Heritage, Volume 8, Number 3, Summer 1990 Page: 27
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Buttonwood Park, New Bedford, Olmsted, Olmsted, and Eliot,
1895. One of the park's twelve monuments, on a traffic circle in
the center of the park. The Barnard Monument by George Julian
Zolnay is in need of conservation efforts.
in the center and had an enormous impact on the park's
appearance. Construction of a Central Pedestrian Concourse
returned the interior of the park to pedestrians and linked the zoo,
greenhouse, and warming house. An unsightly parking lot was
moved to the perimeter and the entrance was given new emphasis.
The planning and redesign of Buttonwood demonstrates the
manner in which the historic character of a park can be used as the
impetus for the development of a plan to return a historic park to
more effective contemporary use.
The Massachusetts Program has demonstrated that Olmsted's
firm was so prolific that virtually every major American city and
urban landscape received their attention. Between 1857 and 1950,
the firm was involved in over 5800 projects in all states in the
nation and in seven foreign countries. It is now possible to
document the work of the firm due to the careful preservation and
archival conservation work of the staff of the National Park Service
at Fairsted, Olmsted's Brookline, Massachusetts home and office
from 1883 until his death in 1903. Fairsted is now managed as a vast
archival resource for research and document conservation, as well
as a public museum. Through careful research, involving the
examination of plans, drawings, photographs, and correspondence
in the Brookline office and the Documents Division of the Library
of Congress, it will be possible to discover many long-forgotten and
Top: The "Buttonwood Bench," restored to the newly-constructed pedestrian
concourse in 1988. The Friends of Buttonwood Park received a modest Arts
Lottery Grant to pay for the construction of a mold for this historic bench, one
of several which now graces the park. Above: High Rock, Lynn, Massachusetts.
Vandalism of High Rock Tower typifies deteriorated conditions in the parks
even unknown projects executed by the Olmsted firm. As the
demand for restoration of historic parks nationwide continues to
expand, the resources at Fairsted and the experience of the
Massachusetts Olmsted Program will guide those charged with the
challenging task of rehabilitating extant examples of the work of
Olmsted, the great American park maker.
Anne Hoover Henderson worked with the Massachusetts Olmsted Program from
1987 to 1989, and is now associate and chair of the Landscape Architecture Program
at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. She holds a master's degree in
Landscape Architecture from North Carolina State University, as well as graduate
degrees in anthropology and psychology from the University of Michigan. Her
current teaching, research, and consulting interests include historic landscape
preservation, cultural resource management, and coastal tourism development.
' Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Environmental Affairs, Olmsted
Historic Landscape Preservation Program: Guidelines and Criteria for Implementation,
(Boston, April, 1985), pp. 5-6.
'Jeff Hayward, "Urban Parks: Research, Planning, and Social Change," in Public
Spaces and Places, eds. I. Altman and E. Zube (Plenum, 1989), p. 11.
'Hayward, pp. 12-13.
4 Hayward, p. 12.
5Walter-Kluesing Design Group, "Reclaiming the Useable Past: A Master Plan for
Veteran's Memorial Park and Zoo at Buttonwood Park, New Bedford, Massachusetts."
Boston, Massachusetts, (January 1988), p. 2.
HERITAGE SUMMER 1990 27
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 8, Number 3, Summer 1990, periodical, Summer 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45427/m1/27/: accessed May 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.