Frederick Law Olmsted is best known as the architect of New York City’s Central Park, as well as Prospect Park in Brooklyn. He had a lifelong interest in landscape design, traveling extensively to study the formal gardens of Europe and writing books about the role of landscape architecture in civilization.
Olmsted was also a vocal abolitionist. He toured the South just prior to the Civil War, reporting on the life of slaves and calling on President Lincoln to stop the spread of slavery to the western territories.
Later in life, Olmsted moved to Boston, where he opened the first professional practice focused on landscape design. The Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site houses artifacts of his life, his writings, and his work.
If You Go:
Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site is closed through 2010, while the National Park Service upgrades the site’s fire, climate control, and drainage systems.