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Frederick Law Olmsted

, 448 pages

129 color illus., 348 b&w illus.

April 2015



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Frederick Law Olmsted

Plans and Views of Public Parks

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Lavishly illustrated with over 470 images—129 of them in color—this book reveals Frederick Law Olmsted’s design concepts for more than seventy public park projects through a rich collection of sketches, studies, lithographs, paintings, historical photographs, and comprehensive descriptions. Bringing together Olmsted’s most significant parks, parkways, park systems, and scenic reservations, this gorgeous volume takes readers on a uniquely conceived tour of such notable landscapes as Central Park, Prospect Park, the Buffalo Park and Parkway System, Washington Park and Jackson Park in Chicago, Boston’s "Emerald Necklace," and Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec. No such guide to Olmsted’s parks has ever been published.

Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903) planned many parks and park systems across the United States, leaving an enduring legacy of designed public space that is enjoyed and defended today. His public parks, the design of which he was most proud, have had a lasting effect on urban America.

This gorgeous book will appeal to landscape professionals, park administrators, historians, architects, city planners, and students—and it is a perfect gift for Olmsted aficionados throughout North America.

Charles E. Beveridge is the series editor of The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted. Lauren Meier is the associate editor and Irene Mills is the assistant editor for this volume.

"Anyone interested in the fields of landscape design would surely want this book as a reference or simply as a celebration of the first and foremost American landscape architect."

"Peer into the mind of the nation’s most prolific park maker with this book, which showcases more than 70 public spaces designed by Frederick Law Olmsted... Plans and Views of Public Parks is a visual compendium of Olmsted’s work, taking readers on a visual tour through some of America’s most significant public landscapes."

"Enlightening and lavishly illustrated... Whether your interest is in Olmsted and his work, landscape architecture in general, the development of nature-based recreation, or American history, Frederick Law Olmsted: Plans and Views of Public Parks can provide a substantial expansion and deepening of your thoughts in your area of interest, as well as help connect it to other related (and perhaps even previously unconsidered) areas of study."

"A welcome addition to Olmsted scholarship and an excellent companion to the series documenting his extensive papers."

"[ Frederick Law Olmsted: Plans and Views of Public Parks] is a treasure trove of visual materials, with surprises for even the Olmstedian aficionado."

"Beveridge, the preeminent Olmsted scholar... gathers in a sumptuous, gorgeous volume of the designs that defined what made many American cities great, and livable."

"These visual documents will generate historical evidence and interpretive questions alike, surely the mark of an important contribution."

"Had Olmsted never existed, someone else surely would have applied the moral force of this ethic to landscape design, making parks the vehicle of social reform. But it is inconceivable that anyone else would have had the same deep cistern of human sympathy to drawn on."

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