Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Premiered Summer 2014

To Olmsted, a park was both a work of art and a necessity for urban life. Olmsted’s efforts to preserve nature created an “environmental ethic” decades before the environmental movement became a force in American politics. With gorgeous cinematography, and compelling commentary this film presents the biography of a man whose parks and preservation are an essential part of American life.

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America has been made possible by a grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor and The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation. With additional funding from HSBC, The Tiffany & Company Foundation, The C.E. & S. Foundation, Peter C. Cornell Trust and Mass Humanities.

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Providing Support for PBS.org

Episodes 3

Video thumbnail: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Buffalo's Richardson Olmsted Complex

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Buffalo's Richardson Olmsted Complex

The Richardson Olmsted Complex was designed by architect H.H. Richardson an Olmsted ally.

8:45

Buffalo's Richardson Olmsted Complex

8:45

Video thumbnail: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing Western New York

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing Western New York

Exploring the role of Frederick Law Olmsted in the Buffalo parks system and Niagara Falls.

26:40

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing Western New York

26:40

Video thumbnail: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

A biography of the man who made public parks an essential part of American life.

55:28

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

55:28

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Clips 8

Video thumbnail: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Trailer

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Trailer

A biography of the man who made public parks an essential part of American life.

2:01

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Trailer

2:01

Video thumbnail: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Louisville: From Olmsted to the 21st Century

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Louisville: From Olmsted to the 21st Century

A 4,000 acre is being built in the Olmsted tradition for the city of Louisville, Kentucky.

3:24

Louisville: From Olmsted to the 21st Century

3:24

Video thumbnail: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Photography and Design in Olmsted’s Boston Parks

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Photography and Design in Olmsted’s Boston Parks

Olmsted pioneered the use of photography to show before, during, and after construction.

2:08

Photography and Design in Olmsted’s Boston Parks

2:08

Video thumbnail: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America The Best Planned City in the World

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

The Best Planned City in the World

Developing the nation’s first park system and creating a park at Niagara Falls, NY.

13:38

The Best Planned City in the World

13:38

Video thumbnail: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Changes and Challenges in Olmsted Parks

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Changes and Challenges in Olmsted Parks

Olmsted feared that his parks would be ruined by intrusions of all sorts.

4:06

Changes and Challenges in Olmsted Parks

4:06

Video thumbnail: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Olmsted and Chicago

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Olmsted and Chicago

Olmsted designs a residential community, major parks, and the World’s Exposition.

6:30

Olmsted and Chicago

6:30

Video thumbnail: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America The Campaign to Save the Olmsted Linear Park in Atlanta

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

The Campaign to Save the Olmsted Linear Park in Atlanta

The Preservation of an Olmsted Park in the Druid Hills suburb in Atlanta.

3:58

The Campaign to Save the Olmsted Linear Park in Atlanta

3:58

Video thumbnail: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America The Fall and Rise of Central Park

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

The Fall and Rise of Central Park

In the 1970s Central Park in New York City was neglected and misused.

3:05

The Fall and Rise of Central Park

3:05

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Previews 1

Video thumbnail: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America Frederick Law Olmsted - Preview

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Frederick Law Olmsted - Preview

Premieres Friday, June 20, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. Check your local listings.

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Frederick Law Olmsted - Preview

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