Queer Places:
University of Georgia, 600 S Lumpkin St, Athens, GA 30602
Columbia University, 116th St & Broadway, New York, NY 10027
Strawberry Fields, W 72nd St, New York, NY 10019

Bruce R. Kelly (December 8, 1948 – January 21, 1993) was a landscape architect based in New York City, an advocate for the preservation and restoration of the landscapes designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. He is also remembered for his own designs in New York's parks, including Strawberry Fields, the memorial to John Lennon in New York's Central Park.

Bruce Kelly was born in 1948 at Wrens, Georgia. In 1971, he received a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from the University of Georgia and in 1973, he received a master's degree in historic preservation from Columbia University. From July to September 1974, Kelly was in Tuscany preparing archaeological drawings of the ancient Roman town of Cosa, excavated under the auspices of the American Academy in Rome. After returning to New York, he worked from 1974–1977 for the Central Park Task Force, formed to help rehabilitate Central Park.


Strawberry Fields, W 72nd St, New York, NY 10019

In May 1977, Kelly formed Bruce Kelly Associates. An early client, the Central Park Conservancy, engaged Kelly to help compile an inventory of the park's assets, the first done in decades. Completed between 1982-1985, the exercise led to the creation of the Conservancy's master plan for the subsequent restoration of the park (published in 1987 as Rebuilding Central Park: A Management and Restoration Tool).[1] In October 1981, Kelly and Gail Guillet organized an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art entitled "Art of the Olmsted Landscape." [2] The exhibit and the accompanying catalogue helped cement Kelly's reputation as an Olmsted expert. That same month, Kelly obtained his license to practice landscape architecture in New York State.

In March 1986, Kelly formed a partnership with David Varnell, a classmate from the University of Georgia, where in 1971 they jointly published their senior thesis, a planning study for Washington, Georgia.[3] Kelly and Varnell were well-known for their many master plans and projects for public spaces, but on a parallel track they cultivated a private practice. Writing in 1988, James Baily noted that Kelly was active "...in the most rarefied strata of the private sector, undertaking elaborate garden projects for such clients as Mary Morgan, Carolyne Roehm and Henry Kravis, Yoko Ono, Saul and Gayfryd Steinberg, and some dozen others. These are good times to be Bruce Kelly." [4] Other glamorous commissions included the garden of Angier Biddle Duke in Southampton, New York, that of Ashton Hawkins on the Greek island of Patmos and the restoration of the gardens of the Pallazo Abrizzi in Venice.

Kelly died in 1993 at the age of 44,[5] after which David Varnell continued the practice, completing (among other projects) the Eleanor Roosevelt Monument in New York's Riverside Park, dedicated in October 1996. In 2000, the firm changed its name to Kelly Varnell Virgona.

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  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Kelly_(landscape_architect)