Save Paradise

The movement to rescue a neglected urban garden.

Page 3 of 3

Was the design too complex? The combination of water elements, landscape and pavement at varying levels and great detail might have been over-designed. For a public space, financial and physical requirements of future maintenance must be part of the design plan. Preservationists should look to other master landscapes to compare the maintenance needs of this particular design. During the tour, Shaudt made a suggestion that perhaps wouldn't have been considered in 1988: he offered to provide a "maintenance manual" for the park, a service that is now routinely provided to clients.

The biggest criticism of the park has been the problem with water leakage into the garage. It has not been determined what caused the leaks, or even the extent of the problem. There needs to be study and analysis of the drainage problem and the feasibility and cost of repairs. Shaudt notes that technology has advanced quite a bit from the time this container garden was planted. Rooftop gardens are a regular part of the landscape architecture business now, and new materials prevent leakage.

A Renaissance?Buildings don't grow or shrivel, as do plants, so architects can afford to be aesthetic purists, more confident of their works' permanency than a landscape architect can be. Architect Harry Wolf likes to quote legendary Chicago urban planner and architect Daniel H. Burnham: "Make no small plans." Accordingly, he would like to see Dan Kiley's Tampa park restored to its original brilliance, with reflecting pools on Ashley and the garden's fountains flowing.

Peter Schaudt, accustomed to the nurturance required and the entropy inherent in his field, is a bit more temperate. From the window of his Michigan Avenue office in Chicago, Schaudt has a view of the lovingly tended Dan Kiley design in the south garden of The Art Institute of Chicago. He can envision restoration happening incrementally and in a manner faithful to what Dan Kiley intended.

But the question remains: Does Tampa have the will to make it happen?

[email protected]

Scroll to read more News Feature articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.