Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Pub Night Talks

The Olmsted Landscape Legacy Across America and the Pacific Northwest Presented by Laurence Cotton, public historian

Anderson School - Haynes' Hall

6 pm doors, 7 pm program


All ages welcome

Share this event

Add to Calendar
Qualifies for “Attend a McMenamins History-Sponsored Event” Experience Stamp.

About The Olmsted Landscape Legacy Across America and the Pacific Northwest Presented by Laurence Cotton, public historian

The Olmsted Landscape Legacy Across America and the Pacific Northwest Presented by Laurence Cotton, public historian

Frederick Law Olmsted, his two sons and the Olmsted Bros. landscape architecture firm left a huge imprint across all of America, in both urban and rural settings. This combination film screening and public lecture will detail that legacy, in words and images. Portland based public historian and writer/producer Laurence Cotton originated and served as Consulting Producer of the 2014 PBS special “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America.” The film is a full biographic treatment of Olmsted’s life and career. It will present the case that Olmsted’s role in late 19th Century America extends well beyond his storied public parks…and it details the stories behind the creation of several of those key landscapes.

After a brief intro setting the context, the program includes the full film. Following the screening, Mr. Cotton will deliver a lecture that extends and amplifies upon the content of the film, and further highlights the Olmsted landscape legacy across North America, with special reference to John Charles Olmsted legacy across the Pacific Northwest, including Portland, Seattle and Spokane.

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America is a co-production of WNED-TV, Buffalo/Toronto and Florentine Films/Hott Productions Inc.

About the Speaker:

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 co-produced with John De Graaf 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. After participating in the Nez Perce War, Wood became the leading advocate for the cause of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce and an outspoken critic of violence. Subsequently, Wood became a leading progressive voice in early 20th Cent. Portland, Oregon.

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 research institutes.  He made a foray into state government, serving as chief of staff for a prominent state senator in the Massachusetts legislature. Laurence also worked in the arena of 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 along the Columbia and Snake Rivers designed by Maya Lin. Laurence Cotton currently serves as historian on board small ship cruise vessels that ply the rivers and coastlines of N. America. His specialty is serving as lead historian on the American Empress, the largest sternwheeler west of the Mississippi, offering a week-long lecture series focused on the geology, natural history and cultural history of the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on the heritage of the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

Mr. Cotton has served on multiple nonprofit boards of directors, including several years as Board President of Columbia Riverkeeper. Most recently, he served as Trustee of the Oregon State Parks Foundation, ending his term of office in 2016. Laurence Cotton studied cultural anthropology, visual arts--focusing on film and still photography--and environmental science at Hampshire College, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Early in his academic career, Mr. Cotton also served as Teaching Fellow in the Department of Government at Harvard University, teaching introductory courses in international relations.

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….

About Pub Night Talks

Pub Night Talks

The University of Washington Bothell and McMenamins co-sponsor this speaker series in which university faculty and other notables from the community share their expertise through entertaining and informal talks. Learn about interesting topics and issues of the day while enjoying the hospitality of Anderson School’s Haynes’ Hall. It's like being back in the classroom -- except this time you get to settle into comfortable seats and enjoy a drink or two with dinner while you listen and learn.

This event is eligible for a History Pub Stamp