“Milwaukee’s Lake Park, as it was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1895 and as it stands today, consists of a series of graded and landscaped areas topping natural eighty foot bluffs, with access to Lake Michigan through steeply winding ravines. The Olmsted plan provided for meadowland, wooded sections, a trolley terminal, a concert grove and a refectory as well as for carriage roads and footpaths, all in a pastoral setting. Two Edwardian splendors, paradoxical to Olmsted’s point of view, were added during the park’s early years: an elegantly curved double staircase leading downward from the pavilion to the lake, and a pride of eight regal lions guarding the lighthouse bridge. Other concessions to changing tastes and changing needs have been made throughout the park’s history; nevertheless, Lake Park has been scrupulously maintained as a serene urban refuge. Above all, Lake Park is a tribute to Olmsted’s ideal of a city park that is understood and cherished as a single, unified work of art. Lake Park is an accessible, enduring work of art. A work of art that is part of our day-to-day lives and one that, as it celebrates the changing seasons and passing years, enriches those days beyond all measure.”

Buck, Diane. “A Celebration of Lake Park.”
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 1981.

The Susan Vliet
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Whitney Gould’s articles on Olmsted’s Landscape Architecture