Ossian Cole Simonds

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Ossian Cole Simonds
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
OccupationLandscape designer

Ossian Cole Simonds (1855–1931), often known as O. C. Simonds, was an American landscape designer. He preferred the term 'landscape gardener' to that of 'landscape architect'. A number of Simonds' works are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

Early life[edit]

Simonds was born near Grand Rapids, Michigan and, from 1874-1878 studied civil engineering at the University of Michigan and, briefly, architecture with William Le Baron Jenney.


In 1878, Simonds joined Jenney's architectural practice in Chicago where he worked next to William Holabird. Shortly after receiving the commission to extend Graceland Cemetery, Jenney passed it on to his assistants who, in 1880, established the firm of Holabird & Simonds to carry out this job. In 1881, Martin Roche, who had also worked in Jenney's office, joined them as a third partner. In 1883, Simonds left the firm to concentrate solely on Graceland Cemetery. He eventually became a sought after independent landscape designer and consultant. In 1899, he was a founding member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and served as its president in 1913.

Simonds authored Landscape Gardening in 1920.


Simonds died in 1931.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mara Geldbloom, Ossian Simonds: Prairie Spirit in Landscape Gardening, in: The Prairie School Review 12, 2 (1975).
  • Robert E. Grese, Ossian Cole Simonds, in: William H. Tishler (Ed.), American Landscape Architecture. Designers and Places, Washington, D. C., Preservation Press 1989.
  • Julia Sniderman Bachrach, Ossian Cole Simonds: Conservation Ethic in the Prairie Style, in: William H. Tishler (Ed.), Midwestern Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois 2000.
  • Geiger, Barbara, Low-Key Genius: The Life and Work of Landscape-Gardener O.C. Simonds, Ferme Ornee 2011