The Olmsted, located on an 81 acre site which is the campus of the former Masonic Widows and Orphans Home at 3701 Frankfort Avenue in southeast Louisville, was constructed between 1925 and 1927. Designed by the architectural firm of Joseph and Joseph, the buildings were arranged around an elongated oval plan with the building located on the outer edge of the property. The dining hall, then the center of activities for all occupants of the Home, sits at the center of the complex.
The landscape plan for the campus was designed by the nationally recognized landscape architectural firm, Olmsted Brothers, headed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. The Olmsted Brothers were well recognized in Louisville, having designed numerous other projects here since the late nineteenth century. Olmsted, Jr. continued the legacy of his father in preserving natural park like areas, especially in urban areas.
Believing that natural environments provided healthier living conditions, he designed many of his park like areas for neighborhoods with a predominance of concrete. The planned designed for the Home included trees lining the paved driveways and two large open grass areas in the center of the complex. The setting provided the occupants of the Home an abundance of natural space for enjoyment.
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© 2004 The Olmsted
3701 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky