Frederick Law Olmsted: American Visionary with Justin Martin

Frederick Law Olmsted: American Visionary with Justin Martin


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Frederick Law Olmsted may well be the most important American historical figure that the average person knows the least about. He’s best remembered as the creator of such American urban green-space masterpieces as Central Park, the Biltmore Estate, Boston’s Emerald Necklace, and the grounds of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. But he was so much more.

Pioneering landscape architecture was only one of Olmsted’s careers. He was also a sailor, superintendent of a California gold mine, head of a Civil War medical unit, and a New York Times reporter who traveled across the South reporting on slavery. A true renaissance man, Olmsted charted his own course to greatness. Nothing was ever wasted with him; Olmsted was forever finding ways to draw on his deep well of varied experiences. That’s why his landscape creations (still in use, all across the United States) are so timeless.

Led by writer and expert in 19th century America, Justin Martin will connect the disparate pieces of Olmsted’s fervent, fascinating, gigantic life to create a portrait of this American visionary. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation of Olmsted’s creative mind and the green spaces which still serve as public backyards to so many city dwellers across the United States.

Justin Martin is a writer who specializes in American history, meticulously researched, but delivered in a narrative style that’s akin to fiction. Among his five books is Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted. Other works by Martin have covered subjects ranging from America’s first Bohemian artists to the Battle of Antietam, a Civil War turning point. His articles have appeared in publications across the country, including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Lawrence (Kansas) Journal World. Martin is a 1987 graduate of Rice University in Houston, Texas. He lives in Forest Hills Gardens, a landmark New York City neighborhood designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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F
F.
The father of the parks of America’s Wilderness and its cities!

Justin Martin did justice to Olmsted and the difference he made in our country. He was full of information, some new to me and as an author of an Olmsted biography, the perfect lecturer for his subject!

J
J.
The American "Capability Brown" of the 19th Century!

Justin did a super job in exploring the life of Olmsted and then his son known as FLO .... what a legacy this man has left to the USA!

K
K.

I knew nothing about Frederick Law Olmstead except as the designer of Central Park and the Chicago World's Fair, but he was so much more than that. This was a really interesting and well done presentation.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
100%
(3)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
F
F.
The father of the parks of America’s Wilderness and its cities!

Justin Martin did justice to Olmsted and the difference he made in our country. He was full of information, some new to me and as an author of an Olmsted biography, the perfect lecturer for his subject!

J
J.
The American "Capability Brown" of the 19th Century!

Justin did a super job in exploring the life of Olmsted and then his son known as FLO .... what a legacy this man has left to the USA!

K
K.

I knew nothing about Frederick Law Olmstead except as the designer of Central Park and the Chicago World's Fair, but he was so much more than that. This was a really interesting and well done presentation.