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Suggested Reading

Book Club Suggestion

Horwitz, Tony. Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide. New York: Penguin Press, 2019. (A renowned historian retraces the travels and writings of Frederick Law Olmsted, when he reported from the pre-Civil War South for the nascent New York Times.)


Selected Works About Olmsted


Beveridge, Charles E. (editor) et al. The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted. vols. 1–12, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977–2007.


Beveridge, Charles E., and Paul Rocheleau. Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing the American Landscape. New York: Rizzoli, 2005.


Fein, Albert. Frederick Law Olmsted and the American Environmental Tradition. New York: George Braziller, 1972.

Hall, Lee. Olmsted’s America, An “Unpractical” Man and his Vision of Civilization. Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1995.


Hott, Lawrence, and Diane Garey, directors. Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, PBS documentary film, 2014.


Howard, Hugh. Architects of an American Landscape: Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Reimagining of America's Public and Private Spaces. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2022.


Johnston, Johanna. Frederick Law Olmsted: Partner with Nature. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1975.


Martin, Justin. Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted. Boston: Da Capo, 2011.


Olmsted Jr., Frederick Law, and Theodora Kimball. Frederick Law Olmsted, landscape architect, 1822–1903. New York: G. Putnam’s Sons, 1922. 


Ranny, Victoria Post. “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing for Democracy in the Midwest,” in Midwestern Landscape Architecture, edited by William H. Tishler, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2000.


Roper, Laura Wood. FLO: A Biography of Frederick Law Olmsted. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973.


Rybczynski, Witold. A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and North America in the Nineteenth Century. New York, New York: Scribner, 1999.

Stevenson, Elizabeth. Park Maker: A Life of Frederick Law Olmsted. New York: Macmillan, 1977.

The Master List of Design Projects of The Olmsted Firm, 1857–1979. New York: NAOP/NPS, Olmsted National Historic Site, 2008.

Twombly, Robert. Frederick Law Olmsted: Essential Texts. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2010.

Viewing Olmsted: Photographs by Robert Burley, Lee Friedlander and Geoffrey James. Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996.


Selected Writings by Frederick Law Olmsted


Olmsted, Frederick Law. Journeys and explorations in the cotton kingdom: A Traveller’s Observations on Cotton and Slavery in the American Slave States: based upon three former volumes of journeys and investigations, vols. 1 and 2. s.l.: S. Low, Son & Co. 1861.


Olmsted, Frederick Law. The Cotton Kingdom: a Traveller’s Observations on Cotton and Slavery in the American Slave States. Based Upon Three Former Volumes of Journeys and Investigations ... / By Frederick Law Olmsted. New York: Mason brothers; [etc., etc.,], vols. 1 and 2, 1861.


Olmsted, Frederick Law. A Journey through Texas, or, A Saddle-Trip on the Southwestern Frontier: With a Statistical Appendix / by Frederick Law Olmsted. New York: Dix, Edwards & Co., 1857.


Olmsted, Frederick Law. Walks and Talks of an American Farmer in England / by Frederick Law Olmsted. New edition, revised / with additions by the author. Columbus, Ohio: Jos. H. Riley, 1859.


Olmsted, Frederick Law. A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States / with Remarks on Their Economy. New York: Dix & Edwards, 1856.


Olmsted, Frederick Law. Hospital Transports: A Memoir of the Embarkation of the Sick and Wounded from the Peninsula of Virginia in the Summer of 1862 / Compiled and Published at the Request of the Sanitary Commission. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1863.


Children’s Books about Olmsted


Dunlap, Julie. Parks for the People: A Story About Frederick Law Olmsted. Minneapolis: Carolrohoda Books, 1994.


Partridge, Elizabeth. Parks for the People: How Frederick Law Olmsted Designed America. New York: Penguin Books, 2022.


Wishinsky, Frieda. The Man Who Made Parks; The Story of Parkbuilder Frederick Law Olmsted. Illustrated by Song Nan Zhang, Toronto: Tundra Books, 2009.

Yazdani, Ashley Benham. A Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2019.


Issues about Public Spaces, Racial Equity, and Environmental Justice


Bullard, Robert (ed). Unequal Protection: Environmental Justice and Communities of Color. Sierra Club Books, 1997. 


Carriere, Michael, and David Schalliol. The City Creative: The Rise of Urban Placemaking in Contemporary America. Chicago University of Chicago Press, 2021.


Cole, Luke W., and Sheila R. Foster. From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement. New York: NYU Press, 2001.


Finney, Carolyn. Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors. University of North Carolina Press, 2014.


Hood, Walter, and Grace Mitchell Tada, eds. Black Landscapes Matter. Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press, 2020.


Miller, Sara Cedar. Before Central Park. New York: Columbia University Press, 2022.


Mitchell, Broadus. Frederick Law Olmsted: A Critic of the Old South. New York: Russell & Russell, 1924.


Rodriguez, Joseph A. Bootstrap New Urbanism: Design, Race, and Redevelopment in Milwaukee. Milwaukee: Lexington Books, 2014.

Schlesinger Sr., Arthur M. “Was Olmsted an Unbiased Critic of the South?” Journal of Negro History, vol. 37, no. 2 (April 1952), pp. 173–187.

Small, Virginia. “Environmental Justice Advocacy Growing in Milwaukee,” Shepherd Express, March 5, 2019.


Zimring, Carl A. Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States. New York: NYU Press, 2016.  


Milwaukee Urban Landscapes, Parks, and Greenways


Albano, Laurie Muench. Milwaukee County Parks, Images of America series, Arcadia Publishing, 2007.


Buck, Diane M. “Olmsted’s Lake Park.” Milwaukee History, vol. 5, no. 3, Milwaukee County Historical Society, Autumn 1982.


Carriere, Michael, and Danielle Washington. The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s 2021 “Landslide” entry on “Lindsay Heights.”


Carriere, Michael, and Danielle Washington interviewed by Susan Bence, WUWM, December 22, 2021.


Casper, Gary. Milwaukee River Greenway Habitat Plan. Milwaukee: River Revitalization Foundation, 2019.


Daniel, Eddee. The Milwaukee River Greenway: A Wealth of Nature in the Heart of the City. Milwaukee: River Revitalization Foundation, 2021.


Daniel, Eddee. Urban Wilderness: Exploring a Metropolitan Watershed. Chicago: The Center for American Places at Columbia College Chicago, 2008.

Gould, Whitney. “Declining parks need inventive solutions.”  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 14, 2003.

Gould, Whitney. “Faded Glory: Washington Park still has striking beauty, but years have taken their toll.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 8, 2003.


Gould, Whitney. “Nature Was His Canvas: Olmsted thought of parks as sweet relief for urban masses.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 6, 2003.


Gould, Whitney. “Tarnished Masterpiece: Lake Park fraying around the edges.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 6, 2003.


Karson, Robin, Jane Roy Brown, and Sarah Allaback, (eds). Warren H. Manning: Landscape Architect and Environmental Planner. Atlanta: University of Georgia Press, 2017. (Includes a chapter about Warren Manning’s design work for Milwaukee parks, including as part of Olmsted’s team.)


Leinbach, Ken. Urban Ecology: A Natural Way to Transform Kids, Parks, Cities and the World. New York: Morgan Jones Publishing, 2018.


Little, Charles E. Greenways for America. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, in association with the Center for American Places, 1995.


Maher, Jill. Milwaukee County’s Oak Leaf Trail: A History. Charleston: The History Press, 2019.


Monfried, Walter. “Olmsted—a Fellow Whose Work We Can All Enjoy.” The Milwaukee Journal, May 24, 1972.


Small, Virginia. “Milwaukee River Greenway Builds Upon Olmsted’s Legacies.”

Small, Virginia. “Olmsted deserves recognition in Milwaukee Landscape architect left massive legacy in three jewels of county’s park system.” Milwaukee Magazine, 2017.


Swanson, Carl. “The Past Haunts Riverside Park,” Milwaukee Notebook website, May 21, 2014.


Taylor, Julia. The Occasional Artist: Lake Park Inspirations in Prose, Poetry and Paint. Milwaukee: North Point Lighthouse Friends and Lake Park Friends, 2016.

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