The Public Interest

The motive behind Olmsted’s park

Roger Starr

Winter 1984

FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED is one of those historical figures who seems less familiar the more one reads about him. At first we take him for granted as the designer of his parks, those great masterpieces of public art. Then, as we learn more about him, we wonder what prepared him to build them, and how he conceived their purpose in relation to his own experiences and training, and more especially to the cities into which they were placed.

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