Weequahic Park, Newark, NJ

Call for Nominations for Landslide 2022: The Olmsted Design Legacy

The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has opened a call for nominations for Landslide, the foundation’s annual thematic report about threatened and at-risk landscapes. Landslide 2022: The Olmsted Design Legacy, timed to the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. (1822-1903), widely hailed as the father of landscape architecture, will focus on landscapes designed by Olmsted, Sr. and his successor firms that are now threatened or at risk. The Landslide program draws immediate and lasting attention to threatened sites by making them more visible, revealing their value, and promoting public engagement in the form of advocacy and stewardship. The report will be accompanied by a complementary online exhibition which will include newly commissioned photographs and historical images, site plans, other archival materials and video interviews.

Olmsted Family Tree, 1858-1958
Olmsted Family Tree, 1858-1958 - Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site

The more than century-long Olmsted legacy begins in the mid-1850s with the work of Olmsted Sr., and continues with John Charles Olmsted (1852-1920), and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. (1870-1957). Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., defined and named the profession of landscape architecture and designed many of America's most beloved nineteenth-century parks and landscapes, including New York's Central Park, Brooklyn's Prospect Park, Ashville, N.C.’s Biltmore Estate, and the U.S. Capitol grounds in Washington, D.C. His commitment to public works stemmed in part from his abolitionist stance: by creating elegant and equitable public spaces for all, he hoped to demonstrate the inherent beauty possible in a free society. But he and his successor firms are also responsible for wide range of projects from private residences to campuses, along with parkways, urban park systems in Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, and elsewhere, national parks, roadways, state capitols, planned communities, libraries, hospitals, and many others. There are more than 200 Olmsted designed landscapes listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and several dozen as National Historic Landmarks. The Frederick Law Olmsted Papers and Olmsted Associates Records at the Library of Congress contain more than 173,000 items including business correspondence and reports, newspaper clippings, drawings, photographs, and other materials.

This year’s celebration of the bicentennial of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr.’s birth also offers an opportunity to call immediate and lasting attention to Olmsted designs that are threatened. Do you know of an Olmsted-designed landscape that is at risk? Nominate a site to Landslide by completing the form below and emailing it to Nord Wennerstrom at nord@tclf.org by June 17, 2022.

>Download the Nomination Form