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Olmsted Landscape Firm Collection


Held at: Chestnut Hill Historical Society [Contact Us]8708 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19118

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Chestnut Hill Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

"Beginning in 1857 with the design for Central Park in New York City, Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903), his sons and successor firm created designs for more than 6,000 landscapes across North America, including many of the world's most important parks. Olmsted's remarkable design legacy includes Prospect Park in Brooklyn, Boston's Emerald Necklace, Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, Mount Royal in Montreal, the grounds of the United States Capitol and the White House, and Washington Park, Jackson Park and the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. Olmsted's sons were founding members of the American Society of Landscape Architects and played an influential role in the creation of the National Park Service." ("About the Olmsted Legacy")

After Frederick Law Olmsted's retirement, the firm he started was renamed "Olmsted Brothers, Landscape Architects" from 1898-1962. It was briefly known as "Olmsted Associates, Landscape Architects" before operating as "Olmsted Associates, Inc." from 1963-1979. ("Chronology of the Olmsted Firm 1857-1979")


National Association for Olmsted Parks. "About the Olmsted Legacy." Accessed December 30, 2011.

National Association for Olmsted Parks. "Chronology of the Olmsted Firm 1857-1979." Accessed December 30, 2011.

The materials in this collection--most of which are secondary sources or copies--relate to the Olmsted Brothers' landscape work in Chestnut Hill. Folders are titled with the name of the project and the firm's project number, and consist of plans, documents, and photographs. There are plot plans, plant lists, outbuilding structure designs, correspondence, etc. The collection also includes some general notes about Frederick Law Olmsted and his firm, and notes about further resources for research.

Gifts of Robert Fleming, 2003; Gift of Olmstead Archives (Catharine Lipper), 1999.

Chestnut Hill Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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