A celebration of the life and work of Frederick Law Olmsted, founder of American landscape architecture.



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...Frederick Law Olmsted's work has passed the test of time; his work in Druid Hills set the stage and continues to influence metro Atlanta...
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Central Park

Situated between 59th street and 110 streets in the heart of New York City, Central Park is arguably the most well known of all the parks that Olmsted had a hand in.

Although he was the park's superintendent, he had no hand in the call for a park. Andrew Jackson Downing was the original force behind the park. He and his partner, Calvert Vaux were to submit a design for the park. In 1852 Downing died in a riverboat accident and Vaux asked Olmsted to take his place. In 1858 they entered the competition to design the park, with an entry they called Greensward, which was chosen as the park's design.
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The design of the park had many aspects that would become trademarks of Olmsted's designs. There were winding paths, scenic views and large open areas for people to relax in.

Olmsted served as the chief architect from 1858-1861, which allowed him to supervise the construction and to make any changes that he felt necessary.

Olmsted and Vaux worked off and on with the Park's Commission on the park, but there was a lot of political infighting and finally in 1877 Olmsted and Vaux were formally dismissed from the project.


For more information:

Central Park



Rogers, Elizabeth Barlow. Frederick Law Olmsted's New York. New York: Praeger, in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1972.

Rogers, Elizabeth Barlow. Rebuilding Central Park: A Management and Restoration Plan. Boston: MIT Press, 1987.

Rosenzweig, Roy with Elizabeth Blackmar. The Park and the People: A History of Central Park. Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1992.

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