Nearly 20 years ago a beautiful rose garden of almost 8,000 bushes bloomed on the grounds of Holy Cross Hospital, and Tuesday that tradition was renewed. The new Rose Garden was dedicated in a new location on 100 South between 1000 and 1100 East.
Several of the tiny rosebushes were already blooming as if in honor of the new garden as the sun beamed down on more than 100 spectators and religious leaders, including President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.The original rose garden was established in 1937 on the northeast corner of the hospital property. In 1973, the hospital was expanded and most of the garden was moved to Sugarhouse Park.
The second Holy Cross Hospital Rose Garden, its maintenance, the center fountain and statue were established through a donation from Mr. and Mrs. O.C. Tanner. The Tanners presented the gift in honor of the late Sister Ann Josephine, a former Holy Cross Hospital administrator and close friend of theirs.
"The tradition and the symbolism of compassion come together in the persons of Mr. and Mrs. Tanner, in their gracious gift and admission of Holy Cross to those in need as represented in this garden of beauty," said Sister Olivia Marie Hutcheson in a dedication speech. "The gift we have been given we freely give."
Last year, Sister Olivia Marie, along with Jean Bradshaw, approached O.C. Tanner with the idea of renewing the garden. Now that garden is a reality with a combination of the traditional and contemporary. Parts of the old garden's wrought iron fence were even used to border the new garden.
The new garden comprises nearly 600 rosebushes including about 60 different varieties. The center fountain is decorated with engraved plaques dedicated to more than 200 sisters who have served at the hospital. Sister Olivia Marie said the plaques are even and equal unlike the variety of sisters they represent, but they are bound together with the tradition of service.
"I pray this garden will be an oasis for all who come here," said Sister Patricia Vandenberg, president and CEO of Holy Cross Health System. "May their spirits be soothed by the great beauty of these roses and the fountain's waters springing up."
Fred S. Ball, president and general manager of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, said he has seen the generosity of the Tanners in many areas of the community and feels the rose garden project has special significance to them because of their love for beauty and roses, which is visible in their own rose garden.
"We are receiving a special part of their largess as they help us with our garden here," Ball said.
Ball continued by outlining the benefits Holy Cross Hospital has contributed to the community both economically and charitably. He said he is amazed how it has grown from 25 beds in a tiny brick house to a 293-bed hospital with more than 1400 employees and 36,000 volunteer hours last year.
The Most Rev. William K. Weigand, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City performed the formal blessing and dedication of the garden and fountain. He said he was proud of Holy Cross Hospital and its commitment to quality care. He said the hospital has been at the heart of a diverse community for 115 years and he hopes it will keep pace with the needs of the future.
Landscape architect David Racker designed the garden. The circular fountain was designed by architect Boyd Blackner.