Berkeley, Saturday, June 29, 2019 5:20 AM
It belongs to June 28, 2019
It is almost time to wake up, I am going recently to sleep.
Today, I rushed to campus, at almost the leaving time. I got two books from the library at 4:59 PM, just before they closed.
Further, I worked on the history of watershed planning.
Contributions from Olmsted to the United States, from which many we can learn elsewhere, have been great. A truly polymath, who designed with Vaux the New York Central Park in 1858. Beyond that a man who faced the opportunities as they came. It happens often to him just to be in the right place. A journalist. After his experience in England in 1850. He was sent to South as a journalist from which he became a defender against slavery. He wrote a book then. The Cotton Kingdom. Then, he got a job in one of the public offices from New York. In 1858, he participated in the design competition, with the English Architect Vaux, for New York Central Park. Their project was selected as the winner out of 33 projects, and further Olmsted was hired to supervise is construction. While he was fired or either renounced after the culmination. His project is what we can see nowadays in New York, though I have not visited it yet. I am not sure about the year, it might be in 1961, he went to south states again, now ,during the Civil War. He was in position in the United States Sanitary Commission (USCC), which later became the Red Cross. My understanding is that his abilities as designer and manager, were very effective to construct hospitals and provide medical assistance to the war victims. These years between 1960 and 1963, I have not read in quite detail. In 1963, he was back in New York. He got an offer for a job in Mariposa Estate in California, which is next to Yosemite. The job was to be the manager for a gold mining company from owned by Fremont. It is interesting that for coming to San Francisco from New York at that time, he went by boat to Panama, took a train, which was nearby the current Panama Canal, and then by boat to San Francisco. After a year in the Gold mining job, to which he had concerns about the overexploitation of mining at that time. In June, 1964, President Abraham Lincoln signed bill to deed the Yosemite Valley and the nearby Mariposa Grove to the State of California to ensure this land will not fall into the hands of private developers. I am sure that Muir Woods writing had a big influence on President Lincoln request, but I was reading the biography of Olmsted by Martin (2011). Great book. In 1964, Olmsted was assigned as chairman for leading the commission for making the plan to protect those lands.
I also was reading the book the Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. While here I am writing background information. What a beautiful book. I read the part of surface waters and underground waters. The studies, and the findings of DDT in the waters, in the plankton, even generations that the DDT was not anymore in the waters. DDD in plankton predators, fish tissues, then in the bird tissues. Writing that narrative at least took a tear my eye.