'Wanton Destruction'

City crews on Tuesday began clear-cutting Kiley Gardens in downtown Tampa – known officially as NCNB Plaza Park to international landscape architecture fans who recognize Kiley_park_chopping

its creator, the late Dan Kiley, as its foremost practitioner in the last half of the 20th century – in a move that had preservationists hopping mad. The future of the park is murky, as Mayor Pam Iorio has cut a deal to remove it in order to fix the parking garage underneath. While Iorio has vowed to recreate part of the park as a tribute to Kiley, the city has not revealed exactly what that will entail.

Last week, the Friends of Kiley Gardens met with city officials and thought they had forged a good working relationship to help the city restore Kiley’s geometric, if underappreciated, masterpiece. Until the chainsaws started on Tuesday.