FAH101H1 Lecture Notes - Frederick Law Olmsted, Picturesque, New York City Draft Riots

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9 Feb 2013

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FAH377 Lecture 2
Last time
o 3 dilemmas central to the course
Nature vs. Culture (Human vs. non-Human)
Within landscape architecture: Landscape architects are always making plans in
a medium that is never truly within their control (pool with spring water,
shading system with trees)
3rd dilemma: source of precious resources vs. source of psychological and
spiritual benefit
o Carlton Watkins, Frederick Olmstead
Associated with the political and social elite of the time
Both men worked in both places (Sierra foothills + Yosemite)
Turned Yosemite into a national icon
Watkins’s photographs were used to advocate the transformation into a
national park
Not to transform the landscape into something different, but reveal its inherent
Affects how they were described, perceived and eventually experienced
Choreography of the experiment by Olmstead
Shape our expectations of what we’ll find and confirms them of what we see
Public discussion generated and propagated Olmstead and Watkins’ ideas
Postcards contain scenes from Watkins’s photographs (done by Olmstead)
o We will talk about these broad ideas within specific case studies
Make broad arguments through specific cases and images etc.
As we develop our knowledge
When was it designed?
When was it completed?
Where is it?
What are the uses?
Spatial organization?
Drawings? (composition, feel, etc.) (e.g. Yosemite postcards)
Clues to how to read the images?
o Niagara Falls Reservation
Coming to terms with the new continent was a way of shaping north American
Leftovers from the last ice age
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