Join the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation for a talk by Laurence Cotton celebrating the 200 anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, the master designer of public parks and a founder of the field landscape architecture.
Laurence Cotton is a historian and filmmaker — originator of and consulting producer to the PBS special “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America.”
His talk will take a deep dive into the remarkable life and career of the Renaissance-man Olmsted–writer, philosopher, social reformer, advocate for the preservation of natural scenery, and creator of some of the most beautiful public and private parks and gardens in all of N. America.
In his presentation, Laurence will talk about the influences of design traditions, aesthetics and philosophies that influenced Olmsted’s thought—including English garden design, the Hudson River School and Transcendentalism. Laurence will also give a visual tour of representative masterful landscapes designed by Olmsted, Senior, as well as his two sons and the Olmsted Bros. landscape architecture firm, the legacy of which can be seen across all of North America, including a visual tour of Olmsted landscapes from Long Island to Washington, D.C.
Laurence Cotton, currently based in Portland, Oregon, a city that benefits from an Olmsted-master planned park system, originally hails from Boston, renowned for its Olmsted landscapes and the home base for generations of landscape design practitioners working for the Olmsted Bros. firm. A practicing public historian, and writer/producer of historical films for PBS, Mr. Cotton was trained as a cultural anthropologist and brings that lens to bear on much of his work. He has worked with the tribal populations on throughout the Columbia River watershed and has worked on open space acquisition and the designs of parks and trails in Pacific Northwest. He also brings training as an interpretive naturalist, is a birder and a photographer.