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Gail Ward Olmsted


Massachusetts Author to Present Designing America: The Olmsted Effect 

Gail Ward Olmsted will discuss the life and legacy of renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, a relative of her husband. Known as the father of American Landscape Architecture, Olmsted (1822-1903) along with his sons, was responsible for the design of hundreds of public parks, parkways, gardens and the grounds of academic institutions and private estates. Their projects included NY’s Central Park, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., and Boston’s Emerald Necklace park system including the Boston Public Garden, Arnold Arboretum, Back Bay Fens and Franklin Park. Closer to home, Olmsted and Sons was responsible for Springfield’s Forest Park, Holyoke’s Pulaski Park and the Colony Hills neighborhood in Longmeadow. 

Following the presentation, which will include photographs and some little known Olmsted trivia, Ms. Olmsted will read from her latest novel, Landscape of a Marriage, the mostly true story of the park-builder and his late brother’s widow Mary. Theirs began as a marriage of convenience but grew into a lifelong love affair as described in this critically acclaimed novel, published on July 29, 2021.  An Amazon #1 New Release, the book has won awards from a number of organizations. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of all of Ms. Olmsted’s books will be donated to the Holyoke Preservation Trust.


Gail Ward Olmsted was a marketing executive and a college professor before she began writing fiction on a full time basis. A trip to Sedona, AZ inspired her first novel Jeep Tour. Three more novels followed before she began Landscape of a Marriage. Her sixth novel Miranda Writes will be published by Black Rose Writing on September 8th. For more information, please visit her on Facebook and at For more information on the bicentennial celebration of Frederick Law Olmsted’s birth, visit

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