The rose garden previously located behind Cape Girardeau’s City Hall in City Hall Park was recently removed for relocation downtown. By Oct. 1, the Parks and Recreation Department hopes to have the rose garden’s new location completed in front of the Red House Interpretive Center at Murtaugh Park on South Main Street.
“It [the rose garden] was moved because we are doing a very significant-sized storm sewer project that is coming down from Broadway,” said City Engineer Casey Brunke. “The new storm sewer is going to run right through the middle of the rose garden. That’s why it had to come out.”
Removing the rose garden from City Hall began in the beginning of September. Parts of the garden are currently in storage until Parks and Recreation begins reconstructing the new garden downtown.
The large granite pieces surrounding the original garden were saved, but the individual commemorative bricks will be replaced at the new location. Brunke said that the City has a list of all the contributors on file and they will each be getting a new shiny brick at the Main Street location.
The rose garden’s founder, Melvin Gateley, has been supportive and active with the reconstruction project. According to Brunke, Gateley is currently working on fundraising to provide the rose garden with a special centerpiece, such as a statue or fountain. Gateley is a previous City Council member, school principal and continues to be an active community member in Cape Girardeau.
Parks Division Manager Brock Davis said Gateley headed the group Vision 2000, who helped originally construct the rose garden in City Hall Park.
“It was constructed in honor of those citizens that have helped develop and improve life within the City of Cape Girardeau,” Davis said. “It was constructed in 1999 so that they could unveil it in 2000. It has been at City Hall since 2000.”
The rose garden move was completely funded by a grant the City received to complete the sewer project.