Celebrate Frederick Law Olmsted’s Birthday and Legacy

If you live in Buffalo, surely you’ve walked the tree-lined streets of the Elmwood neighborhood, strolled along the grassy medians of Bidwell Parkway, broad enough to host concerts and a farmer’s market, picnicked in Delaware Park or sat on Shakespeare Hill on a summer evening.

 But how much do you know about how this remarkable residential neighborhood came to be? In Joseph Ellicott’s time it was dense forest. As fruit orchards began to blossom, the City Fathers invited Frederick Law Olmsted to come to Buffalo to create a park that would rival Central Park in New York City, Buffalo’s main metropolitan rival. They showed Olmsted three promising lots of land. He said “Yes.” 

America’s first landscape architect realized his first system of parks and parkways in Buffalo, with the specific intention of laying the foundation for Edenic residential neighborhoods where it would be possible to live well in harmony with nature. What a remarkable gift!

Celebrate Frederick Law Olmsted’s 201st birthday on Wednesday, April 26. Discover this man’s amazing contributions to Buffalo at 5:00 p.m. at the newly opened Richardson Hotel situated on grounds designed by Olmsted. Learn about his legacy during a brief but lively talk by Clinton Brown, author of  Olmsted’s Elmwood: The Rise, Decline and Renewal of Buffalo’s Parkway Neighborhood, A Model for America’s Cities (yes, copies will be available and Clint will be happy to sign a few) followed by a 20-minute tour of the Olmsted-designed South Lawn by Agronomist and Horticulturalist, Nell Gardner. A farm once existed on this site!

Sponsored by the Lipsey Architecture Center Buffalo and supported by Explore Buffalo, admission is FREE but space is limited. Please take a moment to register. Free parking in the hotel lots on the North side of the campus (Buffalo State side). Contact with any questions.

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