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Franklin Park, 1900-1982

Landscape architect:
Olmsted, Frederick Law 1822-1903
Physical description:
3 folders+ 26 glass negatives, 8 photographic prints, 9 lantern slides, 3 slides (photographs)
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Massachusetts, Suffolk County, Boston
Franklin Park (Boston, Massachusetts)
Emerald Necklace (Boston, Massachusetts)
Franklin Park (named for native son Benjamin Franklin) was created in 1885 as the terminus of the "Emerald Necklace" park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted for the City of Boston. Comprising over 500 acres, with 200 acres of woodland, the park was intended to enable working class people to experience and enjoy a rural atmosphere within the surrounding urban area. In that regard it shared the philosophy of Olmsted's two other major creations, Central Park and Prospect Park. Over the years formal recreational areas have been developed beyond those envisioned in Olmsted's original plan (for example, the "Country Park" was converted to a golf course), but many elements of the original design--such as the road system and extensive woodland walks--remain. In recent years citizen activism by the Franklin Park Coalition and other organizations has led to significant preservation efforts for the park's landscape and historic structures. Many of the images in this series were taken by Thomas W. Sears and selected ones were used to illustrate the July 1906 article by John Nolen cited below.
Persons associated with the site include Frederick Law Olmsted (landscape architect, 1885).
The folders include worksheets, photocopies of articles and book excerpts about the park, photocopies of correspondence, maps, and additional information.
Site has been featured in John Nolen, "Frederick Law Olmsted and His Work--IV. Franklin Park, Boston, Mass.," House & Garden, X, No. 1 (July 1906), pp. 3-11
Site has been featured in Norman T. Newton, Design on the Land: The Development of Landscape Architecture (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971), pp. 295-299
Site has been featured in Walter L. Creese, The Crowning of the American Landscape: Eight Great Spaces and Their Buildings (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985)
Site has been featured in Julie Arrison, Franklin Park (Images of America) (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2009)
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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