Thursday, February 1, 2007

George Edward Kessler

I'm reading Midwestern Landscape Architecture. I definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in regional landscapes. It has a wealth of sources. The book is divided up into essays:
Adolf Strauch
Horace Cleveland
Frederick Law Olmsted
William Le Baron Jenney
Ossian Cole Simonds
George Edward Kessler
Jens Jensen
Warren H. Manning
The Olmsted Brothers in the Midwest
Wilhelm Miller
elbert Peets
Genevieve Gillette
Annette Hoyt Flanders

I'm at George Edward Kessler and a one sentence reference to a cemetery he designed in Oklahoma. So after some more investigation I find that Mr. Kessler has had a fair amount of influence in Oklahoma.

Here is a list of Oklahoma projects according to the George Kessler site:
Guthrie State Capital Grounds 1907
Lawton Camp Doniphan (part of Fort Sill 1918 Old Photo
Muskogee (unfortunately they do not credit Kessler) 1907

University of Oklahoma (I haven't found any original plans) 1907

Oklahoma City
Development for Classen company Unknown
Emworth University 1902
Fairlawn Cemetary 1892
Park & Boulevard System 1910

Fairlawn Google:

The City of Oklahoma City also credits his work:

Dunn and Kessler Plans

In 1909, following an extensive parks acquisition program, W. H. Dunn, Superintendent of Parks in Kansas City, developed the first Parks Plan for Oklahoma City. In January of 1920, George E. Kessler was named as a consultant to complete the first comprehensive plan for the city. Mr. Kessler died in 1923 before he could complete the plan; however, he did complete major elements of the plan which provided the basis for later planning efforts. In April of 1920, the Oklahoma City Planning Commission was appointed. In 1923, the state planning enabling legislation was enacted and the Planning Commission reorganized along with a regional commission. Based on Mr. Kessler's studies and plans, a zoning ordinance was prepared.

Probably his most famous work is the St. Louis MO park system and the design of the 1904 World's Fair the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. I have a real fascination with this fair and the Columbian Exposition and the way that they influenced the country.

If you have any more info on George Kessler, especially about OU Campus let me know.