Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Olmsted Brothers

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Founder  John Charles Olmsted
Founded  1898
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The Olmsted Brothers company was an influential landscape architectural firm in the United States, formed in 1898 by brothers John Charles Olmsted (1852–1920) and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. (1870–1957), who were the sons of the eminent landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.



The Olmsted brothers inherited the nation's first landscape architecture business from their father Frederick Law Olmsted. This firm was a successor to the earlier firm of Olmsted, Olmsted and Eliot after the death of their partner Charles Eliot in 1897. The two brothers were among the founding members of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and played an influential role in creating the National Park Service. Prior to their takeover of the firm, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. had worked as an apprentice under his father, helping to design projects such as Biltmore Estate and the World's Columbian Exposition before graduating from Harvard University. The firm employed nearly 60 staff at its peak in the early 1930s. Notable landscape architects in the firm included James Frederick Dawson and Percival Gallagher. The last Olmsted family member in the firm, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., retired in 1949. The firm itself remained in operation, moving from Brookline in 1980 and continuing in Fremont, NH until 2000. This created one continuous firm from 1858-2000.

Office and archives

"Fairsted", the firm's 100-year-old business headquarters and design office, has been carefully preserved as the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, located on 7 acres (2.833 ha) of landscaped grounds at 99 Warren St., Brookline, Massachusetts. It offers excellent insights into the practice of large-scale landscape design and engineering. The site also houses an archive (access by appointment only) of the firm's designs, plant lists, and photos for hundreds of projects.

Design work

The Olmsted Brothers completed numerous high-profile projects, many of which remain popular to this day, including park systems, universities, exposition grounds, libraries, hospitals, residential neighborhoods and state capitols. Notable commissions include the roadways in the Great Smoky Mountains and Acadia National Parks, Yosemite Valley, Atlanta's Piedmont Park, a residential neighborhood in Oak Bay, British Columbia, Canada: Uplands; entire park systems in cities such as Portland and Seattle, and Washington state's Northern State Hospital. The Olmsted Brothers also co-authored, with Harland Bartholomew, a 1930 report for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce entitled "Parks, Playgrounds, and Beaches for the Los Angeles Region" encouraging the preservation of outdoor public space in southern California. The report was largely ignored by the city, but became an important urban planning reference.

Selected private and civic designs

  • Audubon Park, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Ashland Park, residential neighborhood built around Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate in Lexington, Kentucky
  • The British Properties, Vancouver, Canada
  • Brookdale Park, Bloomfield & Montclair, New Jersey
  • Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial a World War II for American servicemen in Cambridgeshire, near Cambridge, England
  • Caracas Country Club (1920s)
  • Cleveland Metroparks System, in the Greater Cleveland area, Ohio
  • Crocker Field Park, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
  • Deering Oaks, Portland, Maine
  • Druid Hills, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Eastern Promenade, Portland, Maine
  • Elm Bank Horticulture Center, Wellesley, Massachusetts
  • First Presbyterian Church of Far Rockaway, Queens, New York
  • Fort Tryon Park, New York City
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Original Name "League Island Park"
  • Fresh Pond, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Grover Cleveland Park, Caldwell, New Jersey
  • High Point Park, Montague, New Jersey
  • Homelands Neighborhood, Springfield, Massachusetts
  • "New" Katonah, Katonah, New York
  • Kentucky State Capitol Grounds, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Kohler (Village of), Wisconsin
  • Leimert Park Neighborhood, Los Angeles
  • Locust Valley Cemetery, Locust Valley, New York
  • Metro Parks, Summit County, Ohio
  • Manito Park and Botanical Gardens, Spokane, Washington
  • Marconi Plaza Original Name "Oregon Plaza"
  • Marquette Park, Chicago, Illinois
  • Memorial Park (Jacksonville), Florida
  • Memorial Park, Maplewood, New Jersey
  • Otto Kahn Estate, Cold Spring Hills, New York
  • Oldfields-Lilly House and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark, originally Hugh Landon estate (Olmsted job # 6883 [1] 1920-1927) [2], Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Planting Fields, Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York
  • Pope Park, Hartford, Connecticut
  • Prouty Garden, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston This garden is at risk of being destroyed for redevelopment purposes.
  • Rahway River Park, Rahway, New Jersey
  • Riverside Park, Hartford, Connecticut
  • Rancho Los Alamitos Gardens, Long Beach, California
  • Riverbend, Walter J. Kohler, Sr. estate grounds, Kohler, Wisconsin
  • Seattle Park System
  • Southern Boulevard Parkway (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • South Mountain Reservation, Maplewood, Millburn, South Orange, West Orange, New Jersey
  • Spokane, Washington city parks
  • Thompson Park and roadways, Watertown, New York
  • Union County, New Jersey Park system
  • Utica, New York Parks and Parkway System (1908–1914)
  • Verona Park, Verona, New Jersey
  • Wade Lagoon, on University Circle, Cleveland
  • The garden at Welwyn Preserve, Long Island, New York
  • Warinanco Park, Roselle, New Jersey
  • Washington State Capitol campus, Olympia, Washington
  • Watsessing Park, Bloomfield, New Jersey
  • The Highlands Neighborhood, Seattle
  • Campus designs

  • Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (1895–1927)
  • Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Denison University, Granville, Ohio (1916)
  • Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania (1929)
  • Harvard Business School, Allston, Massachusetts (1925–31)
  • Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania (1925–32)*
  • Huntingdon College campus, Montgomery, Alabama
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana (1929-1936)
  • Iowa State University Ames, Iowa (1906)
  • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland (1903–19)
  • Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky (1923)
  • Middlesex School, Concord, Massachusetts (1901)
  • Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts (1896–1922)
  • Newton Country Day School, Newton, Massachusetts (1927)
  • Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio (1903)
  • Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (1909)
  • Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (1909)
  • Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, Connecticut
  • Samford University, Homewood, Alabama
  • Stanford University, Stanford, California (1886-1914)
  • Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts (1920)
  • University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (1901–10)
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (1925)
  • University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho (1908)
  • University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama
  • University of Maine, Orono, Maine (1932)
  • University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana (1929–32)
  • University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island (1894–1903)
  • University of Washington, Seattle, Washington (1902–20)
  • Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York (1896–1932)
  • Western Michigan University Main Campus, Kalamazoo, Michigan (1904)
  • Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts (1902–12)
  • References

    Olmsted Brothers Wikipedia

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