Happy Birthday To Frederick Law Olmsted, Who Made Louisville The Ultimate Park City

Apr 26, 2023 at 5:32 pm
Iroquois Park North Overlook, provided by Olmsted Parks Conservancy
Iroquois Park North Overlook, provided by Olmsted Parks Conservancy

“A park is a work of art.”

— Frederick Law Olmsted, in his “Address to Prospect Park Scientific Association,” May 1868.

Get outside on this beautiful, sunny day and celebrate the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted, who was born on this day in 1822. The 19th century landscape architect grew up in rural New England and later studied engineering and scientific farming, according to information recorded on the Library of Congress website.

By 1891, Olmsted had gained acclaim as the “acknowledged father of America landscape design,” according to Louisville’s Olmsted Parks website. Olmsted is famously known for his work designing New York’s Central Park, the U.S. Capitol Grounds in D.C., and the Biltmore estate grounds in North Carolina.

According to the Olmsted Parks’ website, “Olmsted’s greatest achievement, however, was his concept of creating a system of parks connected to tree-lined parkways, instead of freestanding parks as was the common practice. His concept was most fully realized in Louisville, the ultimate park system of his career, and one of only four completed such Olmsted systems in the world.”

"Frederick Law Olmsted's signature landscape architecture design was the park system, which connects different parks, and therefore neighborhoods, via parkways," says Olmsted Parks Conservancy President and CEO Layla George. "A great way to celebrate his birthday is to visit a park that is new to you and appreciate how these green spaces build community throughout the city. Olmsted Parks Conservancy works to keep the park system healthy with the support of our members and volunteers."

Widely used by Louisville residents, Frederick Law Olmsted Parks and Parkways include: Algonquin Park, Baxter Square (Louisville’s first public park), Bingham Park, Boone Square, Central Park, Cherokee Park, Seneca Park, Shawnee Park, Shelby Park, Stansbury Park, Tyler Park, Victory Park, Wayside Park, Willow Park and nearly fifteen miles of Olmsted-designed Parkways.

So, you have lots of options for a local celebration, or you can get involved here to honor Frederick’s legacy. What are you waiting for?