Symposium: Situating the Residential Projects of the Olmsted Firm

This major two-day symposium brings together experts in the fields of landscape architecture history and practice to examine the residential projects of the Olmsted firm, spanning from 1857 to 1979. Organized and hosted by Planting Fields Foundation, in conjunction with the National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP) and the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, this multi-day convening focuses on the impact of the Olmsted firm on residential landscape design, considering patronage, taste-making, and place-making for a private context; American landscapes and issues of race; methods of sustainability in the preservation and restoration of historic designed landscapes; and decision-making models for studying and sustaining historic design landscapes, among other topics.

Speakers include John Dixon Hunt, Laurie Olin, Charles Birnbaum, Arleyn Levee, Patricia O’Donnell, Witold Rybczynski, and Sara Zewde, as well as scholars selected from our Call for Papers: Roger J. Crum, Mark R. Eischeid, Pamela Hartford, Jean-Luc Howell, Carrie Miller, Christine O’Hara, and Shannon Sawyer.

With a separate reception the evening before and public programming on the days following, this will be a blockbuster weekend of scholarship, community, and programming that will celebrate the Olmsted legacy, new and significant scholarship, and the central contributions made by the Olmsted Brothers firm a century ago, which continue to shape Planting Fields today.

Registration now open! Please visit:

About Planting Fields Foundation: Planting Fields Foundation strives to preserve and make relevant to all audiences the heritage of Planting Fields, an early 20th-century 409-acre estate, designed as an integrated component of the built and natural world. Learn more at