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9 Great Frederick Law Olmsted Designs That Aren’t Central Park

By August 9, 2016August 25th, 2016No Comments


Often called the father of modern landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted is nothing short of a demigod in the field.

Best known for his masterful creation of Central Park, the Connecticut-born Olmsted, along with his partner, British architect Calvert Vaux, developed a distinctly American style that would come to characterize some of the nation’s most cherished public spaces. Olmsted worked for years as a journalist before developing his craft with Vaux, and the duo gained quick fame after winning New York City’s Central Park commission in 1857. What followed was an influx of projects quite literally spanning from coast to coast, from North Carolina’s Biltmore Estate to the master scheme for Stanford University. Long story short: If you look hard enough, you can certainly find some Olmsted in your backyard. Here, AD spotlights beautiful Olmsted works that are hidden in plain sight.

Delaware Park

Zhi Ting Phua/Courtesy of Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

City park system, Buffalo, New York, 1868

After visiting Buffalo in 1868, Olmsted managed to convince city officials that one park would not be enough to properly serve its residents. As a result, the first public park system in the U.S. was born, comprising what are known today as the Delaware (shown), Front, Martin Luther King Jr., South, Cazenovia, and Riverside parks.

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