Frederick Law Olmsted


Frederick Law Olmsted

Birth Date

26 April 1822


Hartford, Connecticut

Death Date

Waverly, MA, 22 Aug 1903


landscape designer, urban planner, and writer

Biographical Text

Frederick Law Olmsted was an American landscape designer, urban planner, and writer. Influenced by 18th-century English traditions of landscape design and by his own social beliefs in the importance of community and the civilizing role of aesthetic taste, Olmsted undertook a large number of public and private commissions. His commissions ranged from regional plans and scenic reservations to residential communities, academic campuses, and the grounds of private estates. With his partner Calvert Vaux, and later independently, he designed a series of city parks systems between 1858 and 1895. These landscaped parks were integrated with other public spaces through broad interconnecting thoroughfares, or parkways, which incorporated drives, paths, and areas of turf and trees. His major works include Central Park, New York (1858–77), and the ‘Emerald Necklace’ series of public spaces in Boston (1880s). He believed in the power of landscaped scenery to exercise a restorative and civilizing influence.

Beveridge, Charles E. "Olmsted, Frederick Law." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 20 Jun. 2016. <>.


Fisher, Irving D. Frederick Law Olmsted and the City Planning Movement in the United States. UMI Research Press, 1986. 

Kolva, Jeanne. Olmsted Parks in New Jersey. Schiffer Publishing, 2011.

Roper, Laura Wood. FLO: A Biography of Frederick Law Olmsted. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973. 

Schuyler, David. The New Urban Landscape: The Redefinition of City Form in Nineteenth-century America. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986.




“Frederick Law Olmsted,” DANA, accessed May 30, 2024,

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This Item creator of Item: Branch Brook Park
This Item isParentOf Item: Riverbank Park
This Item isParentOf Item: Weequahic Park Historic District
Item: Olmstead Brothers related endeavour This Item

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