Jamaica Pond

In 1880, Frederick Law Olmsted described Jamaica Pond as a "natural sheet of water, with quiet, graceful shores." So, unlike the other parks in the Emerald Necklace, Olmsted made few significant modifications to this place. He preserved its existing vegetation, including a bank of pines that gave “Pinebank” its name. The aim was to preserve the site's natural character and make it accessible to the public.

For the park, Olmsted created a system of walks that encircled the pond and a bridle path for the continuation of “The Ride” in order to provide citizens a respite from city living. Today his 1.5-mile path around the pond is a favorite for family strolls, joggers, and dog walkers. 

The Jamaicaway, a carriage drive connected to the Riverway and the Arborway, links movement throughout the system. Perkins Street and Parkman Drive were designed to encircle the pond for carriage traffic. “The Ride”also connected to the Back Bay Fens, the Muddy River Parks, and Franklin Park paralleling the parkways.

The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., John Charles Olmsted, and Charles Eliot.

Learn more about the history of the Jamaica Pond.

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