Frederick Law Olmsted

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

For a century and a half, local residents have used the park system established by the designs of Frederick Law Olmsted. A new exhibit probes the question, Who was Olmsted?

Heritage Moments: Frederick Law Olmsted and the stroll that saved Niagara

Aug 13, 2018
Photo from “Review of Reviews and World’s Work,” 1890

Niagara Falls in the 1800s was an industrialist’s dreamland and a huckster’s paradise. Cheap waterpower abounded­ — all you had to do was build a channel to divert a small portion of the mighty Niagara past your mill, and you were all set. And an enterprising “entrepreneur” need only buy a small parcel of land with a view, erect a tall fence and charge visitors from far and wide exorbitant fees to get a glimpse of the thunderous cataract — the Eighth Wonder of the World, once you paid enough to see it.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

He came, he saw, he designed. It was 150 years ago this year that Frederick Law Olmsted visited the Queen City and began the process of developing Buffalo's public park system. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, which oversees the parks, has announced plans to celebrate the milestone anniversary in the spring and summer.

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

It is going to be a long road to restore Frederick Law Olmsted's Arboretum in Buffalo's South Park - perhaps 20 years - but plans are moving forward.

Civic activist Kevin Gaughan on Wednesday formally presented his proposal to return Delaware Park and South Park to Frederick Law Olmsted's original vision. Gaughan says he and Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy had a very constructive meeting and he is planning several public meetings beginning in September to gather input on the proposal.

New York State

A big addition is on the way for Niagara Falls State Park. It was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, and it's recognized as the oldest state park in the nation.

Plans have been unveiled for restoring Fosdick Field at City Honors School. Public housing that stood on the land for nearly 35 years was recently demolished.

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Pioneer landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was celebrated Wednesday on Earth Day and for his birthday coming up on Sunday.