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 nationís 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
nationís 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
Over the years, the
Olmsted Linear Park has remained one
of Atlantaís 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 parkís rehabilitation.
Today this historic resource, designed
by Frederick Law Olmsted and his firm,
reflects the quality of peace which
Olmsted sought in his designs.