A celebration of the life and work of Frederick Law Olmsted, founder of American landscape architecture.



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...Frederick Law Olmsted's work has passed the test of time; his work in Druid Hills set the stage and continues to influence metro Atlanta...
-Tina Fountain

The Biltmore

The last great project that Olmsted was involved with was the laying out of George Vanderbilt's 120,000 acre Biltmore Estate near Asheville North Carolina.

Unlike many of the public entities that Olmsted had done work for, Vanderbilt had the resources to carry out all of Olmsted's plans. Vanderbilt wanted an English manner style estate.

Olmsted was not willing to plan this out. He stated that the land would be better suited to have a grand garden area close to the house, and have the majestic views beyond it with 80,000 acres of the land being turned into a grand Forest, which became the basis for the Pisgah National Forest. Olmsted also designed and built a 9 mile arboretum that wound from the house to the French Broad river and back up to the house.

Olmsted chose a variety of vegetation to fill the area with. It was a much celebrated set up and won him praise from many horticulturists.

The final touch that Olmsted added was a lake, called Bass Pond. He added two islands in the lake to add to the scenic value. It also added a private place, which pleased Vanderbilt.


For more information:

The Biltmore


Bryan, John M. Biltmore Estate : The Most Distinguished Private Place. New York: Rizzoli, 1994.

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