Saturday, February 12, 2022

Pic(k) of the Week: Steps to the Dene

Steps to the Dene

Stone steps lead down to a ford over Deepdene Creek in the eponymous city park, "reminiscent of the majesty of great piedmont forests before Atlanta was settled." 1

The park is located in DeKalb County, Georgia, USA, just outside the city of Atlanta.
Deepdene Park is the largest segment of the six-park Olmstead Linear Park system, forming the eastern end. Unlike the other five pastoral segments [within Atlanta], it is a wooded tract with a stream winding through its 22 acres and a topography that ranges from steep slopes [i.e., dene 2] to a flat meadow.
Olmstead Linear Park Alliance.

Frederick Law Olmsted, born in 1822, is considered the founder of American landscape architecture. Among his more famous works, he designed Central Park in New York City, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the Emerald Necklace of Boston, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, and the grounds of the U.S. Capitol building. And Atlanta's Olmsted Linear Park. Olmsted began work on the system in 1893; his sons completed it in 1905. 3

Olmsted was an early leader of the conservation movement in the United States. He lobbied Congress to designate Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Grove as public reserves, the first lands set aside by Congress for public use. Activities are planned throughout this year to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth. 4
Drawing influences from English landscape and gardening, Olmsted emphasized design that encourages the full use of the naturally occurring features of a given space, its "genius"; the subordination of individual details to the whole so that decorative elements do not take precedence, but rather the whole space is enhanced; concealment of design, design that does not call attention to itself; design that works on the unconscious to produce relaxation; and utility or purpose over ornamentation. A bridge, a pathway, a tree, a pasture: any and all elements are brought together to produce a particular effect. Olmsted designed primarily in the pastoral and picturesque styles.

Photo taken 12 December 2021.


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