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 Colombian Exhibition

In 1890 the Citizens of Chicago decided to make a name for their city. In order to do this, they decided to  hold a World's Fair, and they wanted it to be the best World's Fair ever.

Olmsted was hired on as the site designer, by Daniel Burnham who was overseeing the project. The site that was selected was not his original choice, but because of transportation needs the eventual site won out. Ironically, the site had been one that Olmsted and Vaux had designed a park for earlier, that had been rejected.

The site was a treeless marsh with one redeeming aspect: a lagoon. After dredging the marsh, and deepening the lagoon, Olmsted created beautiful terraces and grand pedestrian walkways throughout the complex that all led to the central area around the lagoon, which was surrounded by neo-classical styled buildings. This was one of the finest examples of Olmsted's blend of the naturalistic landscaping with large public buildings.

To view enlarge the photos of the World's fair, click on either one, or here
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