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1901 Parks Commission Map or Plan of Washington D.C. showing Park System

Map of the District of Columbia.

1901 Parks Commission Map or Plan of Washington D.C. showing Park System




Map of the District of Columbia.
  1901 (dated)    28 x 29 in (71.12 x 73.66 cm)     1 : 22500


This is a beautiful 1901 map or plan of Washington D.C. by J. G. Langdon. Prepared under the direction of the sub-committee on the improvement of the park system, the map covers Washington D.C. from Alexandria and the Arlington Cemetery eastward as far as Capitol Heights and from the American University Park and Rock Creek Park south to Bellevue. It notes current park areas, important buildings, individual streets, railroads, bridges, canals, rivers, schools and topography throughout. A legend in the bottom left quadrant indicates areas controlled by various institutes and government departments and agencies including the War Department, Interior Department, Navy Department and the Smithsonian.

This map, predating the important McMillan Plan by a year, notes the members of the Sub-Committee on the Improvement of the Park System, including its chairman James McMillan, and the members of the Commission on the Improvement of the Park System including Frederick Law Olmstead, under whose direction this map was prepared. This map was prepared by J. G. Langdon and published by A. Hoen and Company.


Frederick Law Olmsted (April 26, 1822 - 1903) was an American journalist, landscape designer, and forefather of American landscape architecture. Born April 26, 1822 in Hartford, CT, Olmsted never attended college, instead taking work as a seaman, merchant, and journalist until 1848, when he settled at Tosomock Farm in Staten Island, New York. On June 13, 1859 Olmsted married Mary Cleveland, the widow of his brother John and adopted her three children. Olmsted’s fateful introduction to landscape design occurred in 1850, when a journalism assignment took him to England to visit public gardens. Inspired by Joseph Paxton's Birkenhead Park, he went on to write and publish Walks and Talks of an American Farmer in England. This led to additional work with the New York Daily Times (The New York Times) who sent him on an extensive tour through Texas and the American South from 1852 to 1857. It was after this trip that Olmsted wrote his popular criticism of slave economies, A Journey Through Texas. In 1858, Olmsted, along with his design partner, the architect Calvert Vaux, entered and won New York City's Central Park design competition. Though it was their first major landscape design project, the construction of Central Park from 1857 to 1866, created what many consider to be the finest planned urban recreation area in the world. They continued collaborating on such projects as Prospect Park in Brooklyn, Chicago's Riverside Park, the Buffalo park system, Milwaukee's Grand Necklace, and the Niagara Reservation. These were not just parks, but entire systems of parks and interconnecting parkways (which they invented) linking cities to green spaces. In 1883, Olmsted founded the Brookline, MA based Fairsted Company, the first landscape architecture firm in the United States. It was from this office he designed Boston's Emerald Necklace, the campus of Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the 1893 Columbian Exposition, and many other public areas. In 1895 Olmsted retired to Belmont, Massachusetts. Three years later, in 1898, he was admitted McLean Hospital, whose grounds he had designed several years before. He remained a resident and patient there until he passed away in 1903. Olmsted is buried in the Old North Cemetery, Hartford, Connecticut.


Very good. Minor wear along original fold lines.
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