Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America


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Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Special Screening
Special One-Time Screening


60 min


Not Rated

The NY Upstate Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Landmark Society of Western New York, and WXXI & The Little Theatre present the documentary film Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America.  A panel discussion with follow the screening. 
Tickets:  $10 regular admission, $8 admission for members of WXXI, The Little, The Landmark Society, or The ASLA 

JoAnn Beck, ASLA
Rochester, NY
JoAnn is a landscape architect with experience in private practice, professional education, and public practice. For the last 18 years she has served as the City of Rochester’s Senior Landscape Architect, and has managed the design of capital projects in the parks, the trail system, and civic spaces, including the Public Market and High Falls. She is a Trustee of the Highland Park Conservancy and the Landmark Society of Western New York, and the co-chair of its Olmsted Parks Subcommittee.

Katie Eggers Comeau
Rochester, NY
Katie is the architectural historian at Bero Architecture PLLC.  Her involvement with Rochester’s parks began when she joined the staff of the Landmark Society of Western New York in 2001, while the organization was in the midst of a major advocacy effort on behalf of Seneca Park.  She wrote the National Register nomination for Seneca Park, the Multiple Property Documentation Form for the entire Olmsted park system, and later collaborated with Bayer Landscape Architecture on the Survey of Rochester’s Historic Parklands and, most recently, the Master Plan for Genesee Valley Park West.  She remains active in the Landmark Society’s Olmsted Subcommittee and is a board member of the National Association for Olmsted Parks.  She is the author of the recent Rochester History publication “125 Years of Rochester’s Parks.”

Judy Hyman
Ithaca, NY
Judy composed the music for Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America and has composed or co-composed scores for numerous documentaries and feature films, including: The Rivers Flow North (Michael J. Fox, Rip Torn, Tantoo Cardinal), Stranger in the Kingdom (Martin Sheen, Ernie Hudson), Disappearances (Kris Kristofferson, Genevieve Bujold), Northern Borders (Bruce Dern, Genevieve Bujold), Through Deaf Eyes (a PBS documentary about the history of deaf culture), John James Audubon: Drawn from Nature (PBS American Masters series), and many more. She plays violin and fiddle; is a founding member of the alt-folk band, The Horse Flies; has recorded and toured with Natalie Merchant; and has received an Emmy award for the music she created for a documentary about Thomas Jefferson.  She and her husband and musical partner, Jeff Claus, live in Ithaca, NY.  In addition to playing in The Horse Flies, they perform in the indie-rock band, Boy with a Fish, and as an acoustic duo, Suitcase.  --

Jeff Claus
Ithaca, NY
Jeff was the recording and mix engineer for Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America.  He has co-composed and/or engineered many of the film projects listed in Judy Hyman’s bio.  He plays guitar and banjo ukulele, sings, and writes songs and film music.  His music has been used by Oliver Stone (in Any Given Sunday), MTV’s Rock the Vote, and others, and one of his songs, “Sally Ann,” has been recorded by Natalie Merchant and performed by her and her band on Late Night with David Letterman.  He’s a founding member of the bands The Horse Flies and Boy with a Fish; plays with Judy in the acoustic duo, Suitcase; and has had a parallel career as a professor of multicultural education at Ithaca College.  --,,

Zakery Steele, ASLA
Bayer Landscape Architecture, PLLC
Honeoys Falls, NY
Zakery Steele, ASLA, is a Project Manager at Bayer Landscape Architecture in Honeoye Falls, New York. As an advocate of civic engagement at all levels, he contributes much of his time, passion and expertise toward civic endeavors throughout the region. Prior to settling in Western New York, Zakery served in public sector planning capacities at both the local and regional level in Utah and Massachusetts.  He holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Utah’s College of Architecture + Planning. In 2013, Zakery was honored by the NY Upstate Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for his growing body of professional work and his considerable volunteer service with the Chapter's first-ever Distinguished Emerging Practitioner award.

About the Film:

As the designer of major urban parks, Olmsted made enormous contributions to the American landscape and is known as the father of American landscape architecture. He was co-designer of Central Park, head of the first Yosemite commission, leader of the campaign to protect Niagara Falls, designer of the U.S. Capitol Grounds, site planner for the Great White City of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, planner of Boston’s “Emerald Necklace” of green space and of park systems in many other cities. Olmsted’s pioneering design of the public parks and parkway systems in Buffalo, N.Y. is the oldest coordinated system in America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To Olmsted, a park was both a work of art and a necessity for urban life. Olmsted’s work to preserve nature created an “environmental ethic” decades before the environmental movement became a force in American life.