While much attention has been given to the parks of Frederick Law Olmsted, this presentation looks the evolution and significance of the Olmsted parkway. After looking at the design principles for the original Olmsted/Vaux parkway, the presentation tracks how his parkway evolved into a metropolitan transportation planning framework as reflected in his successive plans for Brooklyn and Buffalo, which culminated in his most sophisticated metropolitan park system in Louisville in 1891. It argues that Olmsted’s parkways have actually had a greater impact on the American landscape than his parks.
David Ames is Professor Emeritus of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, Geography, and Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware. He received his A. B. in Geography and A.M. in Geography and Regional Science from George Washington University and his Ph.D. from Clark University.