Percival Gallagher, Olmsted Brothers, at Vassar
If the involvement of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. at Vassar remains murky, we do know that the next generation of the Olmsted Brothers firm was engaged in campus landscape planning: Percival (Percy) Gallagher, partner of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., was Consulting Landscape Architect to Vassar from 1929-33, right after Beatrix Farrand held the position. He added to the growing arboretum that Farrand initiated, and contributed to landscape design around the newly-built Skinner Hall and so-called Euthenics Quad, comprising Blodgett, Cushing, Kenyon and Wimpfheimer. He also made recommendations for circulation on the Rock Lot – the site on the corner of Raymond Avenue and College Avenue, which housed Alumnae House, Williams House, and a green, then as now. This lot is the planned site of the Vassar Inn and Institute, for which the college currently plans to demolish Williams; so it is an interesting time to consider historic ideas for this space. (Another project is dedicated to the first-generation Olmsted firm involvement at Vassar.)
Participants: Yvonne Elet, Colin Croghan (VC ’21), Olivia Feltus (VC ’21), Nick Gorman (VC ’21), Caleb Mitchell (VC ’22), Julia Noonan (VC ’21), Sienna Ropert (VC ’21), Chloe Williams-Searle (VC ’21)
Contact: Yvonne Elet
For Percival Gallagher’s role in the Olmsted Brothers firm and his designs for Duke University and Harvard Business school, see Gary R. Hilderbrand, “Reciprocal Narratives on Campus. Two Olmsted Brothers Cases,” in Landscape and the Academy, ed. John Beardsley (Harvard University Press/Dumbarton Oaks: 2019), 39-65.