NGE >> The Arts >> Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Historic Preservation >> Landscape >> Notable Landscape Architects and Designers >> Frederick Law Olmsted in Georgia
Frederick Law Olmsted in Georgia
Olmsted's long and varied career resulted in such seminal landscape-design projects as Central Park in New York City; one of the first residential planned
Though a New Englander by birth, Olmsted traveled extensively and spent an early part of his career—including two years (1852-54) in the South—as a prolific and influential travel writer. The resulting publications and long letters earned him a reputation as an astute observer and social critic.
Having crossed Georgia twice during his 1850s sojourn, Olmsted was not a stranger to the state when
Olmsted's design for Druid Hills is Georgia's most complete and masterful example of his artistic principles, which were employed by others in a number of Atlanta developments, including Ansley Park, Peachtree Battle, and Garden Hills. After the retirement of the man called the "prophet of the suburbs,"
Columbus, from 1920 to 1937, became the only hub of the Olmsteds' work outside of Atlanta. W. C. Bradley, president of Eagle and Phenix Mills, asked W. B. Marquis of the Olmsted firm to continue landscape work begun when he was in the employ of Augusta's P. J. Berckmans (of Berckmans Nursery). The Bradley residence, also known as Sunset Terrace, became the largest residential commission of the Olmsted firm in Georgia and was described as an important modern garden in The Garden History of Georgia, 1733-1933. Later, the Bradley family subdivided the estate, and today a good portion of the ravine, an Olmstedian signature landscape, remains on the grounds of the Columbus Museum.
Charles A. Birnbaum and Robin Karson, eds., Pioneers of American Landscape Design (New York: McGraw Hill, 2000).
Lucy Lawliss, "Residential Work of the Olmsted Firm in Georgia, 1893-1937," Magnolia Essays 1 (spring 1993).
Laura Wood Roper, FLO: A Biography of Frederick Law Olmsted (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973).
Witold Rybczynski, A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Scribner, 1999).
Dana F. White and Victor A. Kramer, eds., Olmsted South: Old South Critic/New South Planner (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1979).
Lucy Lawliss, Washington, D.C.
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.