Arnold Arboretum - Boston, MA
N 42° 18.458 W 071° 07.236
19T E 325221 N 4686110
Quick Description: The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is an arboretum located in the Jamaica Plain and Roslindale sections of Boston, Massachusetts. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and is the second largest "link" in the Emerald Necklace.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 12/23/2008 3:03:01 PM
Waymark Code: WM5DN7
"Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927) was appointed the Arboretum's first director in 1873 and spent the following 54 years shaping the policies and programs of the Arnold Arboretum. Since its inception, it has served as a model and benchmark for similar institutions, both in North America and elsewhere.
The successes of Sargent's directorship were due in part to his ability to raise the funds required to implement his plans and in part to a creative lease agreement that was forged between the City of Boston and Harvard in 1882. According to the terms of the thousand-year lease, the Harvard-owned land on which the Arnold Arboretum was established became part of the city park system, but control of the collections continued to reside with the Arboretum staff. The city was to maintain the perimeter walls, gates, and roadway system and provide police surveillance, while the Arboretum agreed to keep the grounds open to the general public, free of charge, from sunrise to sunset every day of the year. As a result of this unique arrangement the Arboretum became part of the famous "Emerald Necklace," the 7-mile-long network of parks and parkways that Frederick Law Olmsted laid out for the Boston Parks Department between 1878 and 1892.
The design of the Arboretum grew out of Sargent's close collaboration with Olmsted, who laid out the path and roadway system and designated areas within the Arboretum for specific groups of plants. Early on, Sargent decided to arrange the plant collections by family and genus, following the then generally accepted classification system of Bentham and Hooker. As Sargent envisioned it, "a visitor driving through the Arboretum will be able to obtain a general idea of the arborescent vegetation of the north temperate zone without even leaving his carriage. It is hoped that such an arrangement, while avoiding the stiff and formal lines of the conventional botanic garden, will facilitate the comprehensive study of the collections, both in their scientific and picturesque aspects."