In a brand new study, spurred by Olmsted 200, University of Pennsylvania Dean and Paley Professor Fritz Steiner explores the Olmsteds’ connections to campus design.
The Olmsted Firm had an outsized impact on American campus design. In a period of 100 years, Frederick Law Olmsted and the firm undertook countless campus commissions. Their work spans the continental United States and includes Trinity College in Hartford, CT, Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, the University of Maine at Orono; and Troy University in Troy, Alabama.
In this new exploration, published by the University of Wisconsin Press, Dean Steiner examines the Morrill Land Grant College Act of 1862 and the resulting land grant institutions which focused on agricultural science and the mechanic arts. As the author notes, these public institutions were generally more inclusive than the existing private, elite schools, especially after the second Morrill Act was enacted in 1890, bolstering higher education for African Americans in the South.
With resources generated from lands taken from Indigenous people, these institutions made significant investments in their buildings and grounds— and called on the Olmsteds to help them. This work also left its mark on academic landscape design and planning more generally.
You can read more here: http://lj.uwpress.org/content/41/2/1.refs