A new WNED-TV production -
Frederick Law Olmsted, Americaâ€™s first and best-known landscape architect, created an enduring legacy in Western New York. Perhaps best known for his design of New York Cityâ€™s Central Park, Olmsted had a powerful and lasting influence on Western New York.
â€śFrederick Law Olmsted: Designing Western New Yorkâ€ť is a one-hour original WNED-TV production that captures the architectâ€™s impact throughout Western New York. The program includes documentary segments that capture the history and context for Olmstedâ€™s contributions and interviews with local experts that focus on how that legacy is being carried into the future.
Olmsted designed the Buffalo Park System, the first of its kind in the world. Buffalo is where Olmsted first coined the term â€śparkwaysâ€ť to describe the grand tree-lined boulevards that connected the three parks within the system.
While he was working in Buffalo, Olmsted visited Niagara Falls and was troubled by what he saw. Factories lined the rapids, and fences blocked the best views and allowed the charging of admission to see the falls. Olmstedâ€™s support for the Free Niagara movement led to Niagara Falls becoming Americaâ€™s first state park.
One of Olmstedâ€™s allies in the Free Niagara movement was renowned architect H.H. Richardson. In 1880, Richardson completed work on the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, one of the best examples in America of the Richardson Romanesque architectural style. Olmsted and his partner Calvert Vaux designed the landscape for the 203-acre site.
â€śFrederick Law Olmsted: Designing Western New Yorkâ€ť tells the story of all three of these Olmsted contributions. The program also provides a contemporary perspective on Olmstedâ€™s enduring Western New York legacy by examining the current status of the Buffalo Park System, the restoration of Olmstedâ€™s vision for Goat Island at Niagara Falls and the rebirth of what has become known as the Richardson Olmsted Complex.
The program includes interviews with Stephanie Crockatt, interim executive director, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy; Monica Pellegrino Faix, executive director, Richardson Olmsted Complex; Mark Thomas, director, Western District, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Find video, essays and classroom resources at www.pbs.org/wned/frederick-law-olmsted/home/
Watch the full 30-minute program,
"Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing Western New York"
â€śFrederick Law Olmsted: Designing Western New Yorkâ€ť is funded by the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation.