Frederick Law Olmsted is the father of American landscape architecture. His firm, and the successor firms that sprung from it, worked through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to shape some of our most beloved green spaces, including national, state, and city parks, suburban neighbourhoods, and academic campuses. He is most famous for creating New York's Central and Prospect Parks, Stanford University's campus, and the Capitol Grounds. What is less known and surprising about his legacy is that he worked widely across North America.
By highlighting 200 iconic landscapes, many of which are still open to the public today, Experiencing Olmsted brings a fresh approach to the firm's work and philosophy. It highlights not only grand city parks but also other public venues born out of a desire for social equity. Olmsted was an early voice for parks as democratic spaces that could be reached on foot by a large percentage of any city's populace. He viewed parks as restorative places – what he termed "the lungs of a city." Brimming with contemporary and archival photography as well as original drawings and plans, this truly remarkable record brings these places to vivid life.
A non-profit established in 1998, The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) connects people to places. TCLF educates and engages the public to make our shared landscape heritage more visible, identify its value, and empower its stewards.
"Experiencing Olmsted, profusely illustrated and expertly annotated, allows us to admire the full range of Olmsted's vision. This exceedingly beautiful volume makes us newly grateful that Olmsted persisted."
– The Wall Street Journal
"Abundant photographs, both vintage and contemporary, come alongside fascinating blueprints, drawings, and maps. The authors make a strong case for just how influential Olmsted's firm was [...] The result is a beautiful look at how some landmarks came to be."
– Publishers Weekly