Publication

  • Community by Design: The Olmsted Firm and the Development of Brookline, Massachusetts
    Keith N. Morgan, Elizabeth Hope Cushing, and Roger G. Reed
    Authors
    University of Massachusettes Press/Library of American Landscape History, 2013
  • GRANTEE
    Library of American Landscape History
    GRANT YEAR
    2011

Jack E. Boucher, view of the Olmsted Elm, South Lawn, and West Slope, Fairsted, Brookline, MA. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS MASS, 11-BROK,6-31).

Community by Design: The Olmsted Firm and the Development of Brookline, Massachusetts explores the impact of the Olmsted firm on the development of the influential Boston suburb. The book studies the firm's approximately 150 Brookline commissions that were created over the course of a half century of development, uncovering the networks of individuals, institutions, and municipal authorities that worked with the firm on the boulevards and parkways, subdivisions, institutional grounds, and private estates that define the character and qualities of Brookline as a physical and psychological place. The authors bring to their subject an impressive range of scholarship, spanning architecture, landscape architecture, and planning. Particular attention is paid to collaborations between the Olmsted firm and architects working in Brookline and to the planning theories of Olmsted, Jr.

Elizabeth Hope Cushing, coauthor of the proposed project, has been an historian for over twenty years, writing and lecturing on American landscape history, primarily for scholarly audiences. She has authored several cultural landscape history reports, including the Boston Department of Conservation and Recreation; Taft Art Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Endicott House in Dedham, Massachusetts. In 2010, she received a PhD from Boston University's American and New England Studies Program. In 2008, she received a Gill Family Foundation grant to write a biography of Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., which she is currently researching.

Robin Karson, executive director of LALH, will serve as the project manager for the forthcoming book. Karson has written more than 100 articles about American landscape history and three books on the subject. She has received three Honor Awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects and in 2009, with LALH, was the recipient of an Arthur Ross Award in publishing from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.

Keith N. Morgan, coauthor, a former national president of the Society of Architectural Historians, is a professor of the history of art and architecture at Boston University, and previously served as the director of preservation studies, the director of American and New England studies, and the chairman of the Art History Department. His publications include Charles A. Platt. The Artist as Architect (MIT, 1985); Boston Architecture, 1975–1990, with Naomi Miller (Prestel Verlag, 1990); Shaping an American Landscape: The Art and Architecture of Charles A. Platt (Hood Museum of Art, 1995); new Introductions for Italian Gardens by Charles A. Platt (Sagapress, 1993) and Charles Eliot, Landscape Architect (University of Massachusetts in association with LALH, 1999); and Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston (University of Virginia Press, 2010).

Roger G. Reed, coauthor, currently works as an historian for the National Register of Historic Places and the National Landmarks Program. He holds advanced degrees in history from Northern Illinois University and preservation planning from Cornell University. Prior to working for the National Park Service, Reed was an architectural historian for the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, and a preservation planner for the Brookline Preservation Commission in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is the author of several books and articles, including Building Victorian Boston: The Architecture of Gridley J. F. Bryant, published by the University of Massachusetts Press.

The Library of American Landscape History was founded in 1992. The LALH mission is to foster understanding of the fine art of landscape architecture and appreciation for North America's richly varied landscape heritage through LALH books, exhibitions, and online resources.