In 1907, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. became the landscape architect for the Washington National Cathedral.  Summoned by Bishop Henry Yates Satterlee, Olmsted and the Olmsted Brothers firm advised Cathedral leaders for the next 20 years, helping to site the Cathedral and to develop landscape plans for the 57 acres which comprise the Cathedral Close. For a virtual tour:

View of the Bishop’s Garden, summer 1922,, (Job No. 03297) from the Olmsted Archives, Courtesy of NPS Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site  

Over that time, the Olmsted Brothers firm worked closely with Florence Brown Bratenahl, self-taught gardener who chaired the Garden Committee of All Hallows Guild (AHG).   Founded in 1916, AHG continues to steward the Cathedral Gardens and Grounds, working with the Cathedral’s horticultural staff. 

In the 1990s, AHG undertook a multi-year, multi-million dollar campaign to restore the woods at the southern end of the Close – now known as the Olmsted Woods. It continues to focus time and resources on this five-acre woodland, part of the original Olmsted plan for the Cathedral Grounds.

1910 Design of the Cathedral Close, Olmsted Brothers,  Job. No. 03297,  from All Hallows Guild

At its annual meeting on November 1,  2021, AHG, which is a member of the Olmsted network and an Olmsted 200 celebration partner,  invited National Association for Olmsted Parks president and CEO (and AHG member), Dede Petri, to offer the keynote:   Celebrating 200 Years of the Olmsted Legacy:  From the Capitol to the Cathedral.   The presentation is available here.