Olmsted 200 Concrete Plant Park Arsenal Gallery Exhibition. Photo: NYC Parks

This month, NYC Parks is celebrating the bicentennial birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) a landscape architect known for his work co-designing Central Park, Prospect Park, and other urban green spaces and his ideas about park design. With an exhibition in the Arsenal Gallery, tours led by the expert Urban Park Rangers, and more, Parks invites New Yorkers to learn about Olmsted and his lasting influence on parks in New York City.

“Frederick Law Olmsted was the visionary force behind some of New York City’s most beloved and iconic parks. He believed that parks are essential, and our landscape architects continue to find inspiration in his ideas about urban greenspace design,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “To mark Olmsted’s 200th birthday, we encourage New Yorkers to visit our gallery show, join an Urban Park Ranger tour, and spend time in the parks he helped to create.”

Here are some of this month’s highlights:

On view through June 2, 2022

See recent innovative park designs that build on Olmsted’s legacy in New York City with “Parks Now: Honoring the Olmsted Legacy,” on view at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park. Olmsted created a new kind of civil engineering that blended function and beauty, producing sanctuaries that had a profound impact on the cityscape. With renderings, site plans, and photos, this exhibition highlights Olmsted’s New York City projects, greenways then and now, and a selection of 10 new and reimagined parks that incorporate his design principles–including former industrial sites, waterfront parks, plazas, and neighborhood playgrounds:

  • Bronx: Hugh Grant Circle/Virginia Park, Concrete Plant Park
  • Brooklyn: Lincoln Terrace Playground, Sunset Park Playground
  • Manhattan: Monsignor Kett Playground, Central Park’s Harlem Meer Center (formerly Lasker Rink and Pool)
  • Queens: Elmhurst Park, Bayswater Park
  • Staten Island: Faber Park, Richmond Terrace

Mask-wearing is required to enter the gallery, and guests are required to sign in. Groups of five or more people can call 212-360-8114 or email artandantiquities@parks.nyc.gov to pre-register.

April 23–30, 2022

Celebrate the bicentennial birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted with the Urban Park Rangers! With free tours in parks throughout the five boroughs, Rangers will visit some of the famous parks that Olmsted co-designed and explore his role in the vision for parks and how they are used today. Programs include:

Heart of Central Park Hike – Manhattan
Saturday, April 23, 2022 | 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
This two-mile hike will take you through the heart of one of Olmsted’s most beloved designs and some of Central Park’s iconic attractions, including Bethesda Fountain, Bow Bridge, The Ramble, and Belvedere Castle.

Forest Park Hike – Queens
Sunday, April 24, 2022 | 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Explore Forest Park’s many natural treasures and learn how Olmsted’s design firm helped shape the main passageway through the 507-acre park that spans five neighborhoods in Queens.

Walk With Olmsted in Van Cortlandt Park – Bronx
Tuesday, April 26, 2022 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Join the Urban Park Rangers for a walk and talk about the life and legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted. Take in the beauty of Van Cortlandt Park and learn about the man who became known as the “father of landscape architecture,” forever changing America’s relationship with public parks.

Silver Lake Park Design – Staten Island
Saturday, April 30, 2022 | 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Learn about Olmsted’s design principles – including designing open spaces to meet fundamental social and psychological needs and keeping the natural scenery and topography of the site – and how they apply to Silver Lake Park.

Prospect Park Super Hike – Brooklyn
Saturday, April 30, 2022 | Noon.–2 p.m.
Take a long hike through one of Frederick Law Olmsted’s most famously pastoral parks. Explore the hidden paths, waterways, meadows and woods the way that Olmsted and Calvert Vaux intended for visitors in this Brooklyn gem.

For more information about Frederick Law Olmsted and a full list of upcoming events, visit Park’s website here.

Related Parks

Leave a Reply