In this new book, Frederick Law Olmsted: Plans and Views of Public Parks (The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted) (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), you'll be able to study at will more than 70 of Olmsted's designs, including master plans, grading and planting plans, elevations, sketches, presentation drawings and more.
The book is edited by Charles Beveridge, Lauren Meier and Irene Mills, who are also editors of Olmsted's papers.
The focus of the book is Olmsted's park plans, and as the editors point out in the introduction, his view of a park's special feature was "an expanse of space large enough to remove the visitor from the sights and sounds of the city and by its indefiniteness of edge to create the illusion of greater space than it in fact possessed."
You'll find the familiar in this book: New York City's Central and Morningside Parks, projects in Boston, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Chicago, California. You'll also find the unfamiliar: proposed parks in Newark and Albany and a public recreation ground in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
You might not know that The Long Meadow, in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, which extends for a mile from the main park entrance, is what the editors call "the fullest realization of the 'pastoral' style of landscape in any of Olmsted’s parks." You'll love the detailed planting plan for Long Meadow, and it would be more than interesting to go there today and see how many of the trees still survive.
You'll also enjoy the construction details throughout the book, plans for the drainage system in Central Park, and many other elements.
This is a large format book to accommodate the drawings -- and there are nearly 500 images in all, many of them in full color. Anyone interested in the fields of landscape design would surely want this book as a reference or simply as a celebration of the first and foremost American landscape architect.
The book will be published in April, but it is now available for pre-order through Amazon.