Samuel Parsons Jr.
Samuel Parsons Jr. (1844–1923) was one of the most well-known names in the field of landscape design in the early twentieth century. A protégé of Calvert Vaux, Parsons worked with the architect until Vaux’s death in 1895. As superintendent of planting in Central Park, where he defended Olmsted and Vaux’s vision against repeated incursions, and landscape architect to the City of New York for nearly thirty years, Parsons was, until his resignation in 1911, the last direct link in the city to the ideals of Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. As an independent practitioner, Parsons took on projects as varied as San Diego’s Balboa Park and Glen Iris Park in Birmingham, Alabama, and wrote five books before publishing his final and most widely read work, The Art of Landscape Architecture, in 1915.