Watching the solemn, harrowing and star-studded movie, Judgment at Nuremburg recently (a fictionalized account of the Nuremberg Trials), brought to mind Dan Kiley.
He was born in Boston Mass in 1912. From the age of 20 to 26 he worked in the office of Warren Manning who had worked in the office of Olmsted. (Fletcher Steele had also worked in the office of Manning). Quite a lineage!
During WWII (1942-45) Kiley served with the Army Corps of Engineers, where he became the chief designer/architect for the Nuremberg Trials Courtroom, which gave him an opportunity to visit European Gardens.
While there he visited the work of André Le Nôtre at Sceaux Chantilly, Versailles, and Vaux-le-Vicomte,. One could certainly see how the formality and geometric layout shaped his future Classical Modernist style. The geometric layout of allees, bosques, water, paths, orchards, and lawns characterize Dan Kiley’s design – obvious examples being the Miller Garden, US Airforce Academy, Lincoln Center etc.
Back to Nuremburg….According to Nazi War Crimes by Michael Salter, “Kiley’s task was to incorporate novel presentation devices AND facilities into the very structure of the redesigned Palace of Justice at Nuremburg to enable the OSS trial evidence, particularly film and large charts. These modifications had to be incorporated in a way that diminished the formality and aura of the courtroom.” (The US government hired Hollywood’s finest to create these films: director John Ford, producers Budd Schulberg and George Stevens.)