That time has come!  April, 2011 brings OLMSTED AND AMERICA’S URBAN PARKS (formerly “The Olmsted Legacy”) to a television station near you, via American Public Television.  Check your local listings for details, but below, a list.

City Station Air Date/Time
Albany-Schenectady WMHT April 20, 10 p.m.
Albuquerque KNMD April 24, 6 p.m.
Atlanta WPBA April 23, 7 p.m.
Baltimore MPT2 April 21, 11 p.m.
Birmingham WBIQ April 21, 9 p.m.
Buffalo WNED Date TBD
Charlotte WTVI April 20, 11 p.m.
UNC-TV April 28, 10 p.m.
Chattanooga WTCI April 18, 10:30 p.m.
Detroit WTVS Date TBD
Fort Myers WGCU April 20, 10 p.m.
Fresno KVPT April 19, 9 p.m.
Grand Rapids WGVU April 24, 4 p.m.
April 26, 2 a.m.
Greensboro UNC-TV April 28, 10 p.m.
Greenville-Spartansburg UNC-TV April 28, 10 p.m.
Hartford CPTV Date TBD
Jacksonville WJCT April 19, 9 p.m.
Las Vegas KLVX April 20, 10 p.m.
Los Angeles KVCR April 19, 8 p.m.
Miami WPBT April 20, 10 p.m.
Milwaukee WMVS Date TBD
New Orleans WLAE April 18, 10 p.m.
New York WNET April 20, 10 p.m.
WLIW April 22, 2 p.m.
Pensacola WSRE April 20, 9 p.m.
Phoenix KAET Date TBD
Philadelphia WLVT Date TBD
Pittsburgh MPT2 April 21, 11 p.m.
Plattsburgh Mtn Lake PBS April 21, 9 p.m.
Portland KOPB April 29, 10 p.m.
KOPB Plus April 24, 8 p.m.
Providence RIPBS April 27, 9 p.m.
Raleigh-Durham UNC-TV April 28, 10 p.m.
Reno KNPB April 19, 9 p.m.
Sacramento KVIE Date TBD
Salt Lake City KUEN Date TBD
San Francisco KQED April 24, 2 p.m.
South Bend-Elkhart WNIT April 20, 10 p.m.
Tallahassee WFSU April 21, 10 p.m.
Tampa WEDU April 21, 10 p.m.
April 26, 6 p.m.
Washington DC MPT2 April 21, 11 p.m.



It’s a big week of festivals for Olmsted.  First stop in Nevada City, California on Saturday night at the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival, and then on to Princeton, NJ for the Princeton Environmental Film Festival on Tuesday, January 18.

THE OLMSTED LEGACY joins films and filmmakers from across the globe, and will screen at 7:00pm at the Princeton Public Library – 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ.  Executive Producer Mike Messner (writer of this recent op-ed in the Washington Post: “Sometimes money does grow on trees” ) will discuss the genesis of the idea for the film and his efforts to keep Olmsted’s vision alive today.


Olmsted’s landscapes, I like to believe, are both wild and scenic, despite being surrounded by decidedly un-wild and un-scenic urban landscape.  Therefore, I’m thrilled that the film was accepted to this year’s Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival in Nevada City, California.

If you find yourself in California on Saturday evening, east of the Sierra Nevadas, stop by Nevada City!  THE OLMSTED LEGACY will be playing at Vet’s Hall.  I’ll be there, speaking after the film, and blogging updates!

– Rebecca

If you missed last week’s premiere, don’t fret.  There are still a few more chances to watch THE OLMSTED LEGACY on WHUT.  Some of the times are on the early side, but there is always DVR.  Watch it in HD if you can!

Saturday, January 8 at 10:00PM
Sunday, January 9 at 2:00AM
Sunday, January 9 at 6:00AM

January 2nd, 8:00pm on WHUT in the Washington, DC metro area!

Next stop – CLEVELAND!

October 26, 2010

Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs teams up with ParkWorks to host tomorrow’s screening of THE OLMSTED LEGACY:

4:00-6:00 PM
Dively Auditorium, First Floor
Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs
Glickman-Miller Hall, Roberta Steinbacher Atrium

Rendering of proposed revitalization of Perk Park, Cleveland. Image courtesy ParkWorks.

Come for the film, stay for a discussion with local landscape architect Jim McKnight, and Tony Coyne, Chairman of the City Planning Commission.


See you tomorrow…

When San Francisco city leaders called on Olmsted in the 1860s, they were expecting to get another Central Park.

The park for San Francisco that Olmsted designed, however, was multi-faceted, featuring a smaller park in the wind-protected valley of the undeveloped Buena Vista Hill (modern day Hayes Valley), and a 4-mile promenade that ran along Market Street, before turning the corner and continuing up Van Ness Avenue to the bay.  Olmsted thought the promenade should be lined with dry weather plants, and sunken underground, to protect pedestrians from the harsh east-west winds.  City leaders thanked him for his time, paid him his $500 consulting fee, and ultimately decided that the idea was too radical, too far-sighted to be implemented.

Golden Gate Park, the “Central Park” that city leaders were looking for, was designed by William Hammond Hall on an epic stretch of land that Olmsted deemed too windy to be considered.

Join us TONIGHT for a screening of THE OLMSTED LEGACY at the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park.

7:00 PM

The screening is FREE, and will feature a Q&A with writer/producer Rebecca Messner, and remarks by Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation.  Many thanks to the San Francisco Parks Trust for their help with this event!

Join us for a free screening of THE OLMSTED LEGACY: AMERICA’S URBAN PARKS at the National Zoo in Washington, DC! Tomorrow, October 14, 6:30 – 8:00 PM.



Hosted by our friends at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Friends of the National Zoo!

Come hear a special panel discussion following the film about the future of America’s urban parks, featuring Charles A. Birnbaum (founder and president, The Cultural Landscape Foundation), Faye Harwell (director and partner, Rhodeside & Harwell), Susan Rademacher (parks curator, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy) and TOL interviewee Tupper Thomas (administrator, Prospect Park and president, Prospect Park Alliance)!

And stay for drinks and small bites!


Some photos from our screening of THE OLMSTED LEGACY: AMERICA’S URBAN PARKS in Buffalo, NY last Thursday.  Many thanks to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy for not only organizing a beautiful event, but for keeping Olmsted’s legacy truly alive and thriving in Buffalo.

Below, a schedule of screenings of THE OLMSTED LEGACY: America’s Urban Parks

August 27 – Buffalo, NY at the Marcy Casino in Olmsted’s Delaware park
September 22 – Boston, MA at the Museum of Fine Arts
September 26 – Baltimore, MD at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum (2pm)
September 28 – Louisville, KY at the Speed Art Museum
October 19 – San Francisco, CA at the deYoung Museum, Golden Gate Park

Please check back for more details!

[The premiere of “The Olmsted Legacy: America’s Urban Parks” in Prospect Park on August 4.  Photo by Eugene Patron]

Hope you can join us!  And don’t forget to stop by the Dairy, Central Park’s visitor center, to watch “The Olmsted Legacy” at any time!

Stop by the Dairy in Central Park to catch The Olmsted Legacy, playing on loop, starting today!

[photo via the Central Park Conservancy]

The Dairy, intended by Calvert Vaux to be built as a refreshment stand for children, was meant to sell fresh milk at low prices, during a time when most of the milk in New York made citizens sick.  “Swill milk,” as it was called, was taken from cows who were fed old mash leftover from the beer making process, at a time when the production and sale of milk in New York was not regulated.

Olmsted and Vaux, as a result, hoped to include fresh milk in their park as a kind of alleviating alternative to the other tainted options, and even designed a place for cows to graze and be milked in the vicinity of the Dairy.

The structure, however, underwent a significant transformation during the Tweed administration, and by the time construction was completed, there were no cows to be found.  Olmsted’s sheltering vegetation was uprooted, and a carriage lot was constructed for the introduction of a restaurant for middle-class New Yorkers, which is how the space was used until the 1950s, when the building was virtually abandoned.

Today, the Central Park Conservancy’s brilliant restoration of the building now houses the park’s visitor center and gift shop.  Still a far cry from Vaux’s original intention, but undeniably more useful for today’s park-goers than a lot full of cows!

The Dairy is open Monday-Sunday, 10am to 5pm, and will be continuously playing The Olmsted Legacy, beginning today.  A great way to stay cool in these last days of summer.

Fresh off the premiere in Prospect Park, The Olmsted Legacy screened for parks leaders and policy makers in Denver on Wednesday.  We were thrilled to be joined by Denver Parks Commissioner Kevin Patterson, Catherine Nagel of the City Parks Alliance,  urban parks guru Peter Harnik, and Jonas Olmsted, distant relative of FLO himself, and, as an architect, living torchbearer of the Olmsted legacy.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful setting.  City Park set the stage in Denver not only for the film, but incomparable views of the city’s skyline, and its characteristic Rockies in the distance.

[City Park, Denver]

[Catherine Nagel, Peter Harnik, Rebecca Messner]

Join us!  THE OLMSTED LEGACY, featuring the voices of Kevin Kline and Kerry Washington, premieres in Olmsted and Vaux’s classic park–under the stars, and free for all.

Wednesday, August 4


The Celebrate Brooklyn! Stage at the Bandshell, Prospect Park.

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