campus from west side of Stillwater River, circa 1890, with General
Plan for Campus Showing Proposed Buildings and Roads, 1932, and
Frederick Law Olmstead Sr.
Courtesy of Fogler Library Special Collections and the National
Park Service, Frederick Law Olmstead National Historic Site,
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Dec. 20, 1866, legendary
landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted stood on the frozen fields of
what was then Maine's year-old land-grant university and began
describing the campus plan already forming in his mind's eye. Set to
paper that spring, the campus plan marked the beginning of years of
consultation and correspondence between UMaine and Olmsted's firm, led
by his sons and successors after his retirement in 1895.
Before his commission at UMaine, then the Maine State College of
Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, Olmsted and a partner, Calvert Vaux,
designed New York's Central Park. Olmsted went on to plan parks in many
major cities, such as Boston, Mass., Chicago, Ill., Atlanta, Ga., and
Buffalo and Niagara Falls, N.Y. Other high-profile projects included
Acadia National Park in Maine, the White House grounds in Washington,
D.C., and Yosemite National Park in California. Olmsted died in 1903.
Olmsted's designs and those of his successors reflect his passion for
preserving green, open landscapes and creating a sense of community.
Today, those are among the distinctive features of UMaine's 660-acre
campus overlooking the Stillwater River.
"Lasting Impression" features a memorable person or event in UMaine