Photo courtesy of Mark Krancer

Special screening of “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America”


Special screening of “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America”


Jacksonville, Fla. – December 20,  2016 – On Tuesday, January 10, at 7 P.M., the Memorial Park Association will present a special screening of the documentary, “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing Americaat Sun-Ray Cinema. It will be followed by a Q & A with Olmsted authority, Laurence Cotton. The screening is free, but seating is limited, so reservations are required. (SOLD OUT)

*** January 6, 2016- UPDATE:  Because of the overwhelming response, the special screening is sold out. MPA is in the process of scheduling a second screening and will post the date when confirmed. For those interested in attending the second screening, please email us at mpaspecialscreening2@memparkjax.orgAn email response will be sent acknowledging your reservation, which will be required at the door.

The Memorial Park Association is showing the film to educate the public about the Olmsted Brothers, the landscape architects of Memorial Park and their prominence in founding landscape architecture in America. The association wants to promote local understanding of why the park is significant in America. 

Laurence Cotton is a writer, historian, and filmmaker who studied cultural anthropology and film at Hampshire College and served as principal researcher and consulting producer for “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America.”  Following the screening, which premiered nationwide on PBS in June 2014, Cotton will hold a Q & A.

 “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America” is a co-production of  WNED-TV Buffalo-Toronto and Florentine Films/Hott Productions, Inc..  The documentary is narrated by Stockard Channing and the voice of Olmsted is performed by Campbell Scott. For additional information about the documentary, please visit:


About Memorial Park and the Memorial Park Association
Memorial Park is located at 1620 Riverside Ave., between Margaret Street and Memorial Park Drive in Riverside near the 5 Points area of Jacksonville, Fla. Established in 1986, The Memorial Park Association is a nonprofit charitable organization serving its mission to enhance, promote and preserve Memorial Park as the premier historic park in the City of Jacksonville. Designed by the famed Olmsted Brothers and dedicated on Dec. 25, 1924, it is the only park in the state dedicated to the 1,220 Floridians who lost their lives in service during World War I. In 2012, the Memorial Park Association initiated major planning efforts to restore and rehabilitate Memorial Park to its original grandeur, culminating in the development of a viable master plan that will serve as the foundation for continued restoration efforts. Learn more about Memorial Park and the Memorial Park Association here or visit them on Facebook or Twitter.

laurence-cotton-pictureAbout Laurence Cotton
June 2014 saw the nationwide PBS premiere of a long awaited film project, Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America. Writer, historian and filmmaker, Laurence originated the Olmsted film, and served as principal researcher and as Consulting Producer. Directed by his colleague, Lawrence Hott of Florentine Films/Hott Productions, the film premiered before public audiences in the key Olmsted cities of Boston, Buffalo and New York City during the spring of 2014. A prior film project, C.E.S. Wood, which Laurence Cotton wrote and produced for the Oregon Experience series on Oregon Public Broadcasting, has received numerous broadcasts and remains a popular program, detailing the story of the friendship between the colorful personality C.E.S. Wood – who began his career as a U.S. Army officer engaged in the Indian Wars and who subsequently became one of the leading progressive voices of early 20th Cent. Portland and Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce.

Raised in the eastern suburbs of Boston, Mr. Cotton began his career in the arenas of conflict resolution, international affairs and international humanitarian assistance, serving on the staff of Oxfam America, headquartered in Boston, and with several Harvard University affiliated foreign policy organizations. Laurence also made a foray into public radio, as an independent producer, and as executive producer and host of the nationally syndicated show Cambridge Forum. Laurence relocated to Oregon in 1994 to serve as Executive Director of the World Affairs Council of Oregon. Mr. Cotton served on committees that planned legacy projects for the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial, played a role launching the restoration efforts for Vista House and served as a consultant to the Confluence Project, a series of environmentally and culturally sensitive landscape installations designed by Maya Lin along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Laurence Cotton serves as historian on board small ship cruise vessels that ply the rivers and coastlines of N. America. Mr. Cotton currently serves as Trustee of the Oregon State Parks Foundation. Laurence Cotton studied cultural anthropology and film at Hampshire College, in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Laurence likes to joke that he and Ken Burns were classmates at Hampshire College, and they made an early film together their sophomore year. The difference being that Laurence majored in cultural anthropology and minored in film, whereas Ken majored in film and as they say, the rest is history….Though do keep in mind, Laurence’s partner in this Olmsted film project is another Lawrence, Lawrence Hott, who was an original partner in Ken Burns’ production company, Florentine Films. So, in essence there is a Ken Burns imprimatur on this new film about Frederick Law Olmsted.

12/20/2016 A Special Screening of “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America (Press Release pdf)
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