Landscape Architect (1862-1923)
George Kessler was a prolific landscape architect and planner who used existing natural conditions to their advantage and who subscribed to the ideologies of the City Beautiful Movement. Born in Germany, Kessler emigrated to the US with is family in the late 1860s. He briefly returned to Germany to study botany, forestry, and design in Wiemar. Upon his return, he was recommended to the Kansas City, Fort Scott, and Gulf Railroad by Frederick Law Olmstead to design a pleasure park for the railroad in Merriam, Kansas – his first commission. His work in Merriam led to his commission of the design of the residential area of Hyde Park in Kansas City, Missouri, which attracted city leaders. He was subsequently hired by the city to design Kansas City, Missouri’s parks and boulevards system. It was the success of this design that won him recognition, especially within the Midwest. In Kansas, Kessler designed fourteen known landscapes, including the grounds of the University of Kansas and Washburn University; Topeka’s Gage Park; and the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchison.
Entry: Kessler, George
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: February 2011
Date Modified: July 2011
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