2022 marks the 200th anniversary of renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr.’s birth. The founder of American landscape architecture, he famously designed New York’s Central Park, Washington, D.C.’s National Capitol Grounds, and Boston’s Emerald Necklace.
His idea that parks are democratizing spaces continues to impact contemporary society. Olmsted came to the Midwest to layout the town of Riverside in 1868. Three years later, he prepared the original plan for Chicago’s South Park (now Jackson Park, Washington Park, and the Midway Plaisance). He returned to design the magnificent landscape for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, and after the fair, he and, his sons helped transform the fairgrounds back into parkland. The Olmsted Brothers continued this legacy with designs for the University of Chicago campus and urban parks throughout the city’s tenement districtss.
This class will explore the Olmsteds’ local contributions and illuminate the ways in which their fascinating designs have impacted generations of Chicagoans and Americans.
Julia Bachrach, a consulting historian and preservationist, is author of The City in a Garden: A History of Chicago’s Parks.
Rebecca S. Graff, an assoc. professor and archaeologist, is author of Disposing of Modernity: The Archaeology of Garbage and Consumerism During Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair.
- No required materials
- The City in a Garden: A History of Chicago’s Parks (Bachrach 2012)
- Disposing of Modernity: The Archaeology of Garbage and Consumerism During Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair (Graff 2022)
Cost and Registration
Three sessions, $205 ($184.50 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.
To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.Register