Working at olmsted nhs! – Brian Mecinas

Reading room within the Olmsted house, created with the purpose of having a space to view the entire South Lawn through.

So far, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my time working at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site! Given that it was the home of Olmsted’s family during his time working in the Boston and doubled as the office for his landscape architecture firm, the entire site is beautiful. From most areas of the house, there are amazing views of the surrounding landscape of the home that Olmsted carefully designed and planned out in order to create the best possible environment, in his own opinion and taste, for his family to live in. As I’ve spent time researching Olmsted and learning about the variety of careers he’s delved into throughout his life before becoming a landscape architect, it becomes increasingly amazing to think about the thought that went into every aspect of his home, which was also known as Fairsted. When it comes to completing my assigned project of creating videos to share untold stories of Olmsted and those who worked in the landscape architecture firm, there is no better way to understand his work than to work directly within a subject of his own design. 

The base or foundation of the house itself was not designed by Olmsted, but rather it was the ancestral home of the Clark family and was inhabited by two Clark sisters when Olmsted first laid eyes on it. After much convincing, he eventually was able to buy the home from them for full price, with an added promise that he would pay for and design a brand new home on the hilltop overlooking their old family home that Olmsted would soon be moving into. Over the years, he added on to the house to create new rooms such as the reading room, moving the estate’s barn to a different area closer to the home, and created an entirely new wing to serve as the office of his landscape architecture firm. There were a variety of other landscape additions such as a carriage turn driveway, a massive carved out area that dips below the ground level, and a vast lawn surrounding the backside of the home. 

Working from this location provides a great balance between indoor office settings and vast greenspace.,

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