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Frederick Law Olmstead Parkway Plans


Frederick Law Olmstead (1822-1903), the acknowledged founder of American landscape architecture, was one of the greatest champions of the City Beautiful movement. In the mid 19th century there was a huge migration from the farm to the city. The theory was that if the city could be transformed into an aesthetically appealing place to live more people would choose to live there and the happier they would be. Olmstead, living in New York City at that time, had the good fortune to be appointed Superintendent of Central Park. Calvert Vaux and Olmstead collaborated on the Central Park project and their plan was ultimately selected as the winning design. He went on to design Prospect Park in Brooklyn, Chicago's Riverside subdivision, Buffalo's park system and the Niagara Reservation at Niagara Falls. In 1883 he relocated to Brookline, Massachusetts where he designed a park system for the city of Boston known as the Emerald Necklace. Even as his health was failing he was committed to producing an original plan consistent with his design aesthetic for the massive 1893 Columbian Exposition project in Chicago. We have had the good fortune to acquire two of his drawings for Metropolitan Park Commission projects in the Boston area. These were done in 1895 just before illness forced him to turn the firm over to his partners.


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Blue Hills Parkway - General Plan - November 1895. Metropolitan Park. Olmstead, Olmstead & Eliot, Landscape Architects. 33.5" wide x 8.5" high. Discoloration at fold lines. Glare at left is because the piece is shrink wrapped. (Stock number 003Olmstead01) SOLD

Mystic Valley Parkway - General Plan - November 1895. Metropolitan Park. Olmstead, Olmstead & Eliot, Landscape Architects. 24.5" wide x 8.5" high. Discoloration at fold lines. Glare at left is because the piece is shrink wrapped. (Stock number 003Olmstead02) SOLD


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