Genius of Place : the Life of Frederick Law Olmsted

Genius of Place : the Life of Frederick Law Olmsted

Book - 2011
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Baker & Taylor
Describes the life of the landscape architect responsible for New York's Central Park and Boston's Emerald Necklace including his lesser-known time spent as an influential journalist, early voice for the environment and abolitionist, all overshadowed by a tragic personal life.

Perseus Publishing
Frederick Law Olmsted is arguably the most important historical figure that the average American knows the least about. Best remembered for his landscape architecture, from New York's Central Park to Boston's Emerald Necklace to Stanford University's campus, Olmsted was also an influential journalist, early voice for the environment, and abolitionist credited with helping dissuade England from joining the South in the Civil War. This momentous career was shadowed by a tragic personal life, also fully portrayed here.

Most of all, he was a social reformer. He didn't simply create places that were beautiful in the abstract. An awesome and timeless intent stands behind Olmsted's designs, allowing his work to survive to the present day. With our urgent need to revitalize cities and a widespread yearning for green space, his work is more relevant now than it was during his lifetime. Justin Martin restores Olmsted to his rightful place in the pantheon of great Americans.

This definitive, first full-scale biography of Olmsted--famed designer of New York's Central Park--reveals him also as a brilliant political and social reformer.

Book News
New York based biographer Justin Martin takes on the extraordinarily multifaceted life and career of the man known for his design of Central Park but whose legacy reaches far deeper and wider. The text is supported by a generous section of b&w photos of Olmsted and his family, and some sites, including the McLean asylum where he had designed the landscape and where he eventually died. In the appendix, the author offers a list of sites he visited during research for this book, describing each one and where to get the best view and imagining what Olmsted might have seen. These include Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California, Stanford University Main Quad, Yosemite, and Arnold Arboretum in Boston, among others. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Cambridge : Da Capo Press, 2011
Edition: First Da Capo Press edition
ISBN: 9780306818813
Branch Call Number: 712.092 OLMST MARTI
Characteristics: xiv, 461 pages [8 leaves of plates] : illustrations ; 25 cm
Notes: "A Merloyd Lawrence book."


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