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Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr.


Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., Landscape Architect [1822-1903]

The origins of the City Beautiful Movement can be traced to beliefs espoused by the preeminent landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. [1] Born in 1822, Olmsted achieved national prominence in 1858 when he, along with Britishborn architect Calvert Vaux (1824-1895), won the design competition for Central Park in New York City. That commission proved the springboard for Olmsted's long and successful career as a landscape architect and urban planner. Olmsted's other works of note include the Vanderbilt estate at Biltmore, North Carolina; the grounds of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.; and the Niagara Falls Scenic Reservation. Olmsted also prepared plans for numerous clients, both public and private. By the time of his death in 1903, virtually all major American cities bore some form of Olmsted's signature.

  1. Cielo Lutino,Blaine Merker and Robin Green, City of Portland, OR Bureau of Planning, The City Beautiful Movement and Civic Planning in Portland, Oregon, 1897-1921, nomination document, 2000, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.


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