Walks & Talks

Kiley Conversations: Maintaining the Reimagined Ford Foundation Atrium

New York, NY

This event is SOLD OUT. Please contact claudia@tclf.org if you would like to be placed on the waiting list.

Join SiteWorks Partners Annette Wilkus, FASLA, and Julia Gold to explore the extensive research and design challenges to maintain Dan Kiley’s design intent for the atrium at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice. Learn about using subtropical plants and the complexities of constructing an indoor atrium in a historic building.

Ford Foundation Atrium, New York City, New York
Ford Foundation Atrium, New York City, New York - Photo by Charles A. Birnbaum, 2019

The Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice headquarters building, designed by Kevin Roche of Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates in 1968, included a 9,000 square foot, and a 160-foot tall Atrium garden designed by Dan Kiley. The Foundation’s mission-driven renovation modernized the building including a renovation of the garden to restore the spirit of the original Kiley design.

Ford Foundation atrium, New York, NY - Photo by Barrett Doherty, 2019

Kiley’s original design intent had degraded throughout the years due to pests and environmental conditions. Kiley’s design distanced him from the orthogonal layout he was known for by paying homage to the New England forest. His plant selections maintained open sightlines for transparency and light penetration, complementing the Atrium’s monumental scale and creating an intimate garden experience. The collaborative design team, led by Raymond Jungles, Inc. with SiteWorks and James Urban providing technical know-how, worked to restore Kiley’s vision and maintain his intent, despite the challenges of restoring a garden inside a landmark building.

Ford Foundation atrium, New York, NY - Photo by Charles A. Birnbaum, 2019

Since its completion in 2018, SiteWorks has been working closely with the Ford Foundation and Alpine Contracting to maintain the garden in an active building without using chemicals.  They will discuss the challenges and successes of creating an environment rich with plants in an interior location including temperature and humidity fluctuations, cleaning the plants, developing the use of beneficial insects to control disease, and the program to replace plants that may fail.

This tour is taking place concurrently with TCLF's The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley exhibition now on view at The Exhibition Space at ABC Stone through April 30. The exhibition, organized and curated by TCLF, is free and open by appointment (Monday-Friday, between 9:00 AM-4:00 PM ET, please contact Tina Annino to schedule a tour tina@abcworldwidestone.com)


1.0 LA CES™ professional development hours will be available to attendees. 


Refund Policy

Cancellations and Refunds will be granted according to the following schedule: 

  • Up to two (2) weeks in advance: 50% (Deduction represents administrative processing fees). 
  • No refunds will be made for cancellations thirteen (13) days prior to the event.
  • No refunds will be made for “No Shows” (a person who registers for a program but who does not cancel registration or attend the program). 
  • Refunds will be processed as they are received or after the conclusion of the program, depending on the program date and when cancellation occurs. 
  • Refunds may take five (5) to seven (7) business days to process.