Dellwood Park is one of the Olmsted Linear Parks along Ponce de Leon Avenue in Druid Hills.

Frederick Law Olmsted, considered the father of landscape architecture, designed some of America’s most preeminent greenspaces: Central Park in New York City, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the Emerald Necklace in Boston, the grounds of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, and the grounds of the United States Capitol in Washington D.C.

In 1892, while finishing the Biltmore Estate, Olmsted was invited to Atlanta by developer Joel Hurt (who also conceived Inman Park) to design his latest planned community, Druid Hills. The centerpiece of the neighborhood would be a series of linear parks along Ponce de Leon Avenue. It would be Olmsted’s last commission before his death in 1903.

As with all his designs, Olmsted’s main goal, no matter what and where he was working, was to attempt to change American society for the better. He used his landscape designs to promote harmony, health and social democracy and believed that parks and greenspace were a place for all people to come together, build community and connect on common ground. 

A series of events are planned April 25-30 to commemorate Olmsted’s 200th birthday in the community.

Olmsted 200 Tennis Tournament
Olmsted Linear Park Association is partnering with the Druid Hills Golf Club to host the Olmsted 200 Tennis Tournament to benefit the park and commemorate Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday on April 25. The tournament will have two sessions: 5 to 6:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. This is a mixed doubles event limited to 44 players each session, so register early to reserve your slot. Players will be partnered up by their USTA level unless specified otherwise. This is a fun, charitable event and each registrant will receive a swag bag. Food and drinks will also be available. Register at atlantaolmstedpark.org.

Olmsted 200th Birthday Gala at Callanwolde
Celebrate Olmsted’s birthday in style on April 26 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at this black-tie optional soiree at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road. The evening will featuring live jazz music from Joe Gransden and culinary treats by Zest, along with beer and wine options. The event will be both indoors and outdoors, with COVID-19 protocols in place. At this posting, the gala was sold out, but check this link for the release of more tickets.

This home at 956 Springdale is on this year’s Druid Hills Home & Garden Tour.

Historic Druid Hills Home & Garden Tour
Twelve historic homes and gardens in the Olmsted-designed Druid Hills neighborhood will be showcased at the 52nd annual event, which returns after a two-year pandemic hiatus. Purchase tickets at this link.

Olmsted Linear Park Artists Market
Head over to Dellwood Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 30 for great shopping from local artisans, kids’ activities and more.

Shawn Mullins

Outdoor Concert at Emory Village
Bring your friends and your blankets to Emory Village on April 30 at 6 p.m. to mix, mingle, and listen to a free concert headlined by Grammy-nominated musician Shawn Mullins. 

For more details on these events and more, visit
atlantaolmstedpark.org/atlanta-olmsted-200.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.