Cookie Cutter Campus

For my final project Kendra and I will be comparing and contrasting Olmstead design campuses across the U.S. and Montevallo.

When we went to the library to learn about the history and design of this campus, we felt strongly about this topic for our project. It was really interesting to learn about what is here and what has been replaced over the years. Montevallo is a true Olmstead design campus with its winding walkways and the scenery to be enjoys from all around. Olmstead was about keeping nature as is and just placing building with in, he didnt want to destroy the natural beauty of the surroundings.’ Olmsted believed the goal wasn’t to make viewers see his work. It was to make them unaware of it. To him, the art was to conceal art. And the way to do this was to remove distractions and demands on the conscious mind. Viewers weren’t supposed to examine or analyze parts of the scene. They were supposed to be unaware of everything that was working. His designs subtly direct movement through the landscape. Pedestrians are led without realizing they’re being led. It’s a strange sensation of feeling lost yet completely confident that you can easily return to your starting point.”(Linderman)

We went back to the library and talked to Carey Heatherely and he helped out a lot with information on Olmstead and where to start looking. He gave us a handful of websites that came in handy when looking up information. (his ideas and a great website about the firm and its architects) (all of the buildings that J. C. Olmsted worked on in the Seattle area, including the University of Washington.

We will be presenting our project in powerpoint form. Starting off with a brief history of Olmstead and his design ethic, plan and theory. We will be comparing three different places to an Olmstead design including Montevallo, Stanford, and Mount Holyoke with Central Park. Comparing the winding paths and getting lost on campus with its beauty and the colors in the trees on your way to class. Contrasting campuses with a different design will be easy to find but the differences in the layout could be a little difficult. You could always find a little Olmstead in any campus I feel like except UAB. Contrasting UAB to Olmstead will be the easiest. The buildings all around and the few patches of landscape are just grass with no trees, Its a depressing campus. With our last slide on our presentation we will discuss the many benefits of having and Olmstead design campus, which include style, scenery, and environmental conservation.


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