Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. and the Louisville Park System
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My paper discusses landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, and his involvement in the Louisville park system, his last park system commission before his retirement in 1895. The preliminary plans for the park system included designs for the creation of three parks for each division of the city as well as plans for a southern parkway and three gathering spaces for public recreation, rest, and interaction. In the paper, I examine Olmsted’s designs for each section of the park system and the features he deemed most important to include in an urban environment; the retaining of the natural characteristics of each property for the creation of pastoral, picturesque or public scenery and in extension the consideration of each property’s distinct function for the city’s inhabitants. Through his work in Louisville, Olmsted set a precedent for what a park system should resemble, what principles it should follow, and what role it should play for the benefit of a city. In designing these public and natural spaces and by planning for the community’s needs in the future, Olmsted created much of what residents cherish about twentieth-century Louisville and illustrated the importance of Landscape Architecture to America’s communities.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2016
- F&M Theses Collection