This Philadelphia “Dream Garden” Is Not What You Think

on July 2, 2013

Philadelphia's Dream Garden

When you hear the term “Dream Garden,” the first images that come to mind are usually gorgeous greenery coupled with luscious landscape. Surprisingly, Philadelphia’s “Dream Garden” (99 Walnut St, Philadelphia PA) doesn’t fit under this definition and is instead a stunning glass mosaic that even many locals don’t know about.

When you are looking for things to do in Philadelphia, it is certainly a great option but the funny thing is that it’s likely you would miss it…Unless you knew where it was.

The artwork was created using more than 100,000 pieces of iridescent glass by the studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany and was inspired by a Maxfield Parrish painting.

The mosaic stands 15-by-49 foot and was originally commissioned by publishing magnate Cyrus Curtis.

The Dream Garden was originally installed inside the lobby of Curtis’ headquarters in Washington Square Park in 1916. In 1998, the mosaic was at the center of a major controversy when casino owner Steve Wynn announced his plan to buy it and move it to Las Vegas.

Instead, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts purchased the work to guarantee its permanent residence in the state.

If you are looking to experience one of Philly’s best not-so-secrets, the Dream Garden should be your first stop.