Historic Brighton Presents:

Frederick Law Olmsted –
Highland Park Genius of Place

  • Presented by Edna Claunch
  • Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 2:30 PM
  • Brighton Memorial Library – Friends Learning Center
  • ZOOM Live-Stream

Antique colored postcard illustration of Highland Park in Rochester, NY

Frederick Law Olmsted was hired in 1888 to design a park system for Rochester. Olmsted advised the Park Commission about land acquisition and designed three major parks between 1888 and 1891. He designed two major parks along the Genesee River because he judged the Genesee River to be Rochester’s fairest asset with natural settings that should be preserved. The third park was to be located on approximately twenty acres of land around the Highland Reservoir that Ellwanger and Barry Nursery Firm donated in January 1888. That tract of land was in the Town of Brighton.

Three deed restrictions regarded development of the land and Olmsted’s design for Highland Park did not match Ellwanger and Barry’s concept for the donated property. How was the difference between the design and the donors concept resolved?

The presentation will cover the resolution that came with Olmsted’s design principle of genius of place. Further, attention is given to the prominent Rochesterians and plantsmen who implemented Olmsted’s design.

Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th Birthday Anniversary in 2022 offers the opportunity for Rochester to celebrate his legacy and to return a key lost element to Olmsted’s plan for Highland Park.

About the Speaker:
Edna Claunch developed a passion for Highland Park back in 1967 when she first walked in the park shortly after moving to Rochester. Edna has been actively involved with projects in the park since 1999. She serves as vice-president of the Highland Conservancy Board. She and Don Alhart are co-chairmen of the capital campaign to reconstruct the Children’s Pavilion in Highland Park.

Please note: You must be fully vaccinated to attend this program in person. We ask that masks be worn at all times.

  • Reservations are required:
  • Please use our Events Contact Form to request for both IN-PERSON and ZOOM reservations.
  • Space is limited for in-person attendance. Please indicate your preference on the form.
  • If you wish to watch the program on ZOOM, the link will be sent to you the day prior to the event.
Cover image, Historic Brighton newsletter, Vol. 22, #2, Spring/Summer 2021

Due to our current inability to properly distribute the most recent newsletter to the public we have made it available online here for your convenience and enjoyment.

In our new Spring/Summer 2021 issue, some of the featured topics include:

  • A Jazz Age Murder in Brighton
  • The “Other” 12-Corners Plaza
  • Spotlight on Jim Christy: Brighton High School Class of 1957

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