Frederick Law Olmsted

Illustration by David Lee Csicsko

Illustration by David Lee Csicsko


Landscape Architect, Author, Conservationist

Olmsted tried his hand at various careers: merchant, apprentice seaman, experimental farmer, author and even a gold mine manager. He directed the U.S. Sanitary Commission, forerunner of the American Red Cross, and wrote for The New York Daily Times, exposing the injustice of slavery in the South. And that was all before he completed Central Park and invented landscape architecture! Read on to learn why Olmsted’s work and ideas are more important than ever. 

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The Founder of American Landscape Architecture

In a career spanning half a century, Olmsted designed some of the most celebrated landmarks in the United States, ranging from Central Park in New York and the Emerald Necklace in Boston to the U.S. Capitol Grounds in Washington, D.C., and Jackson Park in Chicago. He is remembered as the preeminent 19th-century landscape architect and founder of the profession.

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Central Park
New York, NY


Principles, Values & Impact

Olmsted was more than a landscape architect. He was a multifaceted visionary and social reformer who contributed to the fields of public health, conservation, urban planning and landscape design.

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