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The Olmsted Parks of Louisville

A Botanical Field Guide

Patricia Dalton Haragan. foreword by Susan M. Rademacher, Susan Wilson, Chris Bidwell, and Daniel H. Jones

Publication Year: 2014

Frederick Law Olmsted, popularly known as the "Father of American Landscape Architecture," is famous for designing New York City's Central Park, the U.S. Capitol grounds, and the campuses of institutions such as Stanford University and the University of Chicago. His celebrated projects in Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Milwaukee, and other cities led to a commission from the city of Louisville, Kentucky, in 1891. There, he partnered with community leaders to design a network of scenic parks, tree-lined parkways, elegant neighborhoods, and beautifully landscaped estate gardens that thousands of visitors still enjoy today.

The Olmsted Parks of Louisville is the first authoritative manual on the 380 species of trees, herbaceous plants, shrubs, and vines populating the nearly 1,900 acres that comprise Cherokee, Seneca, Iroquois, Shawnee, and Chickasaw Parks. Designed for easy reference, this handy field guide includes detailed photos and maps as well as ecological and historical information about each park. Author Patricia Dalton Haragan also includes sections detailing the many species of invasive plants in the parks and discusses the native flora that they displaced.

This guide provides readers with a key to Olmsted's vision, revealing how various plant species were arranged to emphasize the beauty and grandeur of nature. It will serve as an essential resource for students, nature enthusiasts, and the more than ten thousand visitors who use the parks.

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xi

Stories fill our landscapes— from the densest urban core to the wilds of Montana— but finding and reading those stories requires time and some acquaintance with the special places of a site and its inhabitants. In this regard, a park is no different from Paris: to know it, you must spend time there. And the magic of Louisville’s...

Parks Map

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p. xii

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Susan M. Rademacher

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pp. 1-6

Who was Frederick Law Olmsted? And what is special about his Louisville parks as containers for such a stunning array of native and naturalized plants? This towering shaper of the American landscape explored many roles— seaman, farmer, mine manager, abolitionist, Federal Department of Sanitation...

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About This Book

Patricia Dalton Haragan

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pp. 7-20

The purpose of this local field guide is to aid in the identification of and spark an interest in the 384 plants highlighted herein, which grow within the five most popular Olmsted Parks: Cherokee, Seneca, Iroquois, Shawnee, and Chickasaw. Located within the city limits, these signature parks together total roughly...

Illustrated Plant Structures

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pp. 21-30

Plant Descriptions of 384 Species

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pp. 31-32

Plant Descriptions: Ferns and Fern Allies

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pp. 33-41

Plant Descriptions: Herbaceous Plants, Woody Vines, and Shrubs

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pp. 42-334

Plant Descriptions: Trees

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pp. 335-387

Plant Descriptions: Sedges, Rushes, and Grasses

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pp. 388-408


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pp. 409-418


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pp. 419-422

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pp. 423-424

There are several people who have been instrumental while working on this book. First and foremost, I am indebted to my husband, Chris, who has been supportive of this project every step of the way. I am also indebted to Alan Nations, arborist, naturalist, found er of NativeScapes, Inc., and former Naturalist and Restoration...

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Olmsted Parks Conservancy

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pp. 425-426

The mission of Louisville’s Olmsted Parks Conservancy is to enrich the life of everyone in the community by restoring, enhancing, and preserving the Frederick Law Olmsted Parks and Parkways—Louisville’s great natural and recreational assets. In one way or another, parks have the ability to improve almost every aspect...


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pp. 427-444

E-ISBN-13: 9780813144566
E-ISBN-10: 0813144566
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813144542

Page Count: 472
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 875098838
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Olmsted Parks of Louisville

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Subject Headings

  • Plants -- Kentucky -- Louisville -- Identification.
  • Plants -- Kentucky -- Louisville -- Pictorial works.
  • Parks -- Kentucky -- Louisville.
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