Charles Eliot (landscape architect)

Charles Eliot (Landscape Architect)

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Charles Eliot (landscape architect)

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Charles Eliot (November 1, 1859 – March 25, 1897) was a leading American landscape architect, whose career was cut short by death at age 38 from spinal meningitis. Eliot pioneered many of the fundamental principles of regional planning and laid the conceptual and political groundwork for land and historical conservancies across the world. In addition, he played a central role in shaping the Boston Metropolitan Park System, designed a number of public and private landscapes, and wrote prolifically on a host of topics.

Eliot was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts where his father Charles William Eliot was president of Harvard University, and in 1901, after his son's death, author of a biography of his son's life. His father's cousin, Charles Eliot Norton, was professor of art history at Harvard, and a well-known literary figure. On graduation from Harvard in 1882, Eliot pursued special horticultural courses at Bussey Institute at Harvard to prepare himself for the profession of landscape architecture. Eliot is part of the American Eliot family, a family of many distinguished Americans originating from Boston and today, his grandchildren and great grandchildren continue efforts to protect the earth he so loved.

In 1883 he became an apprentice for Frederick Law Olmsted and Company, where he worked on designs for Cushing Island, Maine (1883), Franklin Park (1884), the Arnold Arboretum (1885), the Fens (1883) in Boston, and Belle Isle Park (1884) in Detroit. In 1885, on...
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