Originally dedicated in 1958, the Finnish Cultural Garden was rededicated in 1964, celebrating Finnish cultural identity in the face of Russian imperialism.
Finnish immigrants first settled in Cleveland in 1885. More Finns arrived over the years, with most settling in the Clifton Avenue area between W. 25th St. and W. 38th St. This section of the city eventually came to be known as "Little Finland." The Finnish community grew relatively slowly at first, with the 1900 U.S. Census recording only 79 Finns residing in Cleveland. Another 592 arrived over the next 20 years, and by 1930, the census recorded 3,000 Finns living in the city. Of these, about half resided in the Clinton Avenue area. The Finnish settlements in and around Cleveland remained small and descendants often moved into the general population rather than stay in community neighborhoods. By the 1980s Cleveland's "Little Finland" no longer existed.
The Finnish Cultural Garden contains 4 busts of prominent Finns and a granite tablet that is dedicated to the spirit of the Finnish people and memorializes Aleksis Kivi, a Finnish author (1834-1872) who wrote the first significant novel in the Finnish language. The busts commemorate: Elias Lonnrot, a physician and folklorist (1802-1884); Jean Sibelius, a composer (1865-1957); Johan Ludvic Runeberg, a poet (1804-1877); and Johan Vilhelm Snellman, a statesman and philosopher (1806-1881).