Olmsted in CT Landscape Documentation Project
Connecticut holds a unique place in the history of landscape design. Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. (1822-1903), known as the father of American landscape architecture, was born in Hartford and formed an early appreciation for the restorative qualities of nature and the state’s inherent scenic beauty. After dabbling in a variety of careers, Olmsted collected a skillset that culminated in his reinvention as a landscape designer, beginning with his plan for Central Park in New York City with Calvert Vaux in 1857. Olmsted established his design firm at this time and a legacy that continued through other partners and his sons. The Olmsted Firm completed more than 6,000 projects throughout the country from 1857 to 1979, including nearly 300 in Connecticut. The state remains a key part of this national story, as the place of Olmsted’s early inspiration, formative social connections, education, gravesite, and numerous design commissions.
The State Historic Preservation Office partnered with Preservation Connecticut to highlight the state’s role in the Olmsted Legacy. With help from The Red Bridge Group, we drafted a historical context specific to the Olmsted firm’s associations with Connecticut and completed a survey of nearly 150 properties. The project is linked to a larger initiative called Olmsted 200 and initiates a more robust program for historic landscape documentation and stewardship.
Read our Olmsted in Connecticut report for a history and documentation of the firm’s work.