FSOP is excited to be partnering with Seattle Parks and Recreation on the Olmsted Legacy Task Force. The task force is made up of members of the FSOP board, staff members from several city departments, representatives of community organizations, such as Historic Seattle, Volunteer Park Trust, the Associated Recreation Council, Seattle Youth Soccer Association, and others. The task force will meet monthly during 2018 and the public is encouraged to attend the meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for May 30th at Parks headquarters in Denny Park at 6:30 p.m.
The task force grew out of meetings between Parks and FSOP about how to more proactively rehabilitate and preserve the city’s historic park system. As the task force web page explains, “Park planners across the country recognize Seattle’s Olmsted park system as one of the best preserved and best designed in the United States. More importantly, while many eastern cities have only one or two Olmsted-designed parks, Seattle has an extensive multi-park plan linked by boulevards. It is this legacy that makes Seattle one of the most livable spots in the country…The creation of the Olmsted Task Force is a deepening of the relationship between SPR and FSOP for the benefit of the parks in our community.”
The taskforce will focus on developing recommendations to the Superintendent and the Board of Park Commissioners. Some of these include:
• Specific standards of design related to maintaining the character and effect of the Olmsted Parks, such as park furniture, lighting, signage, and landscaping • Best practices for maintaining our Olmsted parks and boulevards • Educational programs for informing the public about the Olmsted legacy in Seattle • Innovative approaches for managing Olmsted parks and boulevards • How best to export Olmsted design elements to other parks in Seattle; how to improve existing and create new green connections between our parks • How to prioritize funding for the recommendations above to be considered in the next iteration of the Park District funding package • Creating a sustainable connection between SPR and the community and to improve on the existing connection between SPR and FSOP
The Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks has joined with HistoryLink to produce a book about the Olmsted legacy in Seattle. FSOP sees this book as providing a much-needed tool and educational resource toward advocacy and protection of our Olmsted park and boulevard system, which is the foundation of the Seattle park system. Our current Olmsted parks system can be difficult to define by nature of its nuanced design, broad distribution, age, and continued evolution. By more fully describing the thinking of John Charles Olmsted and his associates and placing it to our modern-day city, we can create a fuller, more comprehensible rendering of this legacy.
We are thrilled that HistoryLink historian Jennifer Ott will be writing this book. She has a master’s degree in environmental and Western American history and has published numerous articles about Olmsted Brothers’ landscapes. Her nine years of experience on the FSOP board, and her extensive work on the Volunteer Park Trust steering committee, makes her the perfect choice.
HistoryLink has been publishing top-quality books for more than 15 years. They have recently partnered with Documentary Media and have produced titles such as Waterway: The Story of Seattle’s Locks and Ship Canal, co-authored by Jennifer Ott.
We are joining with HistoryLink to raise money for this book and hope that you will consider a donation, working towards our goal of $95,000. The book will be released mid-year 2019. Donors will receive a copy upon publication and will be listed in the book.
Donations can be made directly to HistoryLink at HistoryLink.org, or sent to:
HistoryLink 93 Pike Street, Suite 315B Seattle WA 98101
Please note on your donation that you want this gift to go to the Olmsted Book Project. All proceeds from sales of the book will go to FSOP.
Book Details: 144 pages overall dimension — 10″ x 9″ over 100 images (both color and black and white) 5,000-copy first edition cover price: $34.95 release date: Summer 2019
Join us for monthly walking tours in Seattle’s Olmsted parks and start your weekend with a dose of beauty, nature, and history! The tours are FREE, appropriate for all ages and last approximately 2 hours. Contact email@example.com for more information about specific tours.
All tours start at 10:00 a.m.
May 20th Seward Park Meet at Seward Park Audubon Center.
June 17th Jefferson Park Meet at Jefferson Community Center (south side entrance).
July 15th Green Lake Park Meet at Green Lake Community Center (entrance at northeast corner).
August 19th Hiawatha Playfield Meet on west side of Hiawatha Community Center.
September 16th Washington Park Arboretum Meet at Graham Visitor Center. *This is the FSOP annual meeting, please join us for potluck lunch after the tour.
Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks has been involved in reviewing proposed plans for the Seattle Asian Art Museum renovation and expansion project. We wrote a letter in June to the Landmarks Board outlining our concerns about the loss of park land, the need to effectively integrate any modifications into the surrounding park, and the impact the project would have on users. You can read our letter here: Landmarks Board Letter.
FSOP will be reviewing revised plans on Monday, September 26th. We will be sending a letter to the Landmarks Board in response to those new plans and posting information on our home page.
Please attend the following public meetings to learn more about the project and to provide feedback on the proposed plans:
SAT OCT 15 2016 Asian Art Museum 1400 E Prospect St, Seattle WA 98112
SAT NOV 19 2016 Asian Art Museum 1400 E Prospect St, Seattle WA 98112
SAT DEC 10 2016 Asian Art Museum 1400 E Prospect St, Seattle WA 98112
Join us for monthly walking tours in Seattle’s Olmsted parks and start your weekend with a dose of beauty, nature, and history! Appropriate for all ages and lasting approximately 2 hours. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about specific tours.
July 9th Colman Park 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Meet at the parking lot at the base of Colman Park (access from Lake Washington Boulevard).
August 20th Magnolia Blvd 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Meet at the parking lot on Magnolia Blvd W near Howe St.
September 17th Woodland Park 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Meet at the parking lot near the Woodland Park Lawn Bowling area. *This is the FSOP annual meeting, please join us for potluck lunch after the tour in Shelter #4 (up the hill from the Woodland Park Lawn Bowling building).
We are excited to announce that the Olmsted Correspondence project is complete! FSOP, working in conjunction with the Washington State Archives, has indexed 29 jobs’ correspondence related to the Olmsted Brothers firm’s Seattle projects.
The indexing allows us to search the correspondence by job number, job name, author or recipient, landscape feature type, document type, and topics, people, or organizations.
The work was done by FSOP volunteers and indexers funded by the Washington State Department of Transportation as part of the Section 106 mitigation agreed upon for the SR520 Bridge Replacement and HOV project.
We’d like to thank Mary Hammer, Michael Dwyer, and June Timmons from the Washington State Archives for their assistance in developing an indexing system and creating the online interface for the project. We’d also like to thank Olivia Johnson, Marta Olson, and Adrienne Sharigian for their work on the project.
Having the correspondence available online and searchable will make it easier to find information related to specific projects, trace the development of landscape features and plans, and see how the different elements were intended to work together as a system.
Interested in touring Olmsted designed gardens inside The Highlands, another in Broadview and ending with drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres at the Dunn Gardens? If so, consider signing up for the 2016 Estate Garden Tour!
Seattle’s Olmsted, John Charles, was the nephew and stepson of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., known as the father of American landscape architecture. The senior Olmsted was renowned for his work in Central Park, the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, among many others. He was also a prolific writer on a wide variety of subjects.
The New York Review of Books has an extensive review of three new books about the Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. :
Frederick Law Olmsted: Writings on Landscape, Culture, and Society edited by Charles E. Beveridge
The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, Volume IX: The Last Great Projects, 1890–1895 edited by David Schuyler, Gregory Kaliss, and Jeffrey Schlossberg
Frederick Law Olmsted: Plans and Views of Public Parks edited by Charles E. Beveridge, Lauren Meier, and Irene Mills
Any one of these would be a great read as winter winds down and our beautiful parks fill with spring blossoms.
Join us for monthly walking tours in Seattle’s Olmsted parks and start your weekend with a dose of beauty, nature, and history! They are held on 3rd Saturdays (except August) and begin at 10:00 AM, lasting approximately two hours. Appropriate for all ages. These walks are free and open to all, and go on rain or shine. There is no need to register in advance. Contact email@example.com for more information about specific tours.
2015 Summer Walking Tour Schedule
May 16th Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition at the University of Washington campus Meet at the entrance to the Burke Museum.
June 20th Washington Park Arboretum Meet at the Graham Visitor Center.
July 18th Madrona Park and Frink Park Meet at Leschi Elementary School parking lot.
September 19th Volunteer Park Meet at the Black Sun sculpture across from the Seattle Asian Art Museum. *This is the FSOP annual meeting, please join us for potluck lunch after the tour.