Olmsted-Beil Farmhouse is where Frederick Law Olmsted conducted the agricultural and landscaping experiments that would later influence his designs.
About Olmsted-Beil Farmhouse
Located in Eltingville on the south shore of Staten Island, Olmsted-Beil Farmhouse is where Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. resided from 1848-1855. The site—named Tosomock Farm by Olmsted—housed his agricultural and landscaping experiments and inspired many improvements that would influence his later designs.
He redesigned the grounds to improve their aesthetics and utility, including moving structures to improve views of the nearby Raritan Bay. He created winding roads and paths, refined drainage techniques for improving sanitation and planted native and exotic trees in great numbers and variety. Some tree species he planted at the farm were featured prominently in his designs for Central Park and other spaces.
During his residency at the farm, Olmsted embarked on a trip to Europe (1850) and then on two journeys through the American South (1852–1854) to report on slavery for The New York Times. These travels resulted in Walks and Talks of an American Farmer in England (1852) and The Cotton Kingdom (1861). It has recently been substantiated in Olmsted’s letters that he wrote both books while he was living at Tosomock Farm.
In 2006, Olmsted’s farmhouse was purchased by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation from the Beil family, and the site became part of the NYC Parks system, as Olmsted-Beil House Park. Today, the 1.7-acre site and two-story farmhouse are all that remain of the original 130-acre farm.
The house was designated a New York City Landmark in 1967 and was listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places in 2019 and the National Register of Historic Places in 2020. It is currently closed to the public while it awaits restoration.
Olmsted-Beil House by Adriano Chinellato
Olmsted-Beil House in Early Spring by Adriano Chinellato
Olmsted-Beil House in Fall by Adriano Chinellato
Olmsted-Beil House in Spring by Maureen Marlow
Olmsted-Beil House in Winter by Adriano Chinellato
Shared SpacesSpotlight on...Olmsted-Beil Farmhouse
Life & Times
Olmsted: The Scientific Farmer on Staten IslandA two-story farmhouse and two acres are all that remain of the original 125-acre ornamental farm that Frederick Law Olmsted...
Conservation & Advocacy
Call to Release Grant Funds for the Purchase of Olmsted Farm PropertyLand adjoining Frederick Law Olmsted’s farmhouse on Staten Island, which was instrumental in shaping his design principles, is in danger...
Eagle Scout honors Olmsted with service projectIt was only a few months ago— at the beginning of June— when the final stage of a two-year process came...
The “Frederick Law Olmsted on Staten Island Discovery Map”The Friends of Olmsted-Beil House (FOBH), a nonprofit organization working to preserve the 17th-century farmhouse on Staten Island, NY, where...
FLO Honored with Street Namings in NY and WIThroughout 2022, Olmsted 200 has been tracking the ways people are celebrating Frederick Law Olmsted’s bicentennial. From Olmsted-inspired painting and music compositions to record-breaking events held...
As one of the first planned communities in the country, Riverside serves as the realization of Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision for the ideal suburb.
Seaside Park was the first park designed by Olmsted and Vaux outside of metropolitan New York.