• Friends of Fairsted Programs



April 2020 — Postponed due to COVID

A Place of His Own: Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.:
His Life and Work in Landscape Architecture and Planning

Elizabeth Hope Cushing, PhD


When Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. (1870–1957) decided to follow in his eminent father’s footsteps, it ultimately resulted in a conflation of the reputations and accomplishments of the two men, each, in his own right, an important figure in the development of American landscape architecture. The son’s contributions continued the skills learned at his father’s knee, but also built upon them to reflect the needs of modern times. His contributions to the field of landscape architecture in the areas of city planning, landscape education, and conservation went above and beyond his training, earning him an important place of his own in the pantheon. The time has come to disentangle Olmsted the Younger’s achievements from those of his father, and to clarify his contributions to the field.

6:00pm Reception | 7:00pm Lecture
Metcalf Trustee Center, Boston University, 9th Floor Ballroom
One Silber Way at Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA
Registration required when available.

Elizabeth Hope Cushing, PhD, is the author of a biography of Boston landscape architect, Arthur A. Shurcliff, based on her doctoral dissertation. She is also coauthor, with Keith N. Morgan and Roger Reed, of Community by Design: The Olmsted Firm and the Development of Brookline, Massachusetts. Cushing is a landscape historian who consults, writes, and lectures on landscape matters. She has written cultural landscape reports for the Taft Art Museum in Cincinnati, Endicott House for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as for the National Park Service, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and other institutions and agencies. For the last several years her focus has been on researching and writing a biography of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.

Map for One Silber Way at Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA
Getting There: MBTA Green Line ‘B’ Blandford Street stop
Parking: Limited metered parking on Beacon Street, Commonwealth Avenue
and Bay State Road, BU garages L and M at 575 and 595 Commonwealth Avenue
Image credit: National Park Service, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site

The Friends of Fairsted are grateful to Boston University for their generosity in hosting our lectures.

December 2018: Saving Central Park: A History and A Memoir
Elizabeth Barlow Rogers

April 2018:
What Is a Park For? Olmsted, Obama, and the Meanings of Urban Landscape

Carlo Rotella
December 2017:
Beyond Drawings: The Olmsted Archives as Muse and Vision

Lucinda Brockway

March 2017:
Lewis Mumford’s Green Urbanism

Aaron Sachs
December 2016:
From the Granite Garden to West Philadelphia (with a nod to the Fens): Restoring Nature & Communities

Anne Whiston Spirn

April 2016:
Parks: Cornerstone of Civic Revitalization

Rolf Diamant
December 2015:
The “Fairsted School”: An Enduring Legacy

Ethan Carr

March 2015:

Gary Hilderbrand

December 2014:
Dwelling in Landscape

Daniel Bluestone

March 2014:
The Shaping of Regions: The New York Regional Plan and the Origins of Planning in America

Robert Yaro

November 2013:
From Buffalo to Boston: Olmsted’s Evolving Vision of Urban Park Systems

Francis R. Kowsky