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Kiley, Dan (Dan Urban), 1912-2004. Papers of Dan Kiley: An Inventory.

Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University


Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: DES.1995.0004.006399835
Repository: Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University
Creator: Kiley, Dan (Dan Urban)
Title: Papers of Dan Kiley
Date(s): 1941-1995
Quantity: 500 linear feet
Quantity: Extent is approximate
Language of materials: English
Abstract: This collection includes landscape drawings representing the work of Dan Kiley, and The Office of Dan Kiley, ca.1941-ca.1995.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of Dan Kiley, 1995.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Daniel Donovan and Mary Daniels.

Conditions on Use and Access:

Contact Special Collections Department, Frances Loeb Library, Harvard University Graduate School of Design.


Born in Boston in 1912, Dan Kiley attended the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in the mid-1930s. In 1939, with fellow landscape architects Garret Eckbo and James Rose, he published a seminal manifesto on modernist landscape architecture in three parts related to the urban, rural, and primeval environments. He served in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. At the end of World War II, Kiley designed the courtroom where the Nuremberg Trials were held. In 1951 he established the Office of Dan Kiley in Charlotte, Vermont, where he worked for more than forty years until his death in 2004.
Considered the father of modern landscape architecture in the United States, Dan Kiley combined modern design ideals with classical principles in hundreds of projects in the United States and worldwide. Among his projects, many with notable architects, include the Gateway Arch in St. Louis (Missouri), the Miller House Garden (Indiana), and the US Air Force Academy (Colorado) where he worked with Eero Saarinen on all three projects; the Ford Foundation's headquarters in Manhattan with Kevin Roche; and the National Gallery of Art's East Wing in Washington D.C. with I. M. Pei. His overseas projects include the landscape of La Defense in Paris. Kiley was awarded in September 1997 the National Medal of the Arts, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an artist in the United States.


The collection is arranged in a single series of 483 files in tubes, 128 files in folders, and 2 boxes of materials listed by job number. The collection also includes an addendum with a few materials related to a GSD symposium and exhibition: "Dan Kiley, Landscape Architect: The First Two Decades" mounted at the GSD in 1997.

Scope and Contents

The collection includes landscape architecture drawings for a broad representation of his landscape designs, including site plans, planting plans, and topographical maps gifted by Dan Kiley in 1995. It should be noted that a large amount of drawings and several hundred boxes of job files remained in Vermont to be gifted at a later date, but because of a tragic fire sparked by lightning in 2005 (that completely destroyed the structure that housed the Office of Dan Kiley and its contents) these files have been lost.

Container List

Personal Names Index

Corporate Names Index

Conference Names Index

Titles Index

LC Topical Headings Index

Geographic Names Index

Genre / Form Index

AAT Terms Index