Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) is recognized as the founder of American landscape architecture and the genius behind New York’s Central Park. In 1883 Olmsted established “Fairsted” in suburban Boston, the world’s first full-scale professional office for the practice of landscape design. Over the course of the next century, his sons and successors sustained and expanded upon Olmsted’s design ideals, philosophy, and influence. His son, F. L. Olmsted, Jr., helped to lay the groundwork for the National Park Service in 1916.
David Grayson Allen chronicles the creation and development of the Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts, which opened in 1979 after nearly a decade of struggle and controversy and now welcomes thousands of visitors and researchers every year. The Site’s history is emblematic of the evolving role that landscape architecture plays in modern American lives and reflects the stunning transformation that has taken place within the National Park Service itself within the last quarter century. Original, sophisticated, meticulously researched, and well-written, The Olmsted National Historic Site and the Growth of Historic Landscape Preservation will resonate with readers interested in historic preservation and landscape architecture.