Dan Kiley (1912-2004) pioneered in modernist landscape architecture – including Burlington cathedral

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Burlington

by April Hancy

Dan Kiley brought the geometry and formality of European gardens to cityscapes and country retreats around the world. Rows of concrete frames filled with grass or water, rows of fountains and trees graced his designs. 

Dan Kiley

Although a student of Harvard, Kiley’s apprenticeship with Warren Manning led him directly to collaborations with other Modernists such as Louis Kahn, I.M. Pei, and Eero Saarinen (with whom Dan also served in the OSS).

Avid skiers, and ski instructors, Dan and his wife Anne and their eight children settled in Vermont in the early 1950’s, where he would permanently live and have his offices.

With over one thousand projects to his name, awards poured in, such as the National Medal of Arts and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Among Kiley’s accomplishments are the Constitution Gardens (Washington, D.C.), Fountain Place (Dallas, TX), and the Independence Mall (Philadelphia, PA). 

Vermonters may be interested to know that the Immaculate Conception Church (Burlington) and Twin Farms (Woodstock) were designed by this visionary, who wanted to at once expand and solidify our relationship with nature. Kiley’s last residential commission was from a member of the DuPont family of Delaware.

Sources-Wikipedia, The Cultural Landscape Foundation

April Hancy of Montpelier compiles biographies on little-known but influential Americans. From time to time, her biographies on Americans who have influenced Vermont.

Categories: Biography

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