The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.

History of U.S. Landscape Architecture, Part 1

Kristin Faurest explores the history of the profession of landscape architecture from its origins through the 1960s, providing a vibrant global context of how humankind has shaped its landscape over the ages.

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Course Info

  • Duration 8 video lessons (64 Mins)
  • Published Published
  • Trending Trending
  • 4.53
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Browse Course Chapters

  • Chapter Locked
    Meet Your Instructor
    Chapter Duration 2 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    An Introduction to Landscape Architecture
    Chapter Duration 5 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Origins of Landscape Architecture
    Chapter Duration 5 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    The English Influence and Parks for the Public
    Chapter Duration 16 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Shaping Cities
    Chapter Duration 12 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Onward Into the 20th Century
    Chapter Duration 8 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Landscape Modernism
    Chapter Duration 12 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Chapter Duration 2 mins

What You Will Learn

  • Understand the evolution of landscape architecture as a profession from the mid 19th century to 1970.
  • Know some of the key early figures and their ideas, philosophies, and most significant works. Identify some of the key impacts landscape architects had on shaping U.S. cities and communities.
  • Understand the training and education of landscape architects and how it evolved during this time period. 
  • Outline and explain trends and changes in the use and design of parks and open spaces during this time. 
  • Understand some of the major outside drivers and factors that influenced U.S. landscape architecture (social, racial, economic, environmental).

Course Description

Beginning with a brief introduction of the global context of how humankind has shaped its landscape over the ages, this course focuses on the origins of the profession in mid-19th century United States. Frederick Law Olmsted, who drew influence from the English romantic landscape tradition but formed his own distinctive philosophy and design approach, ultimately left a more significant mark on American cities than any other member of the profession. From Olmsted we continue to the 20th century and examine the works of the significant figures of landscape architecture who shaped our built environments at both the small scale (residential) and large scale (urban parks). We'll discuss how the profession and its educational standards evolved and what parks and other public spaces designed by landscape architects intended to give the public. Our conclusion will leave us in the 1960s and ready to move on to Part 2, which will take us to the present day.

Learn these skills

  • Architecture
  • Environmental Planning
  • History
  • Land Use
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Plan Making
  • Site Planning
  • Sustainability
  • Urban Design
  • Urbanism


This course is approved for 1 AICP CM credit.


This course is for 1 LU.

Meet Your Instructor

Kristin Faurest

Kristin Faurest

Kristin Faurest is a public garden education and outreach professional, author, and landscape architecture educator, committed to a world where everyone has equal access to nature and healthy food.

Meet Instructor

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