TCLF to Honor Frederick Law Olmsted, Father of Landscape Architecture, with New Digital Guide Ahead of His 200th Birthday | News



Image courtesy USCapitol via Flickr

In honor of the 200th anniversary of perhaps the most revered figure in the history of American landscape architecture, the Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has produced a wonderfully illustrated digital guide to over 300 landscape designs by Frederick Law Olmsted.

Featuring landscapes from Maine, Massachusetts, Illinois, Canada, his home state of Connecticut and 26 others, the guide features a mapping system and database of important biographical information about his myriad of employees and even more details about the outsized impacts of its successor companies.

A daguerreotype of Olmsted writing in the winter of 1858 in Brookline, MA. Olmsted was a accomplished literary journalist during the Antebellum period before turning full time to landscaping. Image courtesy National Park Service.

The 20th in the TCLF’s “What’s Out There” guide series, this edition gives equal weight to 30 National Historic Sites and hundreds of other lesser-known designs associated with Olmsted, including Vermont’s Shelburne Farms and Prospect Park in Brooklyn, which he long considered his masterpiece. Each entry is accompanied by a detailed 250-word description and information about the site’s topology, style, design team, and associated landscapes.

A postcard illustrating the Olmsted brothers’ design for Hubbard Park in Meriden, Connecticut. Image courtesy of Boston Public Library Tichnor Brothers Collection via Wikimedia Commons.

TCLF President and CEO Charles A. Birnbaum is currently completing an illustrated guide for Timber Press co-authored by Arleyn Levee and Dena Tasse-Winter titled Discover Olmsted – The Enduring Legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted’s North American Landscapes. In a statement, he promised the online guide and book would include an in-depth look at Olmsted’s legacy, with stories from early Olmsted customers and collaborators such as William Lyman Phillips and Warren H. Manning to add to the tons of visual and historical information contained within.

The Olmsted and Vaux company map of the parade ground in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Pixels user Paul Fearn.

Olmstead with the team that created Central Park. Frederick Law Olmsted, Jacob Wrey Mould, Ignaz Anton Pilat, Calvert Vaux, George Waring and Andrew Haswell Green. Image courtesy of Victor Prevost via Wikimedia Commons.

“Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr.’s impact on the identity of the nation and the profession of landscape architecture is invaluable,” he said. The guide is available online from April 26. What’s there Olmsted was made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and Educational Partners Olmsted 200 and the American Society of Landscape Architects.


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