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Published on Sep 10, 2010
FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED: Passages in the Life of an Unpractical Man -- Gerry Wright has researched, written and produced a one-man show honoring the life and work of Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape architecture. The play provides insights into Olmsted's passionate vision as he played critical roles in the dynamics of slavery as a writer, Executive Secretary of the U.S. Sanitary Commission in the Civil War, and as the landscape architect for New York City's Central Park, Boston's Emerald Necklace, the US Capitol grounds, along with multiple plans for colleges, communities and private estates. Olmsted was a key pioneer in the movement to preserve land as national parkland, both at Yosemite and Niagara Falls.
Olmsted's life story from "vagabond" to dry goods salesman, sailor, farmer, traveler, journalist, author, publisher, executive (including a goldmine in California), to becoming the father of landscape architecture in America is both inspiring as history and reason for continued commitment in the 21st century. "Passages in the Life of an Unpractical Man" has toured from the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts to the New Horizons Project in Vologda, Russia; Derby Academy in Hingham, MA to the New York City Central Park Celebration, Olmsted Parks Conservancy in Louisville, Kentucky to the "Biltmore" in Ashville, North Carolina.