navigation bar Houghton Mifflin Social Studies Communities
Biographies Unit Biographies

Frederick Law Olmsted 1822–1903
City Park Designer

As a young man in 1856, Frederick Law Olmsted visited many parks in Europe. He studied how the parks were designed, and the types of flowers and trees that were in them. Studying the parks in Europe led to Olmsted's career in park design.

Olmsted thought that public parks let people escape from the busy city streets. Also, he thought people needed outdoor spaces to relax and spend time away from home and work.

Olmsted created many parks all over the United States. These parks include Central Park in New York City, Washington and Jackson parks in Chicago, and the grounds of the United States Capitol.

Comprehension Check

What did Frederick Law Olmsted think people gained from going to parks?

Critical Thinking

Do you think parks in cities and towns are good for people? Explain the reasons for your answer.