Arts and Culture

Thirty years ago, former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson oversaw the creation of the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, a nonprofit dedicated to the maintenance of our city’s Olmsted Parks.

With the help of his sons, Frederick Law Olmsted — perhaps best known for his design of Central Park in New York City — designed 18 of Louisville’s parks.

To celebrate the work of Olmsted and the efforts of the Conservancy, the Frazier History Museum is opening a new exhibition this month called: “Olmsted’s Louisville.”

In a release, Conservancy President and CEO Layla George said the parks are a significant part of the history of the city.

“Celebrating our milestone anniversary with the Frazier History Museum is a fitting way to recognize the significance these parks and parkways have played in shaping the city Louisville is today.” said George.

“Olmsted’s Louisville” will feature architectural plans for the parks, historical documents about their creation, neighborhood maps, portraits, photographs, and interactive content, including a listening station.

The exhibition will also discuss the destruction of the parks during the Force 5 tornado that tore through the city in April 1974, and the process of rebuilding the designs so carefully set forth by Olmsted.

“The Frazier is where the world meets Kentucky, and Louisville is home to one of only four completed Olmsted parks systems in the world,” said Frazier President Penny Peavler. “So we’re excited to celebrate Olmsted and his lasting impact on our community.”

“Olmsted’s Louisville” will run through October 2019.

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.