A Memorial for Himself: Frederick Law Olmsted's Vision of his Legacy and the Rockery of North Easton, Massachusetts

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Citation

Boerman, David, “A Memorial for Himself: Frederick Law Olmsted's Vision of his Legacy and the Rockery of North Easton, Massachusetts,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed April 4, 2020, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/106.

Title

A Memorial for Himself: Frederick Law Olmsted's Vision of his Legacy and the Rockery of North Easton, Massachusetts

Creator

Boerman, David

Date

2017

Description

When one thinks of architecture, it seems likely that most people would associate it with buildings but in the case of landscape architecture, architects construct nature and the exterior world in a guided fashion through the strategic, aesthetic and symbolic placing of objects such as flowers, trees, and rocks. Landscape architects often create designs like parks through their desire to replicate nature. The illusion of nature can obscure the legacy of these professionals.

This sense of legacy occurred in a fluctuating manner for nineteenth century landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. While scholars and recently, the public currently give Olmsted's work attention, it took fifty years after his death for his work to receive considerable attention. Olmsted's most prominent legacy would appear to be his role as co-creator of Central Park. After his dismissal from Central Park from the New York Park Commissioners in 1878, Olmsted attempted to start again by moving to Brookline. This paper examines Olmsted's contemplation of his legacy through the use of his 1883 architecture design, the Memorial Cairn, also known as the Rockery, in North Easton, Massachusetts. This design serves as concise representation of the unique nature of Olmsted's Brookline period, that started around 1881 where Olmsted contemplated his own historical legacy. By examining Olmsted's designs, correspondence and writings, one can determine that his contemplation of his legacy occurred through his location choices, his examination of collaborators and the future of the landscape architecture profession, and his communication of his legacy to his clients.

Publisher

Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)

Format

1 PDF (55 Pages)

Language

English

Type

Masters Theses