April 26, 2022 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, regarded as the father of landscape architecture. Join us as we explore the design of one of his most significant projects – the town of Riverside, Illinois, a National Historic Landmark named by Geoffrey Baer as one of the “10 Towns that Changed America.”

In 1869, a group of businessmen purchased 1,600 acres of farmland along the Des Plaines River, nine miles west of Chicago, upon which to establish a new type of residential development. Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner Calvert Vaux, who had achieved nationwide recognition a decade earlier for their design of Central Park in New York City, were engaged to design the layout of the community.

Olmsted’s brilliant plan built upon the winding river to create a picturesque setting that rejected the standard city grid in favor of a series of curvilinear streets that resulted in beautiful vistas and dozens of triangular mini-parks in the process. The developers went bankrupt in 1871 and it was left to resident and noted architect William LeBaron Jenney to bring Olmsted’s vision to completion.

The presentation will be given by Charles Pipal, a practicing architect, award-winning professor in Historic Preservation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the current chair of the Riverside Preservation Commission.

The program will be recorded, and all attendees will receive a link afterwards which will remain active for seven days.

$12 per person