Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

About This Episode


Known as the father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted made enormous contributions to the American landscape as the designer of major urban parks. He was co-designer of Central Park, head of the first Yosemite commission, leader of the campaign to protect Niagara Falls, designer of the U.S. Capitol Grounds, site planner for the Great White City of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, planner of Boston's "Emerald Necklace" of green space and of park systems in many other cities.

To Olmsted, a park was both a work of art and a necessity for urban life. His efforts to preserve nature created an "environmental ethic" decades before the environmental movement became a force in American politics. With gorgeous cinematography, creative animation, and compelling commentary Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America presents the biography of a man whose parks and preservation are an essential part of American life.