Frederick Law Olmsted Made Parks an Essential Part of American Life

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spring in Central Park. Spring in Central Park. (Asterio Tecson/flickr)

Frederick Law Olmsted was among the first to raise landscape architecture to a profession and a fine art. He was co-designer of Central Park, head of the first Yosemite commission, leader of the campaign to protect Niagara Falls, designer of the U.S. Capitol Grounds, site planner for the Great White City of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, planner of Boston’s “Emerald Necklace” of green space, and created park systems in many other cities. Olmsted believed a park was both a work of art and a necessity for urban life. Lawrence Hott discusses his documentary "Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America," about Olmsted’s efforts to preserve nature and create an “environmental ethic” decades before the environmental movement. "Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America" premieres Friday, June 20, on PBS—it airs at 10:30 on Channel 13 in New York.


Lawrence Hott

Comments [3]

Men from Nj

Schedule for the tv broadcast was wrong on the show and on the website.

Jun. 19 2014 07:15 PM

The only mannerism worse than the pretentious historical present is the distraction of alternating between the past and the historical present.

Jun. 19 2014 01:22 PM
Nick from UWS

The worst thing to happen to Central Park recently is the vile "Facebook-ization" of the park benches; where every bench has a plaque on it commemorating some non-event or death, or even worse, the romance of some unknown person. This is absolutely horrible; a park bench is supposed to be a quiet anonymous place and not where someone shoves their ego or grubby little life event in your face just because they gave some money to the CP Conservancy. Disgusting. It's not enough to help the park, you have to have your little ego trip on a plaque on the bench. I see this as the direct result of Facebook and other social media crapola which have reduced civic appropriateness to zero.

Jun. 19 2014 01:21 PM

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