He refused to delegate and he had an appetite for authority and power. He works like a dog all day and sits up nearly all night In , Olmsted went west to become the manager of the newly established Rancho Las Mariposas-Mariposa gold mining estate in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. The mine, for whatever reason, did not prove to be successful; and "[b]y , the Mariposa Company was bankrupt, Olmsted returned to New York, and the land and mines were sold at a sheriff's sale.

Olmsted not only created numerous city parks around the country, he also conceived of entire systems of parks and interconnecting parkways to connect certain cities to green spaces.

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Some of the best examples of the scale on which Olmsted worked are the park system designed for Buffalo, New York , one of the largest projects; the system he designed for Milwaukee, Wisconsin , and the park system designed for Louisville, Kentucky , which was one of only four completed Olmsted-designed park systems in the world. Olmsted was a frequent collaborator with architect Henry Hobson Richardson , for whom he devised the landscaping schemes for half a dozen projects, including Richardson's commission for the Buffalo State Asylum. In , Olmsted established what is considered to be the first full-time landscape architecture firm in Brookline, Massachusetts.

He called the home and office compound Fairsted. Olmsted was an important early leader of the conservation movement in the United States.

Frederick Law Olmsted - Wikipedia

An expert on California, he was likely one of the gentlemen "of fortune, of taste and of refinement" who proposed, through Senator John Conness, that Congress designate Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Grove as public reserves. Olmsted served a one-year appointment on the Board of Commissioner of the state reserve, and his report to Congress on the board's recommendations laid an ethical framework for the government to reserve public lands, to protect their "value to posterity".

He described the "sublime" and "stately" landscape, emphasizing that the value of the landscape was not in any one individual waterfall, cliff, or tree, but in the "miles of scenery where cliffs of awful height and rocks of vast magnitude and of varied and exquisite coloring, are banked and fringed and draped and shadowed by the tender foliage of noble and lovely trees and bushes, reflected from the most placid pools, and associated with the most tranquil meadows, the most playful streams, and every variety of soft and peaceful pastoral beauty.

In the s he was active in efforts to conserve the natural wonders of Niagara Falls , threatened with industrialization by the building of electrical power plants. At the same time, he campaigned to preserve the Adirondack region in upstate New York. He was one of the founders of the American Society of Landscape Architects in Olmsted was also known to oppose park projects on conservationist grounds.

In , Olmsted refused to develop a plan for Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan , saying that it "should not be marred by the intrusion of artificial objects. Olmsted's election to MOLLUS is significant in that he was one of the few civilians elected to membership in an organization composed almost exclusively of military officers and their descendants. In , senility forced Olmsted to retire. By he moved to Belmont, Massachusetts , and took up residence as a patient at the McLean Hospital , for whose grounds he had submitted a design which was never executed.

He remained there until his death in The firm lasted until Many works by the Olmsted sons are mistakenly credited to Frederick Law Olmsted today. For instance, the Olmsted Brothers firm did a park plan for Portland, Maine , in , creating a series of connecting parkways between existing parks and suggesting improvements to those parks. The oldest of these parks, Deering Oaks, had been designed by City Engineer William Goodwin in but is today frequently described as a Frederick Law Olmsted designed park. A quotation from Olmsted's friend and colleague architect Daniel Burnham could serve as an epitaph.

Referring to Olmsted in March , Burnham said, "An artist, he paints with lakes and wooded slopes; with lawns and banks and forest covered hills; with mountain sides and ocean views.

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A residence hall at the University of Hartford was named in his honor. Frederick Olmsted is known as the "father of American Landscape Architecture. Drawing influences from English landscape and gardening, [29] Olmsted emphasized design that encourages the full use of the naturally occurring features of a given space, [30] its "genius"; the subordination of individual details to the whole so that decorative elements do not take precedence, but rather the whole space is enhanced; concealment of design, design that does not call attention to itself; design that works on the unconscious to produce relaxation; and utility or purpose over ornamentation.

A bridge, a pathway, a tree, a pasture: any and all elements are brought together to produce a particular effect. Olmsted designed primarily in the pastoral and picturesque styles, each to achieve a particular effect. The pastoral style featured vast expanses of green with small lakes, trees and groves and produced a soothing, restorative effect on the viewer. The picturesque style covered rocky, broken terrain with teeming shrubs and creepers, to express nature's richness.

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The picturesque style played with light and shade to lend the landscape a sense of mystery. Scenery was designed to enhance the sense of space: indistinct boundaries using plants, brush and trees as opposed to sharp ones; interplay of light and shadow close up, and blurred detail further away. A vast expanse of greenery at the end of which lies a grove of yellow poplar; a path that winds through a bit of landscape and intersects with others, dividing the terrain into triangular islands of successive new views.

Subordination strives to use all objects and features in the service of the design and its intended effect. It can be seen in the subtle use of naturally occurring plants throughout the park. Non-native species planted for the sake of their own uniqueness defeat the purpose of design, as that very uniqueness draws attention to itself where the intention is to enable relaxation: utility above all else. Separation applies to areas designed in different styles and different uses enhancing safety and reducing distraction. A key feature of Central Park is the use of sunken roadways which traverse the park and are specifically dedicated to vehicles as opposed to winding paths designated specifically for pedestrians.

A beautiful example of this mix of principles is seen in the Park's Mall in New York's Central Park, a large promenade leading to the Bethesda Terrace and the single formal feature in Olmsted and Vaux's original naturalistic design. The designers wrote that a "'grand promenade' was an 'essential feature of a metropolitan park'"; [31] however, its formal symmetry, its style, though something of an aberration, was designed so as to be subordinate to the natural view surrounding it.

Wealthy passengers were let from their carriages at its south end. The carriage would then drive around to the Terrace, which overlooked the Lake and Ramble to pick them up, saving them the trouble of needing to double back on foot. The Promenade was lined with slender elms and offered views of Sheep Meadow.

Affluent New Yorkers, who rarely walked through the park, mixed with the less well-to-do, and all enjoyed an escape from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Frederick E. Olmsted or Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. Hartford, Connecticut. Belmont, Massachusetts. This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations.

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Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. November Learn how and when to remove this template message. New York Times. August 29, Retrieved June 2, Springfield Archived from the original on May 21, Retrieved September 29, March Through the Heartland on U. Publish America. American Heritage. Da Capo Press. Frederick Law Olmsted, Landscape Architect, Putnam's Sons. Wilson, p. Olmsted himself contributed to it a new introduction on The Present Crisis. New York Review of Books. Retrieved November 8, Handbook of Prospect Park.

Long Island University Press.

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