boulder international peace garden

blog post | right place, right time (or) showing up is half the battle
facebook | Boulder International Peace Garden

Boulder Peace Garden



Boulder Peace Garden

Boulder Peace Garden

Boulder Peace Garden

Boulder Peace Garden

Original Designers – 1990 | Joseph Vigil, Bill Echterling, Laurel Rains, Jim Knopf
Paver Designer – 2016 | Brandy LeMae
Client | City of Boulder & Boulder Sister Cities

Photographer | Eric Paulsrud

Boulder has a long-standing Sister City program, with seven sister cities around the globe. One of these sister cities, and the most intimate connection of the seven, is Dushanbe, Tajikistan. This connection was forged during the height of the Cold War to foster peace and establish a friendship between the two cities as representatives of the two nations of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. The relationship has withstood the tests of time, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and civil war. We (the city of residents of Boulder) and Dushanbe have had many trades and other events between the two of us, including most notably the Dushanbe Tea House in 1987. The Tea House is an extremely intricate tea house constructed, carved, and hand painted in Dushanbe by local professional craftsmen, disassembled, and then shipped to and reassembled in Boulder.

The Boulder International Peace Garden was another symbol of the friendship between the two sister cities; Dushanbe constructed and dedicated a park to Boulder and the International Peace Garden was a reciprocal gesture to honor our sister city. In 1988, Joseph Vigil, a student in architecture at the local university (University of Colorado Boulder), contributed to the design. Now Joseph is the principal architect at WORKSHOP8, an architecture firm in Boulder. The garden was dedicated on October 6, 1990.

The design of the garden is two semi-circular seating areas spanning the Boulder Creek. The two sides represent the two sister cities with the river in-between representing the physical distance between the sister cities as well as the tenuous friendship between the cities that could slip away without constant vigilance, much like international peace. The purpose of each of the seating areas is different to symbolize the difference in cultures but also the harmony between them, one bank is tiered to form a small amphitheater and the other is arranged to create a quite area for rest.

October 6, 2015 was the Peace Garden’s 25th anniversary.


WORKSHOP8’s involvement with the garden is a proposal to make improvements to the garden, add public art, and improve interpretive signage.