The Olmsted Brothers company was an influential landscape design firm in the United States, formed in 1898 by stepbrothers John Charles Olmsted (1852–1920) and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. (1870–1957), who were the sons of the eminent landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.
The Olmsted brothers inherited the nation's first landscape architecture business from their father Frederick Law Olmsted. This firm was a successor to the earlier firm of Olmsted, Olmsted and Eliot after the death of their partner Charles Eliot in 1897. The two brothers were among the founding members of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and played an influential role in creating the National Park Service. Prior to their takeover of the firm, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. had worked as an apprentice under his father, helping to design projects such as Biltmore Estate and the World's Columbian Exposition before graduating from Harvard University.The firm employed nearly 60 staff at its peak in the early 1930s. Notable landscape architects in the firm included James Frederick Dawson and Percival Gallagher. The last Olmsted family member in the firm, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., retired in 1949. The firm itself remained in operation until 1980.
Office and archives
"Fairsted", the firm's 100-year-old business headquarters and design office, has been carefully preserved as the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, located on 7 acres (2.833 ha) of landscaped grounds at 99 Warren St., Brookline, Massachusetts. It offers excellent insights into the practice of large-scale landscape design and engineering. The site also houses an archive (access by appointment only) of the firm's designs, plant lists, and photos for hundreds of projects.
The Olmsted Brothers completed numerous high-profile projects, many of which remain popular to this day, including park systems, universities, exposition grounds, libraries, hospitals, residential neighborhoods and state capitols. Notable commissions include the roadways in the Great Smoky Mountains and Acadia National Parks, Yosemite Valley, Atlanta's Piedmont Park, a residential neighborhood in Oak Bay, British Columbia, Canada: Uplands; entire park systems in cities such as Portland and Seattle, and Washington state's Northern State Hospital. The Olmsted Brothers also co-authored, with Harland Bartholomew, a 1930 report for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce entitled "Parks, Playgrounds, and Beaches for the Los Angeles Region" encouraging the preservation of outdoor public space in southern California. The report was largely ignored by the city, but became an important urban planning reference.
Selected Private and Civic Designs
- Audubon Park, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Ashland Park, residential neighborhood built around Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate in Lexington, Kentucky
- The British Properties, Vancouver, Canada
- Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial a World War II for American servicemen in Cambridgeshire, near Cambridge, England
- Caracas Country Club (1920s)
- Cleveland Metroparks System, in the Greater Cleveland area, Ohio
- Crocker Field Park, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
- Druid Hills, Atlanta, Georgia
- Eastern Promenade, Portland, Maine
- Elm Bank Horticulture Center, Wellesley, Massachusetts
- First Presbyterian Church of Far Rockaway, Queens, New York
- Fort Tryon Park, New York City
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Original Name "League Island Park"
- Fresh Pond, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Grover Cleveland Park, Caldwell, New Jersey
- High Point Park, Montague, New Jersey
- Homelands Neighborhood, Springfield, Massachusetts
- "New" Katonah, Katonah, New York
- Kentucky State Capitol Grounds, Frankfort, Kentucky
- Kohler (Village of), Wisconsin
- Leimert Park Neighborhood, Los Angeles
- Locust Valley Cemetery, Locust Valley, New York
- Metro Parks, Summit County, Ohio 
- Manito Park and Botanical Gardens, Spokane, Washington
- Marconi Plaza Original Name "Oregon Plaza"
- Marquette Park, Chicago, Illinois
- Memorial Park (Jacksonville), Florida
- Memorial Park, Maplewood, New Jersey
- Otto Kahn Estate, Cold Spring Hills, New York
- Oldfields-Lilly House and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark, originally Hugh Landon estate (Olmsted job # 6883  1920-1927) , Indianapolis, Indiana
- Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia
- Pope Park, Hartford, Connecticut
- Rancho Los Alamitos Gardens, Long Beach, California
- Seattle Park System
- Southern Boulevard Parkway (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- South Mountain Reservation, Maplewood, Millburn, South Orange, West Orange, New Jersey
- Thompson Park and roadways, Watertown, New York
- Union County, New Jersey Park system
- Utica, New York Parks and Parkway System (1908–1914)
- Verona Park, Verona, New Jersey
- Wade Lagoon, on University Circle, Cleveland
- Warinanco Park, Roselle, New Jersey
- Washington State Capitol campus, Olympia, Washington
- Watsessing Park, Bloomfield, New Jersey
- The Highlands Neighborhood, Seattle
- Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (1895–1927)
- Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Denison University, Granville, Ohio (1916)
- Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania (1930)
- Harvard Business School, Allston, Massachusetts (1925–31)
- Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania (1925–32)*
- Huntingdon College campus, Montgomery, Alabama
- Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana (1929-1936) 
- Iowa State University Ames, Iowa (1906)
- Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland (1903–19)
- Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 
- Middlesex School, Concord, Massachusetts (1901)
- Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts (1896–1922)
- Newton Country Day School, Newton, Massachusetts (1927)
- Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio (1903) 
- Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (1909)
- Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (1909) 
- Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, Connecticut
- Samford University, Homewood, Alabama
- University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (1901–10)
- University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (1925)
- University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho (1908)
- University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama
- University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana (1929–32)
- University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island (1894–1903)
- University of Washington, Seattle, Washington (1902–20)
- Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York (1896–1932)
- Western Michigan University Main Campus, Kalamazoo, Michigan (1904)
- Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts (1902–12)
- "Percival Gallagher". The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Percival Gallagher". Smithsonian Institution Research Information System: Archives, Manuscripts and Photographs Catalog. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- Valerie Easton (27 April 2003). "Masters Of Green". The Seattle Times (seattletimes.com). Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- David B. Williams (May 2, 1999). "The Olmsted Legacy -- The Fabled Massachusetts Landscape Firm Got To Seattle Early, And That Has Made All The Difference". The Seattle Times (seattletimes.com). Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- Hise, Greg; Deverell, William (7 June 2000). Eden by Design: The 1930 Olmsted-Bartholomew Plan for the Los Angeles Region. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-22415-5.
- Simon Romero, Sandra La Fuente P. contributor (27 December 2010). "A Venezuelan Oasis of Elitism Counts Its Days". The New York Times. p. A1 NY ed. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Company Timeline". Kohler Company.
- Cheri Goldner. "The History of Metro Parks". Summit Metro Parks. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Oldfields – Lilly House & Gardens". Indianapolis Museum of Art. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "Huntingdon History". Huntingdon College. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "The Old Crescent". Indiana Historic Landscapes Alliance. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "History of LSU". Louisiana State University. 5 October 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- Geoffrey Blodgett (11 May 1995). "The Grand March of Oberlin campus plans". Observer (Oberlin College). Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- "The Ohio State University". Campus Heritage Network. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "Report on Oregon Agricultural College". Oregon State University. 1 October 1909. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "History of the University of Idaho". University of Idaho. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "About Montevallo:UM Quick Facts". University of Montevallo. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "Original 1904 Planting Plan for the Western State Normal School". Western Michigan University. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- Olmsted His Essential Theory
- Olmsted Parks in Seattle -- A Snapshot History at HistoryLink.org
- Olmsted Associates: A Register of Its Records in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division
- Olmsted Research Guide Online a search tool for Olmsted projects and archival records
- Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site preserved home, office and archives of Olmsted firm, National Park Service
- National Association for Olmsted Parks