FSOP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Seattle's unique Olmsted landscape heritage
and raising awareness of the Olmsted philosophy of providing open space for all people.

Coming Soon - New FSOP website

Check back in late May to see our newly redesigned website for

Friends of Seattle's Olmsted Parks.

We are excited to share new resources via the website, including:

  • More information about the history of Seattle's Olmsted legacy, including historical documents and resources
  • An interactive map of Seattle's Olmsted parks and boulevards
  • A link to the soon-to-be-launched Olmsted Online website, which will feature historical information, photographs, and plans relating to Olmsted Brothers-designed and influenced landscapes in Washington.
  • Information about upcoming events
  • New membership and e-newsletter sign-ups
  • Membership renewals
  • More up-to-date communications with our members and others interested in Seattle's Olmsted history

Volunteer Park Restoration Party - September 30th

The Volunteer Park Trust will be hosting its first event in the park on Sunday, September 30th, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (rain or shine!). Come by for all or part of the day to help clean up areas surrounding the reservoir. It will be a great opportunity to meet others interested in preserving Seattle’s Olmsted Legacy and to learn more about the Volunteer Park Trust. Bring your friends! (Kids are welcome, too.)

Seattle Parks and Recreation will supply tools and gloves or bring your own. Check in at the Black Sun sculpture across from the Seattle Asian Art Museum for work assgnments, more information about the Trust, and some tasty doughnuts from Top Pot.

FSOP Annual Meeting and Potluck - September 15

Join us on Saturday, September 15th at 10:00 a.m. for a walking tour of Green Lake Park, followed by the FSOP Annual Meeting and Potluck. We will meet at the north entrance of the Green Lake Community Center for the tour. The meeting and potluck start at noon in the community center. See the Summer 2012 newsletter (under "Newsletters" tab) for a list of incoming board members.

2012 Walking Tour Schedule

Please join us for a series of walking tours of Olmsted-designed parks and boulevards
this year. All tours (except those at Jefferson Park in July) begin at 10:00 a.m.
and last approximately two hours.

June 16 Volunteer Park

Meet at Black Sun sculpture across from the Seattle Asian Art Museum

July 14 Jefferson Park

Meet at the gate house in the center of the park. Tours will start at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. and are part of the Jefferson Park dedication program.

August 12 Lake Washington Blvd (Bicycle Tour)

Meet at the Colman Park parking lot at Lake Washington Boulevard (not the Mt. Baker Beach parking lot). This tour takes place on a Sunday, to take advantage of the road closure for Bicycle Sunday. Lake Washington Boulevard is closed to vehicles south of Mt. Baker Beach. Drivers can arrive from the north on Lakeside Avenue or through Colman Park on Lake Washington Boulevard South.

Sept. 15 Green Lake Park

Meet at the north entrance of the Green Lake Community Center

Volunteer Park Landmark Nomination Wins Award

FSOP is pleased to announce that our efforts to gain city landmark designation for Volunteer Park have been recognized by Historic Seattle with a Community Advocacy award. The award was presented to FSOP at the Historic Seattle Preservation Awards Ceremony on May 15th. Our thanks to Historic Seattle for this honor!

Volunteer Park Designated City of Seattle Landmark

On November 2, 2011, the City of Seattle's Landmark Preservation Board voted to designate Volunteer Park a city landmark. Friends of Seattle's Olmsted Parks prepared the nomination and we are thrilled to have succeeded in gaining this recognition and protection for the Olmsted-designed park. The nomination, which was roundly praised by the members of the Landmarks Preservation Board, was prepared by Charlie Sundberg, Brooks Kolb, Sue Nicol, and Jennifer Ott. Many thanks to them and the numerous other FSOP members who helped with its preparation. Now that the park has been designated a landmark, Landmark Preservation Board staff will negotiate a Controls and Incentives agreement with Seattle Parks.

The nomination can be viewed on this website (use toolbar at left, click on "Volunteer Park") and at the City of Seattle website ( olunteerPark.pdf).

2012 FSOP Tours
Please join us for a series of walking tours of Olmsted-designed parks and boulevards and a bike tour of Lake Washington Boulevard.

Schedule Coming Soon!

Northern State Hospital Tour

August 20, 2011

Map of Northern State Hospital Site

Program Flyer


Past Events and Activies

Washington State Capitol Events

February 27, 2010

Program Flyer

Centennial Celebration of the
Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition

FROM PAST TO FUTURE: The AYP Legacy on Campus
As the year-long celebration of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition centennial in 2009 drew to an end,
the Friends of Seattle's Olmsted Parks presented a forum about the future of the
Olmsted and AYP legacy on the UW campus.

Program Details

This program was free and open to the public and was made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Washington
and support from UW College of Built Environments and Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks

“The magnificent views of Mt. Rainier and other mountains and of Lake Union will, however, be by far the greatest features of the exposition and will be vividly remembered by most visitors when the best efforts of architects and landscape gardeners have been forgotten.” John Charles Olmsted,Alaska-Yukon Magazine - November 1906


Olmsted Legacy of the A-Y-P at
University of Washington Campus

Friends of Seattle's Olmsted Parks
Presented Free A-Y-P Walking Tours in 2009


A web-based walking tour,
developed by the University of Washington,
may be viewed by clicking below.

Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks led monthly free walking tours to explore the Olmsted legacy of the
Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and the evolution of the University of Washington campus as part of the A-Y-P centennial.
The Olmsted Brothers, the renowned landscape architecture firm from Brookline, Mass., prepared
campus plans for the University and designed the layout and landscape for the 1909 A-Y-P Exposition.
The tours started with a slide presentation that gave an overview of the development of this legacy.
The first walking tour started at Cunningham Hall, one of the few remaining structures from the A-Y-P Exposition.
Cunningham Hall closed for moving to an new location on the campus, so tours subsequent tours started at the Burke Museum.


The A-Y-P centennial program of Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks included walking tours, presentations,
and the Olmsted Legacy brochure which are made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Washington,
a state-wide non-profit organization supported by the National Endowments for the
Humanities, the state of Washington, and contributions from individuals and foundations.
The starting locations for the walking tours were provided courtesy of the UW’s
Cunningham Hall Women’s Center and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Program supported in part by a grant from


Additional Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks
Events for the A-Y-P Centennial


Step Back in Time
Dunn Gardens June 5 & 6, 2009

As part of the Dunn Gardens program, FSOP spoke on the Olmsted design of the A-Y-P grounds
and the tie to private estates and gardens.


Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Symposium
Historic Seattle/MOHAI/FSOP June 20 & 21, 2009

This symposium, hosted at MOHAI, set the stage for understanding the A-Y-P Exposition in the context of previous
and subsequent fairs and important nationwide civic and parks movements.

The Friends of Seattle's Olmsted Parks produced an interpretive panel focused on the
planning of the A-Y-P grounds and the design of the landscape by the Olmsted firm.

FSOP also published a 12-page A-Y-P Centennial News with reprints of historic newspaper articles on the development
of the Olmsted plans for Seattle’s park system and the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition. The Centennial News will be
available at various venues throughout the centennial year including the University of Washington Visitors Center.
A PDF of the first two pages may be viewed by clicking the thumbnails.

1 2

Current Issues

Friends of Seattle Olmsted Parks is Recruiting New Board Members
The Board of Friends of Seattle Olmsted Parks (FSOP) is currently looking for new board members.
Candidates should have a strong background in landscape architecture, planning, historic and cultural preservation
or horticulture. For those who are interested in stewardship of Seattle's landscape heritage with a particular
focus on Seattle's park system and in building the awareness of our Olmsted legacy both public and private,
please contact Brooks Kolb at 206-324-0858,

Upcoming Resources
We are currently working on the FSOP web pages. If there is specific information you would like to see on
our website, please let us know. Click here to send an email to the webmaster.

We plan to develop pages including:

 Contact FSOP
We would love to hear from you about any ideas for projects in your local neighborhood Olmsted landscapes!
Click Here to contact us about being added to our mailing list or to request specific printed materials

Recent Projects and Archives

Olmsted Bike Tour Maps

2003 Olmsted Centennial Celebration

Celebrating 100 years of Seattle's Olmsted Legacy...
and planning for the century to come!

Over 75 partner and sponsor organizations came to gather to host a fantastic year of lectures, tours, conferences, walks and projects.

For information about the cenetennial and to see our list of partners and sponsors, please click below.

For copies of printed materials and press pieces, please contact FSOP



Seattle, April 30th - May 4th, 2003
Our Olmsted Legacy
Learning from the Past, Inspiring the Future

FSOP hosted the National Association for Olmsted Parks national conference here in Seattle. It was a huge success with over 200 local and national participants turning out to discuss and envision the future of parks and open space in the Puget Sound region and across the country.

(For information about the conference,
please click on the link below)

To request conference information, contact FSOP