Frederick Law Olmsted: founder of the landscape architect’s profession and designer of American landscapes

April 26 marks 201 years since the birth of American landscape architect and social reformer Frederick Law Olmsted, who championed the idea of public parks in the United States. Olmsted was the first to use landscape architect as a professional title, and he believed landscape architecture was more than a craft: it was a work of art. 

Landscape architect, city planner, and forward-thinking visionary, Frederick Law Olmsted transformed the American landscape. He designed some of America’s most beloved parks and landscapes, including New York’s Central Park, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, the U.S. Capitol grounds, and the Biltmore Estate. Offering an updated edition of the Rizzoli classic, written by Charles E. Beveridge, with the photographer Paul Rocheleau, edited and designed by David Larkin ‘FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED: DESIGNING THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE’ celebrates the anniversary of the birth of this seminal American landscape designer.

During a remarkable forty-year career that began in the mid-1800s, Olmsted created the first major urban parks and park systems in the American country, along with widely influential suburban residential communities. He was also a pivotal figure in the movement to create scenic reservations and national parks, such as Niagara Falls, Yosemite, and Yellowstone, also contributing to the design of many academic campuses, including Stanford University.

A comprehensive view of the man and his work, the book includes new photography of Olmsted’s masterworks Central and Prospect Park, as well as a new introduction and new final chapter that examines Olmsted’s ongoing influence.


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