As we look back at the many memories and milestones made over the past 30 years, one significant event occurred only four months ago. On April 22, 2016, The North Carolina Arboretum unveiled the first standing sculpture of Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture, whose vision also served as the impetus for our very own Arboretum.
As a farmer, surveyor, world traveler, journalist, wartime health administrator, gold mine manager and park superintendent, Olmsted’s multifaceted career and wide array of experiences led him to his final profession as the first landscape architect in the United States. Although Olmsted and his firm completed more than 500 projects before his retirement in 1897, no one had created a standing sculptural image to honor Olmsted and his legacy. Of course, this changed on April 22, 2016, when the Arboretum unveiled the larger-than-life-size bronze figure of Olmsted, which is thoughtfully placed in the center of the Arboretum’s Blue Ridge Court.
How and why is this one man so significant to our Arboretum, dozens of other public parks and academic institutions, and the entire landscape community? As our executive director recently noted, “There’s no better teacher than an example, and Olmsted has left examples of his process and product throughout the United States.”
The Arboretum recently created this short video to showcase the newly installed sculpture of Olmsted and demonstrate why he will continue to leave a lasting legacy here at the Arboretum and throughout the landscape architecture industry. Please click below to view.