Frederick Law Olmsted Is Born

Frederick Law Olmsted, nineteenth-century America's foremost landscape architect, was born on April 26, 1822.

Son of a well-to-do Hartford, Connecticut, merchant, Olmsted spent much of his childhood enjoying rural New England scenery. Weakened eyesight forced him to abandon plans to attend Yale. Instead, young Olmsted studied engineering and scientific farming, putting his agricultural and managerial theories into practice on his own Staten Island farm.

A park is a work of art. . . .”

— Frederick Law Olmsted

Frederick Law Olmsted (April 26, 1822 – August 28, 1903) was an American journalist, landscape designer and father of American landscape architecture, famous for designing many well-known urban parks, including Central Park and Prospect Park in New York City. Other projects include the country's oldest coordinated system of public parks and parkways in Buffalo, New York; the country's oldest state park, the Niagara Reservation in Niagara Falls, New York; Mount Royal Park in Montreal in Canada; the Emerald Necklace in Boston, Massachusetts; the Belle Isle Park, in Detroit, Michigan; the Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan; the Marquette Park in Chicago; the Grand Necklace of Parks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; the Cherokee Park and entire parks and parkway system in Louisville, Kentucky; Jackson Park, Washington Park, and the Midway Plaisance in Chicago for the World's Columbian Exposition; the landscape surrounding the United States Capitol building; George Washington Vanderbilt II's Biltmore Estate in Asheville; and Montebello Park in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.