Library of American Landscape History
|ISBN: 978-1-952620-00-3||Page Count: 952|
|Price: $50.00 | Cloth||Published: 01/01/1999|
A volume in the ASLA Centennial Reprint Series
The history of the profession of landscape architecture in the United States is still obscure to most people, even landscape practitioners. One of the most important figures in this field was Charles Eliot (1958–1897), whose story is told in this richly detailed biography. It was written by his father, the president of Harvard College, in 1902, a few years after Eliot’s death at age thirty-eight from spinal meningitis.
Like his colleague and partner Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., the younger Eliot was a figure of enormous talent and energy, and a major force in the profession. He emerges from his father’s text as a brilliant though melancholy young man with a passion for travel, history, and the natural landscape. Included are passages from Eliot’s travel writing, professional correspondence, and public reports, which bear witness to the range of his interests and intellect.
Eliot pioneered many of the fundamental principles of regional planning and laid the conceptual and political groundwork for The Trustees of Reservations, the first statewide land conservancy in the country. He played a central role in shaping the Boston Metropolitan Park System, designed several public and private landscapes, and wrote prolifically on a host of topics. His early death robbed the profession of one of its brightest lights.
In a new introduction, Keith N. Morgan offers a critical reading of Eliot’s life and contributions to the fields of landscape architecture and regional planning. Morgan fills in the gaps left by Eliot’s father and offers many insights into an important chapter in American landscape history. The book includes 110 illustrations and two large fold-out maps that show the distribution of public open spaces in metropolitan Boston in 1892 and 1901.
About the Authors
Charles W. Eliot
The author of Charles Eliot, Landscape Architect, was his father, Charles W. Eliot (1834–1926), the dynamic, reforming president of Harvard College from 1869–1909. Having taken his family to Europe in the 1860s to study both laboratory practices and educational pedagogy, Eliot was appointed president of Harvard at age thirty-five. He revised the classical curriculum to include an elective system of expanded courses offerings and introduced graduate and professional programs, providing a more modern and scientific template for advanced education. These additions included the first graduate program in landscape architecture and regional planning, inspired by the work of his son.
Keith N. Morgan, FSAH
Keith N. Morgan, FSAH, a professor of art history and director of architectural studies at Boston University, is the author of Shaping a New American Landscape: The Art and Architecture of Charles A. Platt and Boston Architecture, 1975–1990, coauthored with Naomi Miller. He is also the editor and a principal author for Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston and the architecture editor for The Encyclopedia of New England.