PBS Thirteen recently produced “Olmsted and America’s Urban Parks”, a documentary about one of the founders of Central Park, Fredrick Law Olmstead. Olmstead was not an architect like the park’s other designer, Calvert Vaux. He grew up in a fairly well to do home and eventually became a journalist who wrote about working class Americans. This documentary talks about how he became New York’s first Parks Commissioner (on September 11th 1857 actually), and eventually partnered with Calvert Vaux to create Central Park. Later in his life though, Olmsted went on to create parks in cities across America including Chicago, Boston and Washington DC. PBS Thirteen has made the documentary available online and we’re happy to share it with you here:
BONUS: Came across this very interesting article that alludes to the suicide of Calvert Vaux on Ephemeral New York. Knowing this adds an interesting moment to the later part of the Olmstead documentary.