Alcorn State University, Alcorn, MS

Olmsted Associates

The firm name of Olmsted Brothers continued even after the death of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. in 1957. When the firm was renamed in 1961, its partners consisted of the “old guard”—Edward Clark Whiting and William B. Marquis, men who had been trained by one or both of the Olmsted brothers—and the newer partners: Richardson, Riley, and Hudak. By 1963, Whiting had died, Marquis had retired, and Riley had left the firm, leaving Richardson and Hudak, along with a new partner, Erno J. Fonagy, as the core of Olmsted Associates. By this time, with more skilled practitioners in the profession, the extent and range of the Olmsted firm’s practice had greatly changed. While they were still involved in the design for several corporate headquarters, land subdivisions, and some private properties, and continued to be engaged with campus planning for academic institutions (particularly in Mississippi), the practice was diminishing. Meanwhile, Fairsted—historic home and office of the firm and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1963—was in need of major repairs. Many of the historic files had already been gifted to the Library of Congress, a practice begun by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and continued by Artemas Richardson. After several years of negotiations, in 1979 the National Park Service acquired this unique site along with its considerable archives of plans, photographs, and documents (dedicated in 1980). Richardson retained the right to the name, “Olmsted Associates,” to continue his landscape practice in New Hampshire.