Cadwalader Park – An Olmsted Vision

Posted on Jun 2, 2017

Holmes Bandshell 2

July 8, 2017 – September 17, 2017

Cocktails and Conversation

Friday July 14, 6-8 pm

with presentation by Central Park expert E. Timothy Marshall

Opening Reception

Saturday, July 15, 6-9 pm

Read this review of the exhibit by Anthony Stoeckert.

Read this article by Ilene Dube.

A more extensive article by Ilene Dube can be found here.

This summer, former and current admirers of Cadwalader Park can visit Ellarslie  to enjoy exhibits about their beloved park and its designer. Visitors can expect cultural history exhibits and memorabilia combined with signs depicting the history of the park.  The first floor galleries display works of art specific to the park, contributed by contemporary artists and on loan from private collections. The story of Olmsted and the park is told with images and text in the Malloy Gallery.

Watch this video about the park.

Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park and Trenton’s own Cadwalader Park, is considered to be the father of American landscape architecture.  His public parks, the design of which he was most proud, have had a lasting effect on urban America. Celebrating 115 years of that legacy, the exhibit at Ellarslie will explore the importance of Cadwalader Park to Trenton residents and visitors alike.

Read more about the park.

Frederick Law Olmsted

Frederick Law Olmsted

Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1822, Frederick Law Olmsted spent many years experiencing various professions and touring the world seeking and absorbing knowledge before honing in on landscape design as his life’s passion. He first studied surveying, engineering, chemistry and farming and toured Europe visiting numerous parks and private estates. He published books on his travels and used his literary activities to oppose slavery and to argue for abolition of slavery in the southern United States.

By the time FLO began his work in landscape architecture, he had developed a belief in community and understood the importance of public institutions. Olmsted believed that the public realm should be a respite; a place to retreat from the stress of urban life, and that public open space should be accessible to all people. In 1857 he took the position of superintendent of Central Park in New York City and, along with architect Calvin Vaux, won the design competition for the park the following year. He then spent the next seven years as the primary administrator in charge of the construction of Central Park. Olmsted’s success in park-making in NYC led to his renowned career designing and creating some of our nation’s most important urban parks. By the time FLO began to design Cadwalader Park in 1890, he had been planning parks in this country’s leading cities for over 30 years. Cadwalader Park in Trenton is Olmsted’s last great urban park.

Cadwalader Park has the distinction of being the only New Jersey park designed personally by Frederick Law Olmsted. While many other New Jersey parks and spaces were designed by the Olmsted firm in the years following the creation of Trenton’s largest park, Cadwalader is the only New Jersey park to be designed by FLO himself. Trenton is fortunate to possess one of these urban treasures which still preserves many of the landscape and spatial qualities of the original plan. Cadwalader Park is beloved by many of Trenton’s residents who nostalgically recall pony rides, picnics, concerts and the balloon man and, also, by many who come today to experience tennis matches, baseball games and family outings not to mention those who flock to the various exhibits offered at the Trenton City Museum.

In addition, Mercer County is privileged to accommodate Olmsted’s greatest campus design, the grounds of Lawrenceville School. Olmsted’s core design principles are evident at Lawrenceville School in the rolling landscape and curving paths throughout.

The exhibit, tours, and events are produced by the Trenton Museum Society with assistance from the Cadwalader Park Alliance.

Date TBDSunday in the Park with Barbara – enjoy a light supper while enjoying the lively jazz stylings of Trenton favorite Barbara Trent

Saturday, July 22, 10 am – Tour of Cadwalader Park, with David Bosted – Olmsted’s plan for the park included the species of trees and shrubs to be planted. – Raindate: Sunday, July 23

Saturday, July 29, 10 am – Tour of Lawrenceville School Grounds with David Bosted – Learn to recognize Olmsted’s signature features. – Raindate: Sunday, July 30

Saturday, August 5, 10 am – Tour the Wayfinding Signs, Statues, Buildings in Cadwalader Park with Jean Bickal

Sunday, August 13, 1:30 pmBosted on Olmsted – Trustee David Bosted’s wealth of knowledge extends to Olmsted’s design principles and how they are revealed in Cadwalader Park.

Saturday, September 16, noon – 5 pm – Cadwalader Heights House Tour, registration at Ellarslie.  Did you know Olmsted designed neighborhoods, too?

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