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UMaine Today Magazine

Lasting Impression

Frederick Law Olmstead Sr
UMaine 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, Brookline, MA.

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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 history.


UMaine Today Magazine
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