Olmsted Birthday Bash on the Bridge

Celebrate the 193rd Birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted with music, food and fun!

Rochester will celebrate the birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, revered as a visionary landscape architect and designer of several of Rochester’s majestic parks on Sunday, April 26.

The Olmsted Birthday Bash on the Bridge will run from 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. on the pedestrian bridge between Seneca and Maplewood Parks. (Rain location: Wegman Lodge in Seneca Park).

The afternoon features refreshments, music, sidewalk-chalk drawings and a display of historic Seneca and Maplewood Park pictures from the Albert Stone collection. The event is sponsored by the Friends and Neighbors of Seneca Park, Highland Park Conservancy and The Landmark Society of Western New York with additional support from Hart’s Local Grocers.

Parking is available at Maplewood Park (off Bridgeview Dr.) on the west side of the River or in Seneca Park (near the playground) on the east side. For those wishing to travel on two wheels, a group bicycle ride will depart from the Roundhouse at Genesee Valley Park at 12:00p.m. and travel to the Birthday Bash through Highland Park and Maplewood Park before arriving at the bridge.

Rochester is just one of four cities nationwide that boasts an entire park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, best known for his design of New York’s Central Park. Olmsted designed Highland, Genesee Valley, and Seneca Parks for Rochester. He and the firm that continued his work after his retirement also designed several parkways and small neighborhood parks.

In 1888, Rochester’s Board of Park Commissioners selected Olmsted to design a network of parks and parkways for the city. Olmsted encouraged the Commissioners to set aside generous amounts of open space as the city’s first major public parks and proposed a system focused on the city’s great natural asset – the dramatic Genesee River in all its glorious variety.

>>Click here for the Google map with exact location and parking

Olmsted Birthday Bash on the Bridge

Celebrate the 193rd Birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted with music, food and fun!

Rochester will celebrate the birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, revered as a visionary landscape architect and designer of several of Rochester’s majestic parks on Sunday, April 26th.

The Olmsted Birthday Bash on the Bridge will run from 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. on the pedestrian bridge between Seneca and Maplewood Parks. (Rain location: Wegman Lodge in Seneca Park).

Photo courtesy Dan Dangler

Photo courtesy Dan Dangler

The afternoon features refreshments, music, sidewalk-chalk drawings and a display of historic Seneca and Maplewood Park pictures from the Albert Stone collection. The event is sponsored by the Friends and Neighbors of Seneca Park, Highland Park Conservancy and The Landmark Society of Western New York with additional support from Hart’s Local Grocers.

Parking is available at Maplewood Park (off Bridgeview Dr.) on the west side of the River or in Seneca Park (near the playground) on the east side. For those wishing to travel on two wheels, a group bicycle ride will depart from the Roundhouse at Genesee Valley Park at 12:00p.m. and travel to the Birthday Bash through Highland Park and Maplewood Park before arriving at the bridge.

Rochester is just one of four cities nationwide that boasts an entire park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, best known for his design of New York’s Central Park. Olmsted designed Highland, Genesee Valley, and Seneca Parks for Rochester. He and the firm that continued his work after his retirement also designed several parkways and small neighborhood parks.

In 1888, Rochester’s Board of Park Commissioners selected Olmsted to design a network of parks and parkways for the city. Olmsted encouraged the Commissioners to set aside generous amounts of open space as the city’s first major public parks and proposed a system focused on the city’s great natural asset – the dramatic Genesee River in all its glorious variety.

>>Click here for the Google map with exact location and parking

New Signs in Rochester’s Olmsted Parks

With the impending storm from Hurricane Sandy, now might not be the best time to head out and see them for yourself, but here’s a look at some of the new interpretive way-finding signs that have just been erected in Rochester’s Highland Park.

A number of years in the making, the signs were funded, in part, by grants from the federal Preserve America program and the Rochester Area Community Foundation. The Landmark Society worked with the City of Rochester and Monroe County to secure the funding back in 2006. The project also funded signs in Genesee Valley Park, Seneca Park, and Maplewood Park, for a total of 13 signs in all.

All three parks are part of Rochester’s park system designed by renowned landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. Olmsted is perhaps more commonly known for his work in New York City (Central Park and Prospect Park) but Rochester bears the rare honor of being one of only four park systems designed by Olmsted (the others being Buffalo, Louisville, and Boston).

If there’s any fall foliage left after the storm passes and the brush is cleared, take a lovely fall stroll or a bike ride through one of Rochester’s Olmsted-designed parks and learn a bit more about the parks’ design and why Frederick Law Olmsted was such an important figure in the development of many American cities and parks.

Thanks to JoAnn Beck, Senior Landscape Architect with the City of Rochester, for the photos!