Friends of Seattle’s OlmstedParks (FSOP) is proud to announce that Olmsted in Seattle has been named a finalist for the 2020 Washington State Book Awards. In addition to introducing readers to John Charles Olmsted’s plan for a park system, Olmsted in Seattle recounts the interplay of policy, politics and city development that led to hiring the Olmsted Brothers and examines how our park system has evolved since then.
The Washington State Book Awards, now in their 54th year, are presented by the Washington Center for the Book, a partnership of Seattle Public Library and Washington State Library. The awards honor Washington authors and will be judged by a panel of librarians and booksellers. Olmsted in Seattle is one of five books nominated in the “General Nonfiction” category. Winners in each of eight categories will be announced on September 25.
FSOP congratulates author Jennifer Ott and HistoryLink on this nomination! Jennifer Ott is an environmental historian and assistant director of HistoryLink. She served on the board of Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks and was board president from 2011-2015. Ott’s other books include Waterway: The Story of Seattle’s Lock and Ship Canal, co-authored with David Williams, and Seattle at 150: Stories of the City Through 150 Objects from the Seattle Municipal Archives, for which she was head editor. She is a member of the Volunteer Park Trust steering committee and an advisory board member with 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
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.