Frederick Law Olmsted, Close Up

Michael J. Lewis reviews a new biography of Frederick Law Olmsted, which he says reveals new facts about the man who coined the term "landscape architect."

Even though it has new observations, Lewis says it doesn't quite capture "the largeness of Olmsted's achievement":

"In place of the conventional image of Olmsted as idealistic social reformer, he portrays an imperious and disagreeable workaholic, who repeatedly transplanted his family as unfeelingly as he would any sapling. Mr. Martin reproduces a shockingly abusive letter to his stepson, John, whom Olmsted sent to study the parks of Europe and whose letters he found uninspired: "You are not a man of genius in art, a man of less artistic impulse I never knew.""

Full Story: Meaning In a Meadow


building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.