Conceptual Kiley

Downtown Tampa, May 2007

The Urban Charrette achieved Conceptual Kiley in mid-2007.  The community outreach event and competition was designed to educate the Tampa community about the importance of vibrant public spaces as well as to highlight one of Tampa’s neglected treasures, Kiley Gardens (formerly NCNB Plaza).  The urban garden on the Hillsborough River was designed by landscape architect Dan Kiley who worked closely with Rivergate Tower architect Harry Wolf on the sophisticated plan based on the Fibonacci Sequence.

Designers, community members, students, artists, and organizations were invited to create artistic, faux, freestanding trees to display where the garden’s original trees were planted in this downtown Tampa landscape. As part of the event, the artistic trees were auctioned, with the money going to the Friends of Kiley Gardens, a non-profit organization working to restore Kiley Garden.  In 2007, the project received the Best Artful Protest Award from Creative Loafing.

In 2011, the City of Tampa completed a stunning structural restoration of the garden.  Now, the community is coming together once again to aid in the continued restoration of the trees and fountains as well as seeking historic landmark designation which will return Kiley Garden to its intended splendor.