California Historical Society | Frederick Law Olmsted: Bringing Nature to the City<< All Events
California Historical Society | Frederick Law Olmsted: Bringing Nature to the City
April 26, 2022 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, the master designer of public parks and a founder of the landscape architecture field. Historian and filmmaker Laurence Cotton dives into the remarkable life and career of the Renaissance-man Olmsted–writer, philosopher, social reformer, advocate for the preservation of natural scenery, and creator of some of the most beautiful public parks, gardens, and institutional campuses across the US. Laurence gives a visual tour of representative landscapes designed by Olmsted, Senior, as well as his two sons and the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm. Laurence will highlight select Olmsted landscapes and master plans in California including the Stanford University Campus and Yosemite National Park.
More about the speaker:
Laurence Cotton, currently based in Portland, Oregon, a city that benefits from an Olmsted-master planned park system, originally hails from Boston, renowned for its Olmsted landscapes and the home base for generations of landscape design practitioners working for the Olmsted Brothers firm. A practicing public historian, and writer/producer of historical films for PBS, Mr. Cotton was trained as a cultural anthropologist and brings that lens to bear on much of his work. He has worked with the tribal populations throughout the Columbia River watershed and has also worked on open space acquisition and the designs of parks and trails in the Pacific Northwest.