Why this book?
A richly illustrated presentation of a foundational figure, Olmsted believed that parks were integral to physical and mental health and he designed the park to give citizens immediate and visceral contact with nature. His genius was to meld art and psychology on functional lines to produce settings of extraordinary beauty. After his initial masterpiece, Central Park, his vision broadened as he planned his projects in a more comprehensive manner. Riverside, Illinois was an exemplary suburb that harmonized with nature, while Boston’s Emerald Necklace’s array of parks linked by greenways and pedestrian paths was a prototype park system and cultural statement. Its interconnected network of transcendental oases allowed escape from the strident, accelerated movement of a profit-propelled society. Like Henry David Thoreau sauntering through the Concord countryside, urban dwellers could move through the city to their own tune. A timeless vision, it is why Olmsted still inspires the good life of the American city.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
A man of passionate vision and drive, Frederick Law Olmsted defined and named the profession of landscape architecture and designed America's most beloved parks and landscapes of the past century--New York's Central Park, Brooklyn's Prospect Park, the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Biltmore Estate, and many others. During a remarkable forty-year career that began in the mid-1800s, Olmsted created the first park systems, urban greenways, and planned surburban residential communities in this country. He was a pivotal figure in the movement to create and preserve natural parks such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Niagra Falls. He also contrbuted to the design of…