Dr. Ethan Carr on Boston’s Franklin Park: Olmsted, Recreation, and the Modern City



Central Library, Rabb Hall


Nov 8, 2023


6:00 EST



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About this event

Join us on Wednesday, November 8 at 6:00PM EST with Dr. Ethan Carr for a talk on his new book, Boston’s Franklin Park: Olmsted, Recreation, and the Modern City (LALH 2023), which details the history of Franklin Park from the time of peak popularity to the current era of park revival.

This talk will be held in person in Rabb Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square. Following the talk, there will be time for audience Q&A, and the program will conclude at 7PM with a book signing. 

About the book

Dr. Carr’s forthcoming book, Boston’s Franklin Park: Olmsted, Recreation, and the Modern City (LALH 2023), documents the design and history of Frederick Law Olmsted’s most mature expression of urban park design. In this comprehensive study, Carr affirms Franklin Park as one of great works of nineteenth-century American art. Since the 1980s, historians have described Franklin Park as unfinished, obsolete, or a casualty of changing trends in public recreation. Carr disagrees, offering a persuasive argument that the park’s decline was not a consequence of its design but of a lack of stewardship on the part of the city, an example of institutionalized racism.

About the author

Ethan Carr, FASLA, is professor of landscape architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. An international authority on America’s public landscapes and the author of many books, he is lead editor of The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted: The Early Boston Years and coauthor of Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition, and the National Park Idea (LALH 2022). 



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