Updates from ASLA


Congress Honors Olmsted with Kentucky Coffeetree

Anne “Dede” Petri (President & CEO, Olmsted Network) and Torey Carter-Conneen (CEO, ASLA) pose in front of Olmsted’s Kentucky coffeetree. Image provided by Olmsted Network.

On June 22, 2023, Congress recognized Frederick Law Olmsted, the first landscape architect of the U.S. Capitol, in the grounds he created, with the dedication of a memorial tree. The event was spearheaded by Rep. French Hill (R-AR) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) who in 2022 also introduced a Resolution honoring Olmsted during the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Olmsted served as the landscape architect of the Capitol from 1874-1892. He designed the grounds, using trees to frame the U.S. Capitol Building and provide shade and respite to passersby. He also was responsible for creating the terraces which anchor the Capitol. (Read up on the history here.)

The Kentucky coffeetree honors Olmsted’s legacy and acknowledges the far-reaching influence that Olmsted had on America’s physical landscape and social fabric.

James Kaufmann, Director of Capitol Grounds and Arboretum, Architect of the Capitol, opened the brief ceremony. The ceremony is available on YouTube here.
Architect of the Capitol staff members stand alongside Big Head Fred

Representatives of the Olmsted Network, American Society of Landscape Architects, The Garden Club of America, American University and others were in attendance. So was Big Head Fred. The 7-foot-tall caricature of Olmsted, born of the combined talents of illustrator David Lee Csicsko and puppet-maker Randy Carfagno for Olmsted 200, is now traveling across the country visiting Olmsted landscapes.

See photos from the event here. See ASLA photos and remarks via Twitter here.

Leave a Comment