In October 2022, Planting Fields Foundation will hold a major two-day symposium bringing together experts in the fields of landscape architecture history and practice to examine the residential projects of the Olmsted firm, spanning from 1857-1979. Hosted at Planting Fields, an intact Olmsted Brothers-designed 409-acre estate thirty miles east of Manhattan, this multi-day convening will feature scholarly presentations, lively panel conversations, as well as visits to other Olmsted firm-designed properties nearby on Long Island that remain in private hands and are rarely, if ever, accessible to the public. The symposium will focus specifically 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 their evocation of European precedents; issues of sustainability in the preservation and restoration of historic designed landscapes; theoretical methodologies and decision-making models for studying and sustaining historic landscapes, among other topics. Confirmed speakers and participants include:

  • John Dixon Hunt, Professor Emeritus, Landscape Architecture, Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania
  • Laurie Olin, FASLA, FAAR, Partner, OLIN Studio
  • Charles Birnbaum, FASLA, FAAR, President and CEO, The Cultural Landscape Foundation
  • Arleyn Levee, landscape historian and preservation consultant specializing in the work of the Olmsted firm
  • Dede Petri, President and CEO, National Association for Olmsted Parks, Managing Partner of Olmsted 200
  • Patricia O’Donnell, FASLA, AICP, F. US/ICOMOS, Founder and Partner, Heritage Landscapes LLC
  • Anthony Reed, Archivist, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site
  • Witold Rybczynski, Martin and Margy Meyerson Professor Emeritus of Urbanism, Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania

We are seeking proposals for additional presentations. Please view the Call for Papers here. Submissions will be reviewed by a committee of external individuals. Notifications will be made by December 1, 2021.

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 www.plantingfields.org.