c. Martin Seck

Celebrate Olmsted’s 200th Birthday

March 16, 2022

2022 marks the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, co-designer of Prospect Park and renowned father of American landscape architecture! To celebrate, Prospect Park Alliance is hosting a variety of events in partnership with Olmsted 200, an initiative hosted by the National Association for Olmsted Parks, in appreciation and exploration of Olmsted’s legacy. Join us for virtual and in-person events to celebrate Olmsted in April and May:

Frederick Law Olmsted: Landscapes for the Public Good Exhibit
Saturday, April 23 – Sunday, May 29 (Thursdays + Fridays 12 pm – 4 pm, Saturdays + Sundays 10 am – 1 pm)
Boathouse, Free

Learn more about Olmsted’s important work by viewing Frederick Law Olmsted: Landscapes for the Public Good, an exhibit that focuses on his life story, major landscape commissions and their relevance to contemporary society.  This exhibit, which will be up through the end of May, was created as part of a partnership with the National Association for Olmsted Parks, the Olmsted 200 campaign, and the Oak Spring Garden Foundation. Stop by the Prospect Park Boathouse Thursday — Sunday (times vary) to visit in-person or take a virtual tour of the exhibit.

Olmsted 200: Lungs of the City—Olmsted’s Parks in Music
Saturday May 28, 12 – 1 pm
Boathouse, Free, Registration Required

Join Prospect Park Alliance and the American Wild Ensemble for Lungs of the City: Olmsted’s Parks in Music is a program of new chamber music commemorating the 2022 bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted. In this concert, American Wild Ensemble, a septet of winds, strings, and percussion, will perform eight new works inspired by Olmsted-designed parks including Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park. The program includes newly commissioned works by composers Oliver Caplan, Nell Shaw Cohen, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Libby Meyer, Ayumi Okada, Justin Ralls, Christina Rusnak, and Ryan Suleiman. Lungs of the City: Olmsted’s Parks in Music is a cross-regional concert series of world premieres co-curated and co-commissioned by American Wild Ensemble, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Landscape Music, and Michigan Technological University Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Past Olmsted 200 Events:

Olmsted 200: Parks in Conversation—Virtual Tour of Central Park and Prospect Park
Tuesday, April 12, 12:30 – 1:15 pm
$10, Registration Required

Join Prospect Park Alliance and Turnstile Tours for a virtual tour in celebration of Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday that explores two of his New York City masterpieces—Central Park and Prospect Park. Central Park guides will highlight the park’s arches, meadows, and natural features, while Turnstile Tours guides will examine parallel features in Prospect Park and compare and contrast the different elements of the parks, including examples of Olmsted designs that have been adapted to fit better with modern-day recreational uses and ecological practices. Built a decade apart, the parks share many similarities, but also reflect Olmsted’s evolution as a park designer, and both speak to his lasting influence on landscape design and public space.
Learn more and RSVP for a tour.

B’Earthday Bash
Saturday, April 23, 1 – 4pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center

Join Prospect Park Alliance for a fun and festive day in the park—we’ve got a lot to celebrate! It’s Earth Day, the Prospect Park Audubon Center’s 20th Anniversary, and the birthday of two legends: naturalist John James Audubon, and… the 200th anniversary of the birth of landscape architect and Prospect Park’s creator, Frederick Law Olmsted!

Celebrate with activities for all ages that celebrate the historic and environmental importance of Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s slice of nature and home to a thriving ecosystem of hundreds of species of plants and animals, 30,000 trees, Brooklyn’s only lake and last remaining forest.

Olmsted 200: Parks in Conversation—Prospect Park Walking Tour
Saturday, April 23, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Sunday, April 24, 3 – 4:30 pm
Prospect Park, Prices Vary, Registration Required

Join Prospect Park Alliance and Turnstile Tours on Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday with a special tour celebrating his two New York City masterpieces—Prospect Park and Central Park. Prospect Park’s Turnstile Tours guides will be joined by guides from Central Park to explore Olmsted’s unique vision and legacy while comparing and contrasting the two parks and what they tell us about his evolution as a designer over the decade separating their construction. Built in different geographical and political contexts, Prospect Park and Central Park share many similar structures hallmarks—varied terrain and meandering paths to spark curiosity, grand vistas to inspire awe—that speak to Olmsted’s lasting influence on landscape design and public space, elements we continue to appreciate and benefit from today.
Tours will be held on Saturday April 23, 11am–12:30pm and Sunday, April 24, 3pm–4:30pm.
Learn more and RSVP for a tour.