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Cleveland Cultural Garden structure damaged in car crash

One of Cleveland's Cultural Gardens was damaged Thursday when a car apparently ran off the road in the iconic park on the city's East Side.

A car struck a 94-year-old pillar as well as flower beds and flowerpots in the Italian Cultural Garden located near the intersection of East Boulevard and Parkgate Avenue, neighbors and park officials confirmed.

Repairs to the pillar and garden could cost thousands of dollars, said Joyce Mariani, executive director of the Italian Cultural Garden.

“We work really hard to upkeep this historical space. We have many, many visitors. A lot of events there,” Mariani said. “It’s very sad to see this happen. It’s going to set us back for sure.”

Mariani said she thinks much of the existing sandstone can be reused to rebuild the pillar.

The accident took place diagonal to Stonebrook-White Montessori school.

People in the neighborhood are concerned about speeders driving along the park on East and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards, said Gage Durkin, who lives nearby in the Glenville neighborhood.

“There’s no cops. No one is going to pull you over. So, go as fast as you want. It’s bedlam,” Durkin said. “People are just going 50 or 60 miles an hour through there.”

An opera concert is scheduled in the garden in July. Mariani said she hopes to have the garden cleaned up by then.

Gabriel Kramer is a reporter/producer and the host of “NewsDepth,” Ideastream Public Media's news show for kids.