New Website!

July 29, 2010

New website launches today, featuring more information about the film, a teaser, and extended interviews.

In our extended interviews, hear Michael Dukakis talk about urban renewal in Massachusetts, NAOP founder Betsy Shure Gross explain the importance of public-private partnerships in park conservancy, and New York City Parks Commissioner Adrain Benepe recall the important role parks played on September 11.

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Years later, Olmsted recalled a hike with his brother to his aunt’s house in Cheshire.  “I was but nine when I once walked sixteen* miles over a strange country with my brother who was but six, to reach it.  We were two days on the road, spent the night at a rural inn which I saw still standing a few years ago, and were so tired when we arrived that, after sitting before that great fireplace and being feasted, we found that our legs would not support us and were carried off to bed.  It was a beautiful region of rocky glens and trout brooks.”  I imagine their adventure.  It is a sunny day.  The dusty road outside Hartford winds its way through rolling meadows .  Olmsted is in the lead, probably talking, pointing out birds and trees in the hedgerows along the verge.  He is excited about the prospect of adventure.  He holds his younger brother by the hand.  John is less sure about the outing.  He is thinking that perhaps they should go home before it gets too late.  But he gets along, trusting that Frederick will find the way, as he always seems to do.

[from Witold Rybczynski’s A Clearing in the Distance]

*Olmsted, in his post-hike haze, must have miscalculated the distance he traveled.  Cheshire, Connecticut, in fact, is nearly 30 miles from Hartford.

More photos from the interview with Witold Rybczynski.

Olmsted believed that every house should have a room, full of windows, partially separated from the house’s main foundation, that would allow people to sit and enjoy the beauty of outside scenery, but with the protection of walls and a roof.  There is a room like this in Fairsted, his estate in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Conveniently, there was also a room like this in the Philadelphia home of Witold Rybczynski, author of the acclaimed Olmsted biography, A Clearing in the Distance, and today’s main interview.  The rain made an outside interview impossible (a shame, considering the author’s Olmstedian backyard), and so we chose what we’re sure Olmsted would have considered the second best location.

Protected from the elements.  Some of us were, at least.

Protected from the elements. Some of us were, at least.

More photos from the shoot to follow.

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