United States of America, Massachusetts, Norfolk County, Brookline
Southwood (Brookline, Massachusetts)
Southwood, on Warren Street, was the Brookline estate of Barthold Schlesinger. Its mansion was said to have been inspired by a 17th-century Scottish manor. Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., was commissioned in 1879 to develop the landscape of the extensive estate, and he worked on this project for the next ten years. So successful was the result that Olmsted's reputation in Brookline was established, resulting in his firm's move to the Boston suburb from New York to a location not far from Southwood. Olmsted's vision for the property was typical in its incorporation of the natural landscape with specimen trees and sweeping vistas. After a change in ownership of the estate to F. J. Oakes, Jr., the Olmsted firm was commissioned to amend the original design, which it did between 1918 and 1922. The property, reduced by subdivision, is now the Holy Transfiguration Monastery, but retains much of its original Olmsted character. The photographs in this series were probably taken between 1900 and 1910, a period when Thomas W. Sears took many images of Brookline.
Persons and firms associated with the garden include Frederick Law Olmsted (landscape architect, 1879-1890); Barthold Schlesinger (former owner, 1879-ca. 1915); Francis J. Oakes, Jr. (former owner, ca. 1915-?); and Olmsted Brothers (landscape architects, 1918-1922).
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies of information about the history of the site, and other information.