From Connie Weimar:
“Dream in Green” Gala
You’re invited to
the 7th annual party for the Olmsted Linear Park
Sunday, March 6, 2011, 7 pm – 10 pm
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Tickets: 404-377-5361 or email@example.com
When Charles Beveridge visited Druid Hills to view the restoration of the neighborhood’s linear park, designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, he judged the effort to be “the most thorough and comprehensive replanting of any Olmsted project undertaken in the last 25 years.” Beveridge should know. He is the foremost Olmsted expert, having edited the nine volumes of Olmsted’s papers and consulted on Olmsted restoration projects throughout the nation.
Beveridge’s comment was welcome news to the Olmsted Linear Park Alliance, the group that has spearheaded the rehabilitation and preservation of the park. This winter, the implementation phase of the decade-plus project will be complete, and OLPA is throwing a party to celebrate.
In what promises to be the neighborhood party of 2011, the “Dream in Green” gala will be held on Sunday, March 6, 2011, from 7p.m. to 10p.m. at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Co-chairs Rhonda Mullen and Claire Sterk promise an evening to remember with chances to connect with neighbors and park lovers, listen to live jazz, and sample delectable hors d’oeuvres and signature cocktails. Both a live and silent auction will feature beach and mountain getaways such as a weekend at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville (across from the Biltmore grounds, which Olmsted also designed)—along with fine art, rare wines, roundtrip airline tickets, and more.
Atlanta-based landscape architect Spencer Tunnell, who has interpreted Olmsted’s original 1904 plans for OLPA, sees the evolution of his work over the past 13 years as paralleling OLPA itself. Tunnell started his designs on the northernmost segments of the park by filling out Olmsted’s detailed plans for Springdale, Virgilee, and Oak Grove parks. He established vistas, articulated high points, and made modifications when necessary to accommodate the widening of Ponce de Leon Avenue, which runs alongside the park sections. In Deepdene, his work broadened to interpret Olmsted’s intent in the largely conceptual drawings the master architect made. One guiding principal that inspired Tunnell was Olmsted’s vision to capture a resource—a forest preserve—to set aside for the future.
During these same years, OLPA has grown from an organization dedicated to the implementation of plantings, hardscapes, and natural habitats to one with a broader vision. Now the group turns to building an endowment that will be create a lasting legacy for the park—even becoming a springboard for other community-building efforts.
“Olmsted knew intuitively that green space and parks make us happy,” says Tunnell. “He knew the importance of preserving land for the future, to save something undeveloped. He knew that this place could spur the Platonic ideal and become a place to study, play, come together, reflect, and be calm in the midst of our busy-ness. One hundred years later, that dream has come true.”
OLPA President Kirk Elifson echoes Tunnell’s sentiment: “The Olmsted Park is a legacy for all Atlantans, now and in the future.”