Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Brookline

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Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site is a United States National Historic Site located in Brookline, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903) is recognized as the founder of American landscape architecture and the nation's foremost parkmaker of the 19th century. In 1883, Olmsted moved his home to suburban Boston and established "Fairsted", the world's first full-scale professional office for the practice of landscape design. Over the course of the next century, his sons and successors expanded and perpetuated Olmsted's design ideals, philosophy, and influence.The site is located at 99 Warren Street, in the Green Hill section of Brookline. Olmsted bought the Clark homestead, an 1810 Federal farmhouse, in 1883, to be near his frequent collaborator, H. H. Richardson, whose home and office were nearby. Olmsted and his son John Charles renovated the house, landscaped the property, and relocated the barn closer to the house, and in 1903 added the office wing to the northwest of the main house. Members of the Olmsted family occupied the main house until 1936, when Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. moved to Elkton, Maryland, renting the house to tenants. The offices of the Olmsted Brothers firm continued to be in the wing during this time, although business also declined. Members of the firm reoccupied the house in the 1960s, making substantial alterations to the original landscaping of the property. The property was acquired by the National Park Service in 1980. The grounds have been restored to a c. 1930 appearance, restoring much of Olmsted's landscaping.
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Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site Reviews
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  • Fredrick Olmstead's home provides an impressive collection of his landscape designs. There is a state of the art circular tube machine for creating large draft blueprint drawings of landscape plans. P...  more »
  • Frederick Law Olmsted created some of the countries greatest parks including New York's Central Park. In addition to living here, the building housed his business operation and school where he created...  more »
  • Interesting place...I thought the grounds would be more landscaped then they were but in any case worth visiting & learning about him. Tours are available. Parking is behind the house, it's a small pa...  more »
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  • Tiny for a national park site, but important. Only the grounds were open but that is Frederick Law Olmstead's claim to fame. For any lover of landscape design, this is sacred ground. The small gardens, especially the sunken garden in front, are gems showing maximum use of a small space. The surrounding suburbs are also lovely and add to the trip. Not obvious driving by, so use your gps or map. These are old gardens, so not wheelchair accessible.
  • Huge fan of Mr Olmsted! One can totally see why this space and land was home. Such simplicity makes it a total gem.
  • Many people have jogged through the Emerald Necklace or Central Park (just to name a couple of the hundreds of projects) designed by F. L. Olmstead; fewer might know that Boston is where his latest dwelling is. The house has become a museum and can be visited; a wonderful guided tour will show you all the nooks and crannies of this marvelous home. I suggest asking about the "hidden" trail in the garden. Enjoy!!
  • Everyone should visit! FLO has done so much for this country through his amazing work as a landscape architect.
  • love Olmsted and love the way the material is thoughtfully presented. Great 7 minute film and exhibitions. Opportunity to see the wonderful house in which he lived and started the first landscape design school in America.
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