A CAMPAIGN FOR KILEY | Landscape Architecture Magazine

A Campaign FOR KILEY

Floridians are rallying to restore a uncommon Dan Kiley landscape, starting with 800 trees.


On June 17, 1988, life altered for Laurie Potier-Brown, ASLA. She was dwelling in Tampa, Florida, and doing the job in marketing when also pursuing an MBA. Her company’s offices were being positioned downtown, around the new NationsBank tower, Harry Wolf’s now-legendary concrete silo of an workplace developing. That Friday, through her lunch split, Potier-Brown ventured down to the park that had just opened in conjunction with the setting up. She walked less than the plexiglass-bottomed canal and up into the interesting, leafy garden, and as she wandered by the grove of flowering crape myrtles and listened to the “gurgling of h2o operating in the rills,” Potier-Brown claims she made the decision to abandon everything—her occupation in marketing, her MBA—and turn out to be a landscape architect.

30 decades afterwards, Potier-Brown is portion of a team working to support restore the park that so profoundly altered her occupation. Currently it is acknowledged as Kiley Garden immediately after its lead designer, the renowned modernist Dan Kiley—though for all those who try to remember it, the yard is barely recognizable. Its 800 crape myrtles are gone, as are its allées of sabal palms. The crystal clear-bottomed canal has been taken out, and the reflecting swimming pools 1 the moment crossed have been paved in excess of. “They’re basically parking automobiles exactly where the reflecting swimming pools were being,” suggests Christian Leon, the director of a neighborhood nonprofit and a supporter of the garden’s restoration. “There’s an entire parking garage beneath!”

The suspended structure functioning parallel to the Hillsborough River utilized to be a drinking water feature. Picture by Foto Bohemia.

The space was originally designed as a contemporary leisure backyard impressed by the Persian architecture of the university throughout the river and Wolf’s use of the Fibonacci sequence in the adjacent tower. Primary the force to rehabilitate the room are Pals of Kiley Garden and the Tampa Bay Foundation for Architecture and Design, which have introduced a multipronged marketing campaign aimed at raising two items: a single, consciousness of the garden’s historic significance—Kiley himself imagined it would be 1 of his most long lasting works—and two, dollars for a $2 million endowment to help pay for ongoing upkeep. The precise restoration function, they argue, falls at minimum partially to the metropolis, due to the fact it was the town that eliminated the trees and water functions after exploring quite a few leaks in the garage down below.

Opened in 1988, Kiley Backyard sits atop a multilevel parking structure in downtown Tampa. Photograph by Foto Bohemia.

“In two or 3 days, the city arrived in and reduce down 800 trees,” recollects Linda Saul-Sena, a former Tampa metropolis council member and a founding member of Pals of Kiley Backyard. “I wept. We referred to as it the tree massacre. But the city mentioned, ‘Don’t get worried, we’re going to resolve the leaks and then we’ll put the trees back again.’ But they hardly ever set the trees again.”

To educate Tampa residents about the garden’s pedigree, Buddies of Kiley Backyard garden strategies to deliver the Cultural Landscape Foundation exhibition The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley to the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, situated in just one of Wolf’s jewel-box buildings following to the back garden, in spring 2022. The most urgent obstacle, suggests Shaun Drinkard, the director of public programming and functions for the Tampa Downtown Partnership and a landscape architect by coaching, is the garage, which however leaks, and the mother nature of the ownership settlement concerning the metropolis and the building’s operator. “When you have two proprietors that possess two undefined parts in a garage, when you get to routine maintenance, there’s going to be an undefined line as to how the upkeep is done,” he states.

The backyard as it appeared soon soon after opening, with a collection of fountains and 800 flowering crape myrtles. Image by Harry Wolf.

Charles Birnbaum, FASLA, the president of the Cultural Landscape Basis, factors to Pittsburgh’s Mellon Square, developed by John Ormsbee Simonds in 1955 and restored in 2014, as precedent for the profitable rehabilitation of a fashionable garden amid advanced authorized and structural difficulties. It also sits on top of a parking construction, but was rehabilitated by means of a partnership between the city, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. “That’s a great case in point of a multijurisdictional area that was in will need of a principal steward, and the conservancy stepped in,” Birnbaum suggests. “Tampa demands that form of management below.”