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Buffalo Olmsted Parks & Parkways System

Park & Parkway Systems

Buffalo Olmsted Parks & Parkways System
Buffalo, New York

Buffalo's system of parks and inter-connecting parkways, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in several segments, was the first system of its kind and is recognized as a visionary work by Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. and Calvert Vaux 1869 to 1873. With additions in the late nineteenth century by Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot, and in the early twentieth century by Olmsted Brothers, these master park designers provided a framework for city growth, diverse recreation and scenic enjoyment for Buffalo 's citizens. Through a number of projects Patricia O'Donnell and Heritage Landscapes have made contributions to the preservation of this legacy. In 1979, O'Donnell, a Buffalo native, researched the park and parkway system and reported on it in a history and inventory that included Delaware, Front, Martin Luther King Jr., Riverside, Cazenovia, and South Parks as well as seven circles and the network of north and south parkways. The document for the Historical Society of Western New York formed the basis for National Register nominations and was used in a local television special featuring the parks and O'Donnell.

Heritage Landscapes participated city funded planning and an implementation projects addressing the historic wading pool at MLK Park in 1991 and 2000. For the Buffalo Olmsted Conservancy planning for the planting of 800 trees at Delaware Park was guided by our knowledge of the 1870 Olmsted and Vaux plan as codified in guidance of the partial cultural landscape report led by Wendell Duscherer. Contributions to the 2001 rehabilitation planning and implementation for South Parkways and South Park entry were made to the Trowbridge & Wolf team. For the Flynn Battaglia led Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens Master Plan for part of South Park, Heritage Landscapes served as preservation landscape architects to plan for renewal of interior plant collections, gardens and visitor facilities around the late nineteenth century glasshouse complex.

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, City of Buffalo, Buffalo Friends of Olmsted Parks, Historical Society of Western New York

Projects + Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners for Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens Master Plan lead Flynn Battaglia Architects 2001; South Park & Southern Parkways Updated Master Plan & Implementation lead Trowbridge & Wolf with Charles E. Beveridge, PhD 2001; Delaware Park Cultural Landscape Report & Vegetation Renewal Project lead Wendel Duscherer 2000; Martin Luther King Jr. Park Wading Pool Rehabilitation lead Trowbridge & Wolf 2000, and study lead Reimann-Buechner Partnership 1991; Front Park, Riverside Park & Delaware Park Assessments 1987 funded New York State Council on the Arts; Buffalo Olmsted Park & Parkway System, Research & Inventory, O'Donnell, 1979.