Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site

Overview

NOTE: Frederick Law Olmsted NHS is currently CLOSED to visitors in order to carry out a construction project involving park buildings, grounds and collections. The park anticipates reopening in 2011.

Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) is recognized as the founder of American landscape architecture and the nation's foremost parkmaker. Olmsted moved his home to suburban Boston in 1883 and established at Fairsted, the world's first full-scale professional office for the practice of landscape design. Over the course of the next century, his sons and successors expanded and perpetuated Olmsted's design ideals, philosophy, and influence. Visitors may tour the recently restored Fairsted historic landscape and a century-old design office that remains virtually unchanged from the days when the Olmsted firm;s activity was at its height. Housed within the office complex are nearly 1,000,000 original design records detailing work on many of America's most treasured landscapes including the U. S. Capitol and White House Grounds; Great Smoky Mountains and Acadia National Parks; Yosemite Valley; New York's Central Park; and whole park systems in cities such as Seattle, Boston, and Louisville. The Olmsteds also played an influential role in the creation of the National Park Service. Writing from his desk in Brookline, F. L. Olmsted, Jr. crafted evocative words that served as the foundation for legislation establishing the Park Service in 1916: "To conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."

Map

Directions

Driving: 

From Boston and points East: Follow Huntington Avenue SW from the area of Copley Square. As you cross from Boston into Brookline beneath the Jamaicaway overpass, Huntington Avenue becomes Rt. 9/Boylston Street. Continue on Rt. 9/Boylston. At the third major intersection, turn left onto Warren Street and follow 1/8 mile to intersection of Warren and Dudley Streets. Olmsted NHS is on right-hand corner with NPS sign and distinctive archway at house front.

From I-95/Rt.128 and points west: From I-95/Rt. 128, take Exit 20 (Rt. 9 East, Boston/Brookline). Follow Rt. 9/Boylston St. for approximately 5 miles. Pass through a major intersection with Lee Street and continue on Boylston, passing the Brookline Reservoir on right side. At next intersection, turn right from Boylston onto Warren Street and follow 1/8 mile to intersection of Warren and Dudley Streets. Olmsted NHS is on right-hand corner with NPS sign and distinctive archway at house front.

Flying: 

The park is located approximately 7.9 miles from Boston Logan International Airport. Estimated driving time is 20 minutes. (www.massport.com)

Public Transport: 

Use MBTA Bus #60 and exit at intersection of Boylston and Warren Streets in Brookline. Follow Warren Street 1/8 mile to Olmsted NHS. Subway: Use MBTA Riverside "D" Green Line and exit at Brookline Hills station. Turn right out of station and follow sidewalk to Cypress Street. Continue on Cypress across Boylston Street intersection. Turn right on Walnut Street. Turn left on Warren Street and continue to intersection with Warren and Dudley Street where Olmsted NHS is located.