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From his longtime home studio in Vermont, Dan Kiley could see low-slung mountains, rippling Lake Champlain and trees grouped thickly and randomly. But when the influential landscape architect went to work, he emulated not such natural vistas but the geometric layouts of both baroque and modernist France.
“The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley,” at the National Building Museum through May 18, celebrates the centenary of the designer’s 1912 birth; it also marks a decade since his 2004 death. The photographs in the exhibition showcase Kiley landscapes that abide, as well as ones that have been neglected or may be threatened.
The Boston-born Kiley served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and his assignments included designing the courtroom for the Nuremberg Trials. The most significant aspect of his time in Europe, however, was his exposure to the work of André le Nôtre, who designed the Gardens of Versailles for Louis XIV.