City Landscapes: Frederick Law Olmsted #1 Index Section
Name of the Book: Civilizing American Cities
Your Initials: CW
Links to any outside sources you wish to include:
#2 Biographical Section

Frederick Law Olmsted (April 25, 1822 - August 28, 1903)

Nationality: American
Place of Birth: Hartford, Connecticut
Career: Landscape designer
Title: Father of American Landscape Architecture

  • New York:
    • Central Park
    • Prospect Park
    • Buffalo
    • Niagara Reservation
    • Morningside Park
  • Areas around The US Capitol Ground
  • Boston, Massachusetts
    • The Emerald Necklace
    • Harvard University
  • Connecticut
    • Hartford Hospital Institute of the Living
  • Chicago, Illinois
    • Jackson Park
      • The World's Columbian Exibition
    • Washington Park
  • Atlanta, Georgia
    • Druid Hills
  • California
    • St. James Square
    • Stanford University
    • Yosemite
  • Seattle, Washington
    • Olmsted's Park
    • University of Washington

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teamMitch. "Youtube". December 8, 2008 <
#3 Quotations


"Lord Bacon, three hundred years ago, sagaciously observed: "God Almighty first planted a garden, and indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures; it is the greatest of refreshment to the spirits of man, without which building and palaces are but gross handiwork: and a man shall ever see that when ages grow to civility and elegance, men come to build stately sooner than to garden finely--as if gardening were the greater

perfection."" (270-271)

Olmsted is making a connecting of his mind with the Bible. God created the Garden of Eden before He created Adam and Eve. Garden of Eden is to be said the most beautiful garden ever created and its beauty shall never be forget. Olmsted is saying that buildings, no matter how beautiful or great they are, one day they will get torn down. Building dies away as the years goes by. In contrast, gardens will last forever. It is the beauty from nature. It will never vanish.

"But a mere promenade is not all or nearly all that should be provided in a metropolitan scheme of public grounds. Places are needed where military and athletic exercises can be carried on without conflicting with the pursuit of business and the safety or the quiet of those not interested in them. Civic ceremonies, music and fireworks should also be provided for, and a more secluded, quiet, and purely rural district should be added, in which invalids, and women and children may ramble, or rest in the open air, free from the disturbance of carriages and horsemen..."(121-122)

Olmsted is creating a park that will not just be for the high society, or the low society—but it is for everyone. He is taking each individuals need into his great consideration of whether what each special elements he should include in landscaping the most perfect park.



"The park is no place for art, no place for landscape effects; it is a place in which to get exercise, and take the air. Trees are wanted to shade the roads and walks, and turf is wanted because without it the ground would be glaring and fatiguing to the eye; nothing more, nothing else." (261)

Olmsted is trying to say that he do not designs park to show-off his great skills he have, but instead he designs park for us. Every moves he makes into landscaping the park, he thinks about us and our needs. He wants his park to be the place where everyone can come and hang out together and enjoy the great day in great scenery.

"...spaciousness is of the essence of a park. Franklin Park is to take the best part of a mile square of land out of the space otherwise available for the further building of the city of Boston. There are countless things to be desired for the people of a city, an important element of the cost of providing which is ground space. It is the consequent crowded condition of a city that makes the sight of merely uncrowded ground in a park the relief and refreshment to the mind that it is." (262)

Olmsted’s parks is not cluttered. He spaced out his designs to make it as relaxing for the eyes of the people that comes to the park as much as possible. People come to the park to escape away from the busy world. People just want something that would refresh them, and at the same time also relaxes them.



"The wealth of their founders consisted chiefly in cattle, and in the servants who were employed in herding and guarding these cattle, and the trails carelessly formed among the scattered huts within the entrenchments often became permanent foot-ways which, in some cases, were subsequently improved in essentially the same manner as the sidewalks of our streets now are, by the laying upon them of a series of flat stones, so that walkers need not sink in the mud. If the ground was hilly, and the grades of the paths steep, stairs were sometimes made by laying thicker slabs of stone across them. Convenience of communication on foot was, of course, the sole object of such improvements." (23)

Olmsted is saying that the first and foremost thing he thinks before creating any foot-ways is the comfort of our feet when we walk on the paths. His park designs are not just about the beautiful awesome landscapes, but also about the comfort for us all to walk and to enjoy.

#5 Concluding Section

Through this project, I have learn about how Frederick Law Olmsted thinks. He is a very significant figure in American History and therefore he contributes a lot to this nation. He help shaped what America is now today. Without him, hundreds of movies that were filmed in Central Park would have never happen. He makes Americans happy with their lives in cities around the country. He cares about every little details and elements that he insert into his landscape designs. Olmsted thinks thoroughly. He knows how each of us think and want to see in a park. He pay attention to our minds, hearts, and bodies. Every steps we take in his parks, we can feel the love and care he have for us.


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# 4 Work Cited:
Leary , Richard . "Frederick Law Olmsted". New Bedford. December 8, 2008 <>.

Olmsted, Frederick Law. Civilizing American Cities: Writing on City Landscapes. New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1997.

"a biography from the Garden and Landscape Guide". Garden Visit. December 8, 2008 <>.

"Frederick Law Olmsted". Wikipedia. December 8, 2008 <>.

teamMitch. "Youtube". December 8, 2008 <>.

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