Marvels of Modernism: Kaiser Roof Garden

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Landslide

Marvels of Modernism: Kaiser Roof Garden

Marvels of Modernism: Kaiser Roof Garden

Inspired by the rooftop garden at Rockefeller Center in New York City, industrialist Henry Kaiser hired the landscape architecture firm of Osmundson & Staley to design a garden atop the parking garage next to his company’s headquarters in downtown Oakland, California.

The garden opened in 1960 as the first “true” post-World War II rooftop garden in the U.S. The garden’s hardscape incorporated materials such as aluminum and cement made by Kaiser Industries for many of its large-scale projects around the world. Today, many of those hardscape elements are aging. Furthermore, the addition of taller adjacent buildings since the roof top’s completion, has altered the environmental conditions in which the garden was designed. 

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