In 1890 Atlanta businessman Joel Hurt engaged Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., to prepare a plan for developing the area now known as Druid Hills. Olmsted was recognized as the nation’s preeminent designer of parks and public open spaces. His work included Central Park in New York City, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the Emerald Necklace of Boston, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville and the nation’s Capitol Grounds. The Olmsted firm submitted a preliminary plan to Hurt in 1893 in which the six-segment Linear Park was first laid out. The curving stretches of its landmark greenspace have delighted generations of area residents and the thousands of people who come and go along Ponce de Leon Avenue every day.
Over the years, the Olmsted Linear Park has remained one of Atlanta’s most visible parks. Nonstop usage combined with inadequate maintenance resulted in its gradual decline. To recapture the grandeur of this beautiful and historic park, concerned citizens launched a grassroots effort more than a decade ago.
In 1997, the Olmsted Linear Park Alliance (OLPA) was established to ensure the rehabilitation and preservation of the park for future generations. With support from individuals, foundations and government agencies, OLPA raised $9.5 million for the park’s rehabilitation. Today this historic resource, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and his firm, reflects the quality of peace which Olmsted sought in his designs.
The Alliance Has Led Efforts to:
- Plant hundreds of trees and shrubs, referencing the Olmsted plan of 1902.
- Bury overhead utility lines, lay stone curbing and erect historically appropriate lighting fixtures for the length of the park along Ponce de Leon and North and South Ponce de Leon avenues.
- Install walkways and paths to increase access, enhance vistas and improve drainage.
- Build a new playground for young children in a safer location in the park.
- Correct erosion and storm water problems throughout the park and rebuild the stream bed and catch basin in the Deepdene segment
- Improve sidewalks and crosswalks bordering the park to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, in addition to laying a new sidewalk along the main Ponce de Leon side of Deepdene Park
- Install signs which identify each park segment and explain the historic importance of the park.
How You Can Help
At the turn of the century, Olmsted gave an incredible gift to our city, our environment and our quality of life. We hope that every Atlantan who cares about our community will give generously to preserve this unique historical and horticultural asset.
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DREAM IN GREEN GALA
FEBRUARY 16, 2014
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OLPA's 10th Annual Gala is shaping up to be THE party of 2014.
We will be celebrating Italian Style
featuring outstanding performances from gloATL and the Atlanta Opera.
The silent auction to an online platform, allowing bidders to pre-bid on some items and use an easy electronic bidding system the night of the event. Don’t worry if you’re not computer savvy or don’t have a smart-phone—there will be people there who will be able to help you place your bid.
Our annual award winners will be presented along with OLPA's Fredrick Law Olmsted Award to Fernbank Museum of Natural History.
Our Honorary Chairs Sam and Nancy Williams will be presenting the awards. Join them and many others to help support Olmsted Linear Park and become a host for the 2014 Dream in Green Gala.
Gala Press Release