Olmsted 200 Fall Preview

image: National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP)

Unbelievably, we are at the threshold when summer begins to turn into fall. With the start of September just a week away, now is the time to look ahead to all the events in store as Olmsted 200 continues, with in-person conferences, new installments in the Conversations with Olmsted webinar series (see The Dirt for a recap of the latest conversation. featuring three LAF Olmsted scholars), and many other offerings. The Olmsted 200 website is your source for all things Olmsted; here we highlight three upcoming events as you plan ahead for the new season.

The Olmsteds’ Conservation Legacy
September 9, 2022, 9:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. ET
Washington, DC

Both Frederick Law Olmsted and his son, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., played a significant role in the establishment and creation of our country’s national parks. This conference will explore the Olmsted conservation legacy and historic and current challenges to the public land ideal—including displacement, exclusion, public funding, and climate change.

Co-hosted by the Architect of the Capitol, the program will be broken down into three sessions:

  • Olmsted Senior, the Conservation Movement, and the National Parks Idea will feature Dennis Drabell, Rolf Diamant, and Jason Newman.
  • Olmsted Junior, the Conservation Movement, and State and National Parks will feature Lauren Meier, ASLA, Elizabeth Hope Cushing, and Sam Hodder.
  • The Conservation Movement Today: Race, Class, Public Use, and Environmental Protection will feature Alegra “Happy” Haynes, Philip Burnham, Shelton A. Johnson, and Priscilla Solis Ybarra.

The conference will be followed by lunch at the Capitol Visitor Center Cafe and tours of the U.S. Botanic Garden, Bartholdi Fountain, and the U.S. Capitol Grounds. Registration is free, but space is limited.

Conversations with Olmsted: An International Perspective
September 20, 2022, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

In the late 19th century, the world turned from a rural to an urban society. Today we find ourselves on an “urban planet” with most of the population living in cities worldwide. Against this backdrop, we’ll explore how Olmsted’s work and legacy can inform global park-making and urban planning. To do so, we will hear from some of the most thoughtful thinkers and practitioners around the globe who, like Olmsted, are exploring how landscape architecture can undergird the development of livable cities while addressing pressing issues of social justice and climate change.

Jayne Miller, the chair of World Urban Parks and CEO of Jayne Miller Consulting, will join us as moderator. Panelists include Romy Hecht, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the New Forest National Park Authority in England; and Kongjian Yu, FASLA, founder of Peking University College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and founder and principal of Turenscape in Beijing.

On the grounds of Planting Fields on Long Island / image: Mike Cempa, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr

Planting Fields Foundation Symposium: Situating the Residential Projects of the Olmsted Firm
October 20 – 21, 2022
Oyster Bay, NY

This two-day symposium brings together experts in the fields of landscape architecture history and practice to examine the residential projects of the Olmsted firm, spanning from 1857 to 1979. Organized and hosted by the Planting Fields Foundation, in conjunction with the National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP) and the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, this convening focuses on the impact of the Olmsted firm on residential landscape design, considering patronage, taste-making, and place-making for a private context; American landscapes and issues of race; methods of sustainability in the preservation and restoration of historic designed landscapes; and decision-making models for studying and sustaining historic design landscapes, among other topics.

Speakers include John Dixon Hunt, Laurie Olin, FASLA, Charles Birnbaum, FASLA, Arleyn Levee, Hon. ASLA, Patricia O’Donnell, FASLA, Witold Rybczynski, Hon. ASLA, and Sara Zewde.

Olmsted will also be a key presence at the ASLA 2022 Conference on Landscape Architecture in November. Explore the Olmsted & Beyond: Practice and Beyond education track, and stay tuned for more details on additional Olmsted 200 programming for San Francisco!

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