Envisioning two walks with Frederick Law Olmsted



Witold Rybczynski
PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID GRAHAM

NORTHEAST HARBOR — In a special Beatrix Farrand Society program commemorating Frederic Law Olmsted’s bicentennial, Witold Rybczynski, author of the prizewinning Olmsted biography “A Clearing in the Distance” will talk about the life of the famous park builder and take guests on a “walk” through two of his most memorable landscapes, Prospect Park in Brooklyn and the Biltmore estate in Asheville, N.C. The program will be held at Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 21. 

Rybczynski has written 18 books on subjects as varied as the evolution of comfort, a history of the weekend, American urbanism, the development of a new community and a search for the origins of the screwdriver. His book “Home” has been translated into 10 languages and was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Prize, while “A Clearing in the Distance” received the J. Anthony Lukas Prize, a Christopher Award, a Philadelphia Athenæum literary award, and was shortlisted for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction.  

His essays have appeared regularly in Architect and The New York Times, and he has written for The Atlantic, The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. In 2014, he was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. He has been architecture critic for Saturday Night, Wigwag and Slate. In 2014, Rybczynski received the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Design Mind. His latest book, “Charleston Fancy: Little Houses and Big Dreams in the Holy City,” received the 2020 Literary Award from the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. 

Rybczynski studied architecture at McGill University in Montreal, where he also taught. He is currently emeritus professor of urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania. 

The program costs $10 for members, $20 for nonmembers and free for students. 

Registration is required online at www.beatrixfarrandsociety.org/programs or call (207) 288-0237 and leave a message with your name and number of guests. 

The Beatrix Farrand Society is a nonprofit organization founded to foster the art and science of horticulture and landscape design, with emphasis on the life and work of Beatrix Farrand. Their administrative offices are located at Garland Farm in Bar Harbor, the historic site of Beatrix Farrand’s last home and gardens.  

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