Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

(Rochester, NY) - Review the biography of the man who made public parks an essential part of American life in this special, airing Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV. Frederick Law Olmsted, known as the father of American landscape architecture, was co-designer of Central Park, head of the first Yosemite commission, leader of the campaign to protect Niagara Falls, designer of the U.S. Capitol Grounds, site planner for the Great White City of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, planner of Boston’s “Emerald Necklace” of green space and of park systems in many other cities.

Olmsted’s pioneering design of the public parks and parkway systems in Buffalo, New York, is the oldest coordinated system in America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To Olmsted, a park was both a work of art and a necessity for urban life. His efforts to preserve nature created an “environmental ethic” decades before the environmental movement became a force in American politics. Stockard Channing narrates; Campbell Scott provides the voice of Olmsted.

Pictured: Frederick Law Olmsted, known as the father of American landscape architecture, was co-designer of Central Park. To Olmsted, a park was both a work of art and a necessity for urban life.
Credit: Courtesy of WNED-TV

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