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The Olmsted National Historic Site and the Growth of Historic Landscape Preservation
David Grayson Allen




Northeastern University Press
2007 • 332 pp. 38 illus. 6 x 9"
Landscape Architecture / Historic Preservation / Boston


$50.00 Hardcover, 978-1-55553-679-4



"Allen's conclusions are insightful, and the appendices, notes, bibliography, and index testify to the depth of the research and attention given to the book. Allen's style is accessible and engaging, ensuring that this well-written book will have a place among the canon of historic preservation philosophy as a valuable, in-depth look at what, in the late twentieth century, justified the establishment of yet another public historic site with a landscape focus."
Preservation Education and Research

A contextual history of Massachusetts’ Olmsted National Historic Site

Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) is recognized as the founder of American landscape architecture and the genius behind New York’s Central Park. In 1883 Olmsted established “Fairsted” in suburban Boston, the world’s first full-scale professional office for the practice of landscape design. Over the course of the next century, his sons and successors sustained and expanded upon Olmsted’s design ideals, philosophy, and influence. His son, F. L. Olmsted, Jr., helped to lay the groundwork for the National Park Service in 1916.

David Grayson Allen chronicles the creation and development of the Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts, which opened in 1979 after nearly a decade of struggle and controversy and now welcomes thousands of visitors and researchers every year. The Site’s history is emblematic of the evolving role that landscape architecture plays in modern American lives and reflects the stunning transformation that has taken place within the National Park Service itself within the last quarter century. Original, sophisticated, meticulously researched, and well-written, The Olmsted National Historic Site and the Growth of Historic Landscape Preservation will resonate with readers interested in historic preservation and landscape architecture.

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Reviews:

"[Grayson's] tight focus on Olmsted National Historic Site offers a revealing tale of a small park that made it, despite formidable challenges."
The Journal of American History

Endorsements:

"Whether it's the Emerald Necklace in Boston, Central Park in New York City, the Capitol Grounds in Washington, D.C., or countless other beautiful urban parks in cities across America, we have Frederick Law Olmsted to thank for his magnificent creative vision and achievements. He understood the link between cultivating nature and civilizing humanity. He invented the art of landscaping and was responsible for bringing public green space into our urban centers. In this important book, David Grayson Allen expertly analyzes the intensive modern effort championed by the Olmsted National Historical Site to encourage landscape preservation nationwide and breathe new life into Olmsted's brilliant legacy for future generations."—Edward M. Kennedy, United States Senator

"Frederick Law Olmsted was one of the great American creative pioneers. He shaped the landscape of our nation's cities, as well as their history. The spirit of his commitment to environmental conservation is more important today than ever before, and I applaud The Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site for this tribute to his vision. In this book, David Grayson Allen celebrates an important part of Massachusetts' history and the remarkable man behind it."—John Kerry, United States Senator



DAVID GRAYSON ALLEN, a former NEH Fellow, is a principal of Allen Associates, a historical consulting firm in Concord, Massachusetts. His first of many books, In English Ways,won the Jamestown Prize of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and was a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize. He is currently a consulting historian for the Department of Defense and is also writing a financial history of Boston.






Fri, 21 Feb 2014 10:53:55 -0500