Robert L. Zion; Landscape Architect Redesigned Grounds of Statue of Liberty

Robert L. Zion, 79, an internationally known landscape architect who redesigned the grounds of the Statue of Liberty during its 1986 centennial. Born in Lawrence Township on Long Island, N.Y., Zion was educated at Harvard, where he received a master's degree in 1951. He opened an office in New York six years later. Zion's firm created the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art, the atrium of the IBM building and the Samuel Paley Plaza, known to most New Yorkers as Paley Park. The 1967 success of Paley Park, which is less than an acre, forced New York officials to reconsider such spaces, which had long been deemed too small to be properly maintained. The result was that, for the next 30 years, small parks and plazas became part of the city plan. During his long career, Zion worked with some of the country's leading architects, including I.M. Pei, Philip Johnson and Edward Larrabee Barnes. Outside New York, Zion's firm designed the Bayfront Plaza Watergarden in Corpus Christi, Texas, Riverfront Park in Cincinnati, and landscapes for the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. On Tuesday from injuries he sustained in a traffic accident in Imlaystown, N.J.

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