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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.

Calendar of Events

NHS Fall Programs 2018

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

Saturday, October 27, 2018 | 2:00–3:30pm

Falling for Olmsted

A Guided Tour of the Arnold Arboretum
Experience this Olmsted designed landscape on a guided tour through dimensions of color and texture while learning about the science behind changing leaves. This walk will touch on the history of the landscape architect who designed our Emerald Necklace park system and his design theory, while viewing all the fall foliage the Arnold Arboretum has to offer! Meet at the Hunnewell Visitor Center, Arnold Arboretum, Arborway/Route 203, Jamaica Plain.

Monday, November 12, 2018 | 1:00–3:00pm

A Garden in the Machine

A Guided Tour of the Back Bay Fens
In merging hydraulic engineering with landscape design, Olmsted helped to redefine the role of public space in urban areas. Join us as we explore how sanitation – and imagination – helped create the Back Bay Fens. Meet at the Shattuck Visitor Center, 125 The Fenway, Boston.

Saturday, November 17, 2018 | 11:00am–12:30pm

Olmsted’s Neighbors

A Guided Tour of Green Hill
Green Hill was the estate of Isabella Stewart Gardner, five acres of which is now managed by the National Park Service. A short talk on the history of the estate will be followed by a walk exploring the botanical history of the grounds. Due to safety, enrollment for this walk is limited. Please register via email using this link. Register.

Friday, November 23, 2018 | 10:00am–12:00pm

Learn & Burn

A Guided Tour of Mr. Olmsted’s Neighborhood
Won’t you join us on our annual post-Thanksgiving walk? Expect brisk walking, along with a little talking, while we weave our way to and through some of the places that make up the neighborhood the Olmsteds called home. Due to safety, enrollment for this walk is limited. Please register via email using this link. Register.

Notes on all NHS Walking Tours
Wear comfortable and sturdy walking shoes and dress weather appropriately because we will be on outdoor pathways for significant portions of our tours.

Notes on the Back Bay Fens
Due to the location of the Back Bay Fens, consider public transportation and parking rates at local garages when planning your walk with us.

Olmsted’s Neighbors and Learn & Burn
If you have any issues with our register icon above or have any questions about registering for our limited walks, please email HERE.