Olmsted NPS Archives Achieve Digitizing Milestone!

During the 2016 Centennial year of the National Park Service, the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site successfully uploaded its 100,000th image to mark a significant achievement in making the archives of the Olmsted firm readily available online. The NPS spent fifteen years conserving and cataloging the landscape design firm’s 139,000 historic plans and drawings collection. With digital access now in great demand, the NPS began to make the collection available online using a familiar platform — Flickr — due to its popularity and ability to serve as a portal to the Olmsted digital collection by the general public. In the first phase, the park uploaded the entire historic photo album collection, as well as many plans and drawings. Olmsted NHS also received funding to support onsite scanning as well as off-site digital photography of materials that are too large or fragile to be handled in-house. While the Olmsted Research Guide Online remains the comprehensive search tool for Olmsted project-based research, the Flickr site provides immediate digital access to an important part of the collection, and is growing weekly as new materials are uploaded. Check out the Flickr site.

Celebrating 100 years of the National Park Service

Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site hosted a series of events from Aug 25–28 for the centennial celebration which was met with great interest and success. Thursday, August 25: a talk, “America’s Cradle: New England in Photographs” by award-winning photographer Xiomaro. An outdoor reception on the site’s South Lawn at 6:00pm celebrating winners and runners-up of “Inspired by Olmsted” visual art and writing contest for high school students. Friday, August 26: a series of Specialty Tours explore topics beyond the traditional tour. “Olmsteds & the Organic Act”, “Landscape for the Ages” and “An Interview with FLO”. Saturday, August 27: Opening the Olmsted Vault for viewing and highlighting the work of the Olmsted firm did in advocating and designing our National Parks, “From Policy to Plans: The Olmsteds Give Shape to Our National Parks” Sunday, August 28: Family Day at Fairsted, for family-focused activities on our South Lawn and hands-on experience in the Park Design Workshop. At 7:30pm a free showing of Yogi Bear to complete the celebrations.

Beveridge Fellowship Update
The 2016 Charles E. Beveridge Research Fellowship is awarded to Fadi Masoud of Cambridge, MA for his proposal, “Landscape’s Comprehensive Codes and Standards.” This study grows from an interest in Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.’s influence on the crafting of legislation meant to arm planners in the twentieth century (and beyond) with “an enabling mechanism” to execute the kind of comprehensive designs commonly associated with Olmsted Sr. The study explores the relationship between landscape-driven comprehensive planning and regulatory zoning, with an emphasis on how this relationship affects the ability of projects to withstand environmental pressures over time. Masoud is a Lecturer in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, MIT, Cambridge, MA.
Beveridge Research Fellowship

New Board Members for 2015-2016
At our May 2015 annual meeting, the Friends elected four new board members and a new slate of officers.


Thomas Woodward, Carlisle, MA, President
David Hessney, Brookline, MA, Vice-president
Erica Max, Roslindale, MA, Treasurer
Ray Dunetz, Jamaica Plain, MA, Clerk

New Directors

Elizabeth Igleheart, Concord, MA
Full list of the Board of Directors

Calendar of Events

Thursday, March 9, 2017 | 6:00–8:00pm

Lewis Mumford’s Green Urbanism

The Friends of Fairsted 2016-2017 Lecture Series is proud to present Aaron Sachs, Professor of History and American Studies, Cornell University and author of Arcadian America: The Death and Life of an American Environmental Tradition. Professor Sachs reconsiders Lewis Mumford’s writings of the 1930s, discovering visionary proponent of ecological urbanism. For more information about the lecture and to register.

Wheelock College, Brookline Campus
43 Hawes Street, corner of Hawes and Monmouth Streets, Brookline, MA
Seating is limited | Reservations are required
Reserve online or 617-566-1689, ext. 265

NHS Winter Programs 2017

All events are free and open to the public. Please note that some programs require advanced registration.

Saturday, January 28, 2017 | 12:00–4:00pm

Specialty and Standard Tours

One last chance to drop in for a tour this winter. Tours include “Olmsteds and the Organic Act” at 12:00pm and “Landscape for the Seasons” at 2:00pm. Traditional tours at 1:00pm and 3:00pm. Exhibits and bookstore will be open from 12:00pm–4:00pm. No Reservations Required.

Saturday, February 11, 2017 | 11:00am–12:00pm

OImsted: “A Many Sided, Fluent, Thoroughly American” Man

From sailor to superintendent, journeyman to journalist, all these seemingly disparate experiences would, like a mosaic, only reveal their role in creating this American artist through the distance of time. Examine Olmsted’s search for his purpose in life and whether, in the end, he felt he found it. Reservations Required.

Saturday, March 11, 2017 | 12:00–3:00pm

Opening the Olmsted Vault: World’s End and The Trustees of Reservations

In Fairsted winter tradition, we open our archival collection for up close viewing – this time partnering with The Trustees of Reservations, World’s End. Explore original plans, drawings, and photographs at your own pace and speak with Olmsted experts, an Olmsted archivist, and staff from World’s End. No Reservations Required.

Saturday, March 25, 2017 | 1:00–2:30pm

Franklin Park: 
A “Quiet Season” Jaunt

Explore Franklin Park in early spring. Visit Olmsted’s “Ante-Park” sections, including the Valley Gates, the Playstead Overlook and Shelter ruins, the Long Crouch Woods, and the Bear Dens. Includes an optional 45-min tour of historic sections of the Franklin Park Zoo until 3:15pm.
Reservations Required.