Frederick Law Olmsted 

What artist, so noble, has often been thought, as he, who with far-reaching conception of beauty and designing power, sketches the outline, writes the colors, and directs the shadows of a picture so great that Nature shall be employed upon it for generations, before the work he has arranged for her shall realize his intentions.
— Frederick Law Olmsted

Father of American Landscape Architecture

Frederick Law Olmsted (1822 - 1903) is best known for his design (in collaboration with Colvert Vaux) of Central Park in New York City. He has been widely credited with establishing the concept of the public park as a common green space to be preserved and enhanced for everyone to enjoy. He was instrumental in the late-nineteenth century transformation of "landscape gardening," which primarily meant the design of flower gardens for wealthy landowners, into a broader profession of landscape architecture in which the practitioners were akin to traditional architects.


Rochester's Olmsted Legacy

Rochester is one of just four cities nationwide that boasts an entire park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. He designed Highland, Genesee Valley and Seneca Park for Rochester. Olmsted and the firm that continued his work after his retirement also designed several parkways and small neighborhood parks.

Designing America Video

To Olmsted, a park was both a work of art and a necessity for urban life. Olmsted's efforts to preserve nature created an "environmental ethic" decades before the environmental movement became a force in American politics. With gorgeous cinematography, and compelling commentary this film presents the biography of a man whose parks and preservation are an essential part of American life.