This Day in History — April 26

On April 26th, 1822, Frederick Law Olmstead, landscape architect who laid out Central Park in New York and Ashland Park in Lexington, was born. Olmstead was an esteemed journalist who dispatched for the New York Times in the ante-bellum South and helped inform and galvanize antislavery sentiment in the Northeast. In 1883, after having worked extensively designing parks and green spaces across the country, Olmstead established what is considered to be the first full-time landscape architecture firm in Brookline, Massachusetts. In 1904, the Clay family hired the Olmstead Brothers to draw up plans for a residential neighborhood on the 600-acre estate. Constructed over a 15-year period, the development was completed around 1930. The development was designed to include many trees, large areas of green-space, and curving streets with few right angled intersections holding true to the Olmstead trademark. A wide variety of architectural styles can be found in Ashland Park including Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Bungalow, Tudor Revival, Dutch Colonial Revival, Prairie, Georgian Revival, Spanish Eclectic, French Eclectic, and Italian Renaissance, attesting to the varied tastes and styles of the day. Ashland Park was designated as a Historic District by the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government and is still a residential neighborhood.


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