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George E. KesslerGeorge Edward Kessler was born in Bad Frankenhausen, Germany in 1862. His parents came to the United States where his father died in 1878. George's mother, Clotilde, decided that George, with his creative interests, should be a landscape architect and moved back to Europe where George studied botany, forestry, landscape design and civil engineering. He returned to the United States in 1892 to begin his career.

Kessler's three major projects in the first ten years of his career were:
  • A railroad excursion park in Merriam, Kansas, his first project,
  • Hyde Park in Kansas City, Missouri, and
  • The Park and Boulevard System of Kansas City, Missouri.

In 1901 Kessler began a professional relationship with St. Louis, first as the chief landscape architect for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and then as director of the restoration of Forest Park. In 1910, he moved his home and office to St. Louis. When Kessler died in 1923, he was nationally recognized as a landscape architect and city planner. His body of worked included over 230 projects in 23 states and 100 cities. His pro folio included plans for cemeteries, communities, park and boulevard systems, estates and residents, fairgrounds, parks, and schools.

In appearance Kessler was of middle height, stocky, with wavy hair, and a pince-nez or rimless glasses to assist eyes grown dim over drafting boards illuminated by flickering gas. Photographs of him reveal resemblance to a man who was becoming prominent in the politics of those years: Theodore Roosevelt.

Unlike his self-advertising contemporary, Kessler rarely was the topic of his own conversation. Instead he was quietly genial and kind, a man who preferred to have his work speak for him. Unlike some professional men, he kept a small office and did his own jobs rather than surround himself with a bevy of assistants to perform routine and detailed tasks. Even after his practice reached across the Middle West, his office was "just one room, a long table, a few chairs, a desk or two, and some drawers for pictures. . . "