Frederick Law Olmsted ~ His Influence in Lowell

An article in today’s Boston Globe reminded me that tomorrow is the 192nd anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted who as author Carlos Rotella notes is  ” the landscape architect — and journalist, conservationist, and public servant — who gave us Manhattan’s Central Park, Boston’s Emerald Necklace, the Niagara Reservation, and many other American places rich with meaning and beauty. If leaving the world in better condition than you found it is a measure of greatness, Olmsted deserves to rank high on our list of great Americans. Working in the second half of the 19th century, a time of disorientingly rapid industrialization and urbanization, he did more than anyone else to make our cities livable, humane, and inspiring.” Read the full article here.

Frederick Law Olmsted left his influence here in Lowell with the smallest park among the over 300 designed by his firm and Boston landscape architect Charles Eliot – that’s Lowell’s Tyler Park. The park is in the city’s Highlands neighborhood located on outer Westford Street. While never finished as the original plans intended and modified in recent years, the site – donated by the Tyler family for use as a public park –  was a focal point and a selling point for the house lots in that Tyler Park Lands subdivision. Today it is an important center for family and community activity including a summer concert series.

Tyler Park

This postcard is from the UML Center for Lowell History collection.

The Tyler Park Historic District is on the National Register. Read about the history and significance of the district here in this Lowell Historic Commission brochure on-line at the UML/CLH site.




2 Responses to Frederick Law Olmsted ~ His Influence in Lowell

  1. George DeLuca says:

    Thank you for posting this Marie. The South Common is also an Olmsted design according to Browne, Richardson & Rowe, Inc., the consultants who have been designing the revitalization project.

    I was involved in a project that connected me with the preservation and conservation efforts to revive the Emerald Necklace in Boston as a project manager for the Boston Public Facilities Dept. in the late 1980s.

    We need to be more careful about preserving what remains of our open space in Lowell. Much of it that was here when I was a child is now gone, replaced by box style apartment and condos.

  2. PaulM says:

    It is a safe bet that Mr. Olmsted would not favor eliminating the South Common from the map of Lowell.