New Digital Guide to Olmsted-designed Landscapes Honors Bicentennial of Birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., the Father of Landscape Architecture

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New Digital Guide to Olmsted-designed Landscapes Honors Bicentennial of Birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., the Father of Landscape Architecture

New Digital Guide to Olmsted-designed Landscapes Honors Bicentennial of Birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., the Father of Landscape Architecture
Apr 26, 2022

Media Contact: Nord Wennerstrom | T: 202.483.0553  | M: 202.225.7076 | E: nord@tclf.org


Profusely illustrated guide to more than 300 landscapes throughout North America including Canada and 30 U.S. States: AL, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KY, KS, LA, MA, ME, MI, MS, N.C., N.H., N.J., N.Y., OH, OR, PA, R.I., S.C., TN, UT, VA, WA, WI

Washington, D.C. (April 26, 2022) – Today, April 26, 2022, the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., considered the father of landscape architecture, The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) unveiled What’s Out There Olmsted, a digital guide to more than 300 North American landscapes designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., and his successor firms [a 2:37-minute video above offers a preview of the content]. Olmsted, Sr. is well known as the co-designer of New York City’s iconic Central Park, but his legacy and that of his successor firms is vast. What’s Out There Olmsted includes a detailed and illustrated introduction, a searchable database of North American landscapes, and nearly 100 biographical entries about the Olmsted family and the firm’s many employees, consultants, and collaborators. This is TCLF’s twentieth digital What’s Out There City and Regional Guide(including six guides produced in partnership with the National Park Service). What’s Out There Olmsted is optimized for iPhones and similar handheld devices, and includes What’s Nearby, a GPS-enabled feature that locates all landscapes within a given distance, customizable by mileage or walking time. 

For more than 100 years, Olmsted, Sr., and his successor firms shaped cities, parks and park systems, scenic reservations, residential neighborhoods, cemeteries, and governmental, cultural, and academic campuses and more. Their work helped create a national identity and an unrivaled design legacy. The sites in What’s Out There Olmsted range from more than 30 National Historic Landmarks to lesser-known gardens, parks, and comprehensive plans.  The Olmsted imprint can be found coast to coast: in North Carolina at the great Biltmore Estate; Colorado’s Mountain Park System near Denver; the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.; California’s Stanford University and Yosemite National Park; and Montreal, Canada’s Mount Royal.

“The impact of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., on the nation’s identity and the profession of landscape architecture is inestimable,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, TCLF’s President and CEO. “What’s Out There Olmsted provides easy access to a broad range of landscapes designed by Olmsted, Sr. and his successor firms and opportunities to discover the people associated with them.”

Each What’s Out There Olmsted entry includes a concise, 250-word site description, drop down menus with information about the site’s typology (e.g., public park, suburb, etc.), style (e.g., picturesque, Beaux-Arts/Neoclassical, etc.), designers, and related landscapes. It also indicates if a site has recognized significance (e.g. National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Landmark). Each entry has a media gallery with four to ten images, and where applicable, a complementary video or link to an external website. The drop-down menu under Places includes an Advances Search function that enables users to search geographically by region, state, city, zip code, and up to 100 miles from a specific zip code. Here's a link to a state-by-state list of all the sites in the guide 

In addition to revealing these landscapes, the What’s Out There Olmsted guide uncovers the fascinating stories of those that worked with, for, and after Olmsted to create these memorable landscapes. Notable among them is Warren Manning, who worked for Olmsted, Sr. for eight years before opening his own practice. During his career, he worked on more than 1,700 projects, including estates, parks and park systems, city plans, campus plans, subdivisions, golf courses, and institutional grounds. Another Olmsted firm alum, Arthur Shurcliff, who specialized in the restoration of early American town commons, went on to become the landscape architect for Colonial Williamsburg. Massachusetts native William Lyman Phillips ultimately settled in Florida and collaborated with the Olmsted Brothers for decades. Finally, Stella Obst, about whom more is being learned, spent some 40 years at the Olmsted Brothers firm working closely with Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.

What’s Out There Olmsted is made possible by Lead Sponsor the National Endowment for the Arts and Educational Partners Olmsted 200 and the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Coming October 11, 2022, from Timber Press, Experiencing Olmsted - The Enduring Legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted's North American Landscapes,” a richly illustrated 344-page guidebook to 200 sites, authored by TCLF President and CEO Charles A. Birnbaum, Arleyn A. Levee, and Dena Tasse-Winter.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.

About Olmsted 200

Olmsted 200 is managed by the National Association for Olmsted Parks, along with founding partners the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Garden Club of America, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, City Parks Alliance, National Recreation and Park Association, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, The Trust for Public Land, American Public Health Association, and the Landscape Architecture Foundation.

About the American Society of Landscape Architects

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the professional association for landscape architects in the United States, representing more than 15,000 members. The Society’s mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education, and fellowship.

About The Cultural Landscape Foundation

The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1998 to connect people to places. TCLF educates and engages the public to make our shared landscape heritage more visible, identify its value, and empower its stewards. Through its website, publishing, lectures, and other events, TCLF broadens support and understanding for cultural landscapes.  TCLF is also home to the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize.

EDITORS: Click here for a ZIP file with hi-res STILL PHOTOS.

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