Boston Sights

Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site

  • 99 Warren St. Map It
  • Brookline
  • Historic District/Site

Published 07/13/2016

Fodor's Review

Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903) is considered the nation's preeminent creator of parks. In 1883, at age 61, while immersed in planning Boston's Emerald Necklace of parks, Olmsted set up his first permanent office at Fairsted, an 18-room farmhouse dating from 1810, to which he added another 18 rooms for his design offices. Plans and drawings on display include such projects as the U.S. Capitol grounds, Stanford University, and Mount Royal Park in Montréal. You can also tour the design rooms (some now in use as an archive library) where Olmsted and staff drew up their plans; highlights include a 1904 "electric blueprint machine," a kind of primitive photocopier. The 1¾-acre site incorporates many trademark Olmstedian designs, including areas of meadow, wild garden, and woodland; Olmsted believed body and spirit could be healed through close association with nature. The site became part of the National Park Service in 1980; Olmsted's office played an influential role in the creation of this federal agency.

Sight Information

Address:

99 Warren St., Brookline, Massachusetts, 02445, USA

Map It

Phone:

617-566–1689

Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Grounds open daily dawn–dusk. Exhibit hrs Wed. and Thurs. noon–4, Fri. and Sat. 9:30–4. Tours June 21–Sept. 15, Wed.–Sun. at 10, 11, 1, 2, 3, and 4; Sept. 16–June 20, Fri. and Sat. at 10, 11, 1, 2, 3, and 4

Published 07/13/2016

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