Landscape Design Exam, Who is Frederick Law Olmsted

December 16, 2012

Green Space in Central Park, New York, credit: CarlisleFlowers

Green Space in Central Park, New York, credit: CarlisleFlowers

Students, your take-home exam, the final for this semester is as follows:  write a five page paper on the best landscape architect there ever was in the United States.    In my unbiased view, the answer is Frederick Law Olmsted.  Your assignment is to explain how his manipulation of nature was for the good of mankind.

What did Olmsted train the eye to do?  When he created a park, what components did he incorporate into the design?  How did Olmsted use water in his designs?  How did he make his landscape seem naturalistic?  Lastly, why was a patch of green so important to him? Cite examples and of course add references.

Are there any questions?  Show up tomorrow and we’ll see the specatular landscape designs of Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and his last commission, The Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. Your assignment must conclude with why Frederick Law Olmsted, in your opinion, was America’s greatest landscape architect.  And for that answer, you must keep reading!

Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, NY, credit: CarlisleFlowers

Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, Manhattan, NY, credit: CarlisleFlowers


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