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Boston -- Franklin Park

Object Details

Franklin Park (named for native son Benjamin Franklin) was created in 1885 as the terminus of the "Emerald Necklace" park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted for the City of Boston. Comprising over 500 acres, with 200 acres of woodland, the park was intended to enable working class people to experience and enjoy a rural atmosphere within the surrounding urban area. In that regard it shared the philosophy of Olmsted's two other major creations, Central Park and Prospect Park. Over the years formal recreational areas have been developed beyond those envisioned in Olmsted's original plan (for example, the "Country Park" was converted to a golf course), but many elements of the original design--such as the road system and extensive woodland walks--remain. In recent years citizen activism by the Franklin Park Coalition and other organizations has led to significant preservation efforts for the park's landscape and historic structures. Many of the images in this series were taken by Thomas W. Sears and selected ones were used to illustrate the July 1906 article by John Nolen cited below.
Persons associated with the site include Frederick Law Olmsted (landscape architect, 1885).
Landscape architect
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1822-1903
Olmsted, Olmsted, and Eliot
Olmsted Brothers
Collection Creator
Garden Club of America
Franklin Park (Boston, Massachusetts)
Emerald Necklace (Boston, Massachusetts)
United States of America -- Massachusetts -- Suffolk County -- Boston
Landscape architect
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1822-1903
Olmsted, Olmsted, and Eliot
Olmsted Brothers
See more items in
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / Massachusetts
A project to describe images in this finding aid received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care Initiative, administered by the National Collections Program.
Archival Repository
Archives of American Gardens
AAG.GCA, File MA047
Archival materials
Collection Citation
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
Collection Rights
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Site has been featured in John Nolen, "Frederick Law Olmsted and His Work--IV. Franklin Park, Boston, Mass.," House & Garden, X, No. 1 (July 1906), pp. 3-11. Site has been featured in Norman T. Newton, Design on the Land: The Development of Landscape Architecture (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971), pp. 295-299. Site has been featured in Walter L. Creese, The Crowning of the American Landscape: Eight Great Spaces and Their Buildings (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985). Site has been featured in Julie Arrison, Franklin Park (Images of America) (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2009).
Scope and Contents
The folders include worksheets, photocopies of articles and book excerpts about the park, photocopies of correspondence, maps, and additional information.
Collection Restrictions
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Related Materials
Franklin Park related holdings consist of 3 folders (26 glass negatives, 8 photographic prints, 9 lantern slides, 3 slides (photographs))
See others in
Thomas Warren Sears photograph collection, 1900-1966. J. Horace McFarland Collection, 1900-1961.
Related Materials
Records related to this site can be found at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Olmsted Job Number 00918, Franklin Park.
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Record ID
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