Stories from the Garden

read some of the

Jacqueline Hiatt's

story

       e were both Students of the Masters in Architecture Program focusing on urban design at USF. David had recently graduated and I was halfway through my 4 years of the program. We had to be married during the 2 week break in between Summer and Fall Semester so we were married in August. Being full time students, we had a very limited budget and wanted to put all of our funds into traveling to Europe for the honeymoon. We had an amazing time decorating and preparing with fellow students, family and friends. This Amphitheater has been the location for family photos with our children through out the years as well. It is a very special place for our family. David and I would come here for picnics and to see the sunset prior to when we were married. Downtown Tampa was not yet the pedestrian friendly and vibrant destination it is now, but we had lots of high hopes and could envision what it would become. We wanted our wedding to be firmly a part of the urban environment in Tampa and now to be part of the downtown history.

It is a very special place for our family.

- jacqui hiatt


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JOHN PROKOP'S

story

     n 2000, my daughter was just 4 and had just learned to ride a bike when she and I took a long bike ride up Bayshore and ended up downtown so we rode through Kiley Park in its former glory. She was entranced, and declared that she had found her very own “Secret Garden”. We visited often after that. Several years later she participated in an art contest that was open to public school students of all ages in the county. The theme for the contest was “my favorite place”. She immediately knew where her favorite place was and asked if I could take her to Kiley Park so she could photograph it. To our dismay, when we arrived, all the trees were gone, and she started crying. But there was still a tiny piece of the park left intact behind the Sykes Building, so she began taking pictures of the fragment that was left. She picked one shot and entered her photo and several of the judges immediately recognized it was from the park, and she won the art contest. Her photo then went to Tallahassee and was on display in the state house for a while.

I’m excited to be a part of hopefully
returning the park to its former glory.

- john prokop


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PROJECT MANAGER WITH ROWE ARCHITECTS

Hope Donnelly's

story

     was first introduced to Kiley Garden on a date as I explored Tampa's downtown for the first time in 2001, and I fell in love. I was shown all of the magic spaces and perspective points, including the amphitheater's magic square. At that same magic square, someone told me they loved me for the first time, I witnessed friends get married, installed public art, watched performances, had picnics, and shared many memories with friends and loved ones over the years. It is unassuming, hidden, none of the pomp, just sit up on the wall and watch the boats and people passing by.

It is magical in its own right and history.

- hope donnelly


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Owner of the Rialto Theatre in Tampa Heights 

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BORIS MZHEN's

story

       t was a very serene shaded place back in the day, lots more trees and all the water features which were only partly remaining when I moved in but gave it a cool nature took over look with all the stones overgrown with glass and vines.

I miss when it had all the trees and water features,
wish those were going to remain after they rebuilt it. 

- boris mzhen


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