Publication Date

5-2002

Committee Members

Henry Lu, Chair - Ethan Carr, Member - Jack Ahern, Member

Abstract

The Collaboration between H.H. Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Charles Sprague Sargent on the train stations and grounds of the Boston and Albany railroad, and connected lines, involved the newest technology of the day, yet engaged the landscape reverently. Their work for the Boston and Albany Railroad was called, by Charles Mulford Robinson, "the railroad beautiful", and led the way for the City Beautiful movement of the turn of the century. Richardson completed nine stations before he died at age forty-seven. His successor Sheply, Rutan and Coolidge completed another twenty-three.

Although no landscape plans exist, the train station in Holyoke and the massive surrounding retaining walls reflect the spirit of this unique collaboration. The great architectural critic Louis Mumford writes that Richardson created, 'out of a confusion which was actually worse than a mere void, the beginning of a new architecture". The train station is the only building in the city of Holyoke designed by H.H. Richardson, and one of only three in all of western Massachusetts.

This project will study the relationship between Olmsted and Richardson, as evident in the designs of the train stations and grounds they worked on together. A plan for the landscape surrounding the train station in Holyoke will be the principle result of this study.