden.

It is located on top of the newly completed 22,000-square-foot Covenant Learning Center.

“The Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden is a completely new garden experience,” David Hooker, president and CEO, Meijer Gardens. “It will have an urban garden look and feel with stunning views of the wetlands.

“Our gratitude to the Padnos family is deep and sincere. They have supported a very broad range of cultural projects in West Michigan and beyond, and we are honored to have a signature sculpture garden named in their honor. Stuart Padnos was an accomplished sculptor, and we are fortunate to have several pieces of his work in our permanent collection. It is most fitting that this new garden carries the Padnos name.”

Four long-term pieces are being loaned from the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. They were created by Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Marino Marini and David Smith.

The rooftop garden is designed to highlight vistas of the wetlands and boardwalk areas that mark the eastern border of the Meijer Gardens campus.

The new space can also host weddings and other gatherings.

“Meijer Gardens has done an incredible job of fusing Lena Meijer’s love of gardening with Fred Meijer’s passion for sculpture into an amazing institution,” Jeff Padnos said. “Stuart and Barbara Padnos also shared in those passions.

“It is a special delight for our family to be able to honor them by contributing to this wonderful addition. Our family is truly thrilled to be part of this wonderful example of what we can accomplish with vision and collaboration.”

The Padnos rooftop is a part of a $115-million expansion project at Meijer Gardens.

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