Saturday, November 28, 2009


By Kurt Culbertson ©2009
The designed landscape of Tennessee is rich and varied – wonderful private gardens like Cheekwood and private subdivisions like Belle Meade provide the character of great cities like Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Nashville. But it addition to these private places, the public landscape heritage of this state is equally significant and valuable. Cemeteries, campuses, public buildings, and parks of a variety of scales, provide a lasting legacy as a foundation for contemporary Tennessee landscape architecture.
What I would like to provide in this text is not an exhaustive investigation into the public landscapes of Tennessee but rather a broad view of the evolution of that history. Many of the great practitioners of the 19th and 20th century have created works in Tennessee offering a wide variety of design expressions. There is much here to be treasured and much work to be done in preserving the landscape architectural heritage of this wonderful state.
Pioneer Landscapes:
The early designed landscapes of Tennessee were principally private landscapes, home grounds where wealthy planters and merchants could enjoy the benefits of their labor. [1] Gardens such as Rachel’s Garden at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage by Englishman William Frost are but one example. The building and grounds of Belmont in Nashville designed by German Adolphus Heiman, are another example of such grand living environment. But for the average Tennessean, public open space for community activities and relaxation were seldom found. Yet demand for such space was not great as the pleasures of the rural countryside were easily in each.

Cemeteries and Public Burial Grounds:
The growth of cities brought the need for public facilities such a burial grounds for the dead. Perhaps the earliest of public landscapes were cemeteries. Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis [1852] and Old Gray in Knoxville [1855] that same year were developed in a style similar to that of Mount Auburn near Boston [1831] and Spring Grove by Adolf Strauch in Cincinnati [1848] both of which gained national attention. These were grand romantic landscapes which served as de facto arboretums for their communities with great lawns, curving walkways and carriageways. Although specific designers of these late 19th cemeteries of the period cannot be identified, they often evolved through the hands of the local superintendent, who undoubtedly found their inspiration in these earlier works in the Midwest, Northeast, or Europe. Other memorial landscapes such as St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrence County were often vernacular landscapes shaped by local residents without specific reference to design traditions or theories. Nashville cemeteries Mount Olivet [1856], Mount Ararat [1869], and Greenwood [1888] provided places of rest for both the living and the dead.
Streetcar Parks and Amusement Grounds
The need for public entertainment in the form of parks was first captured in Tennessee cities by commercial interests and notably the street car lines who, as they did in other American cities, created parks at the end of their routes to encourage ridership, particularly on the weekends. While some park spaces such as Bickford Park in Memphis [1850] developed through the efforts of citizens, amble land for public recreation was in short supply. Commercial interests filled the gaps. Central Park in Memphis [1868][2] was perhaps the first, followed by Railroad or Central Park in Union City [1875], Spring Park [1885][3], Glendale [1885][4], in Nashville, Montgomery Park [1887] and East End Park [1887-late 1920s] in Memphis, Cherokee [1889]in Nashville, and Lancaster Park in Johnson City [c.1905].[5] These parks were far more amusement parks than the pastoral landscapes of New York’s Central Park. Such amusements as roller coasters, monkey cages, arcades, hot springs, theaters, and ice rinks were often found there.
Over time, some of these private lands, such as Nashville’s Glendale Park and Spring in Knoxville eventually came into public ownership. As in other American cities such as Milwaukee and Cincinnati, German beer gardens were often acquired and converted to public use such as Laitenberger’s in Nashville which eventually became Morgan’s Park, a process that would accelerate in the early 1920s with the advent of Prohibition. Others such as East End Park in Memphis reverted to private ownership and were developed for other uses. While the competition for the design of New York’s Central Park had been held in 1857, a reliable system of acquiring and maintaining public park land did not exist in Tennessee until the first decade of the 20th century.
Battlefields and Burials Grounds:
Ironically, the battlefields and national cemeteries which followed the War Between the States provided both permanent memorials of the great conflict and open space for the communities where these battles were fought. With the passage of almost twenty-five years since the end of the civil war, the desire to restore the dignity of the South, to symbolically heal the wounds of that war, and, at least among southerners to recognize those who fought in that war as heroes rather than traitors, led to the creation of military parks and national cemeteries throughout the region. The National Cemetery Act of 1867, led to the creation of seventy three cemeteries around the country, among them Fort Donelson in Dover near Nashville. In 1890 the Chickamauga and Chattanooga Military Park was established. Four years later came a similar park at Shiloh. Chattanooga and Knoxville National cemeteries were also an outgrowth of designed to preserve this hallowed ground. While the battlefields and cemeteries appear to be the work on military engineers, the grounds of the National Soldier’s Home in Johnson City [1902]were designed by Harold Caparn [1864-1945]of Newark, New Jersey.[6]
Born in England and educated in both London and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, Caparn also played a significant role in the design of the New York Zoo in the Bronx and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. He was assisted in Johnson City but Carl Anderson, who served as landscape superintendent of the National Soldier’s Home.
In addition to the federal government’s role in shaping the Tennessee landscape, the state also ws responsible for creating important public spaces. In 1871-1877, John Bogart [1836-1920] came to Nashville to design the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol Grounds.[7] Trained as an engineer but with a deep interest in the classics, Bogart had worked with Frederick Law Olmsted on numerous projects. He served as assistant engineer during the construction of Central Park, and Prospect Park in New York, and worked with Olmsted on the plan for Riverside, Illinois. He also prepared the master plan for City Park in New Orleans. His plan for the State Capitol Grounds provided one of the earliest landscaped parks in Nashville.
The Tennessee Centennial:
As the state reached its 100th birthday, the Centennial Exposition was planned on what on the site of the West End Race Track. Julius Pitzman [1837-1923], had designed the West Side Park racetrack in 1884.[8] Pitzmann, from St. Louis, was noted for the design of “private places”, the prominent residential neighborhoods of the city. He was also involved in the creation of the great Forest Park of St. Louis and City Park in Little Rock as well.
Modeled after the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, the park featured neo-classical buildings, a man-made lake, and elaborate landscaping. The Tennessee Centennial Exposition was one of several industrial fairs that were held through the South in the years following the war. They were a way of reminding the country that the cities of Dixie were again open for business.
The Centennial Exposition created a great public park in the heart of Nashville. Landscape architect, W. F. Josolyne, played a key role in the creation of the Centennial Grounds.[9] J. H. McBride succeeded Josolyne as park horticulturalist of the park in 1909 and served until 1917 when George B. Moulder was hired by the park board.
The Movement to Public Parks and Parkways:
While streetcar parks, battlefields, and cemeteries provided the foundation for open space developed in Tennessee cities, the first movement toward truly public parks appeared to have occurred in Memphis. A series of yellow fever epidemics in In 1880, city fathers invited George Edwin Waring [1883-1898] to design a sanitary sewer system for the city. In 1880, George Edwin Waring, Jr. [1833-1898] designed a sanitary sewer system for Memphis.[10]
In response to a yellow fever epidemic, sanitary and the general order of the city became of paramount importance. In 1897, city fathers consulted with the firm of Olmsted Brothers as they considered creation of a park system for the city. To give further order to the growing commercial city, in 1900 hired George Edward Kessler [1862-1923][11] to prepare a parks and boulevard plan for the city. Why Memphis leaders chose Kessler over Olmsted is unknown. Perhaps it was his connection to the city’s railroad interests, the fact that his fee was half that of the Olmsted firm, or that he was well regarded by the German element of the community.
Kessler had earned fame a decade earlier in 1892 for the design of the park and boulevard system for Kansas City. Developed the same year as Frederick Law Olmsted’s plan for the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Kessler’s plan for the Kansas City park system is a bold and far reaching vision of the City Beautiful. Why Kessler was selected over other more prominent designers in unknown. Perhaps it was mere convenience given the relative proximity of Kansas City. In addition to his work for Kansas City parks, Kessler was also actively involved in the design of railroad station grounds. This experience resulted in contact and perhaps the design of station grounds and Lancaster Park in Jackson through the city’s railroad interests. Perhaps similar connections lead him to Memphis as well.
Kessler’s plan envisioned the redesign of the four historic squares of the city – Court, Market, Auction, and Exchange, the development of two small urban parks – Forest and Confederate, and the creation of two large parks of the city’s periphery – Overton and Riverside. The first three commissioners were L. B. McFarland, a city judge who has spent four years as an enlisted man in the Confederate army and who supposed Confederate Memorial societies throughout his life, Robert Galloway, who had earned the honorary title of Colonel, and John R. Godwin, a cotton factory and financial intermediary.
The commissioners desired to inspire civic pride and reduce civil unrest, the also sought to improve the economic condition of the community and promote a more progressive image. They also sought to imbue the city with a sense of history and pay their respects to the values expressed and sacrifices made in the war. Richmond had erected an equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee in 1890 to honor his service to the South. In a similar way, the Forrest Memorial Association sought to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, but erecting a similar equestrian statue in Forrest Park. Kessler sought to honor his clients wishes with his design of the new park in 1902. Constructed in 1905 in the center of the city, Kessler’s plan makes pathways and plantings subordinate to the statue in the nine acre park. In a similar way, McFarland convinced the city to remove to city dump overlooking the river and create Confederate Square as well.[12]
A year after Kessler created a park and boulevard master plan for Memphis, the Nashville park board was created. The goal of the board was to create large parks in each of the four quadrants of the city – Centennial in the west, Shelby in the east, and Hadley in the north. This goal was achieved by 1916.
The advance toward comprehensive city planning that includes land use, transportation, as well as, parks in open space in Tennessee what aided not just by Kessler’s work in Memphis, but also the creation of entirely new towns in the state. While Kessler was designing the parks of Memphis, Arthur Shurchliff [1870-1957], a native of Boston and a graduate of Harvard University planned the new town of Bemis for the Bemis Bag Company. Surcliff would later earn fame as chief landscape architect for the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. In 1905 John Nolen [1869-1937], [13] prepared a General Plan for Kingsport, Tennessee. Nolen had been a professor of adult education at the University of Pennsylvania before enrolling at the age of thirty-four, in the landscape architecture program at Harvard.
In 1911, Chattanooga retained John Nolen to prepare a park and boulevard master plan for that city. That year, upon receiving his degree in landscape architecture from Harvard, Nolen prepared a plan for the partially developed Tennessee town.
In 1927, the Edwin Warner and Percy Warner parks opened in Nashville. Together their 2684 acres comprise the largest municipal park in Tennessee. The parks were planned by Bryant Fleming[14] [1877-1946].
In addition to the development of parks, cemeteries, and residential gardens, the creation of university campuses were also an important part of the evolution of landscape architecture in Tennessee. John Henry Hopkins prepared a plan for Rhodes College in [1858]. George Kessler’s master plan for Vanderbilt [1907][15] and Warren Manning’s[16] for Peabody College [1911] and Belmont [1914] in Nashville contributed to the great academic tradition of Nashville. Manning [1860-1938] was a native of Massachusetts and a member of the Olmsted firm from 1888 until he left to form his own firm in 1896. The Olmsted Brothers created plans for the University of the South at Swanee [1916] and Fisk [1929-1930] in Nashville were also significant achievements.
The Movement to State and National Parks
In 1921, Benton MacKaye [1879-1976] proposed the location of a trail that would stretch from Maine through Tennessee and into Georgia.[17] In an article in the October 1921 issue of the American Institute of Architects magazine, MacKaye proposed a trail that would stretch from Maine to the Great Smoky Mountains, Lookout Mountain and on into Georgia. That same year, a national conference on state parks was held in Tennessee. In addition to the design of City Park in New Orleans, Bogart had prepared a hand sketch in March of 1925 he prepared a hand sketch for what we now know as the Appalachian Trail. Born in Stamford, Connecticut, MacKaye lived for a time in New York City before moving a mere twenty miles from Thoreau’s Walden. His 2000 mile long trail is a hallmark of regional planning. MacKaye would help found the Regional Plan Association in 1923, and in 1932 serve as a regional planner with the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The Depression and the Evolution of the Rural Landscape:
MacKaye’s vision of the Appalachian Trail was timely. The crash of the stock market in October 1929 brought a new focus on Benton MacKaye’s landscape of rural America. In an effort to create employment for millions of out of work Americans, the Civilian Conservation Corp and the Works Progress Administration were formed to execute federal projects. The recently formed Tennessee State Parks and Foresty Commission utilized CCC personnel to create twelve state parks between 1934 and 1939. Big Ridge, Pickett, T.O. Fuller, Chickasaw, Norris Dam, Grundy Lakes, Montgomery Bell, Fall Creek Falls, Booker T. Washington, and Cedars of Lebanon and State Stone were all constructed by the CCC. The parks rather than following the picturesque designs of Kessler’s Overton Park plan or Manning’s Beaux Arts plan for George Peabody College were instead crafted from the rustic landscapes of the Tennessee Valley. Usually of log and heavy timber construction, buildings were evocative of early pioneer architecture. Stone gathered or quarried from the site were used extensively to complex the composition. The emphasis on rustic character even found its way to the name of the park itself such as Pickett State Rustic Park.
In addition to these marvelous state parks, the years following the stock market crash of 1929, also saw the creation of what would become America’s most visited national park, Great Smoky Mountain in 1934. Created through the efforts of John D. Rockefeller and President Franklin Roosevelt, the park boasts over 800 miles of trails. Great Smoky Mountain National Park now receives over 9.5 million visitors a year.
Two of the most significant of these new state parks, Big Ridge and Norris Dam were on Norris Reservior. The design of the town of Norris was in the charge of Earl Sumner Draper [1893-1994]. Bryant Fleming[18]
Earle Sumner Draper[19] was considered “the ablest man ever turned out” by the landscape architecture program at the University of Massachusetts. Upon graduation, Draper was employed in the office of John Nolen. After only three months in the office, Draper was sent to care for two projects, one Myers Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, the other the bulidng of the new town of Kingsport, Tennessee. In 1917, Draper moved to Charlotte becoming one of the first practicing professions in the South.
With the country in economic crisis, Draper was appointed the first planner for a new agency, the Tennessee Valley Authority.[20] The TVA was charged with navigation, flood control, reforestation, marginal lands, agriculture, and industry for an area approximately the size of Ohio. The TVA river basin runs through nine hundred miles in seven states.
From 1933 to 1941, the TVA built an efficient hydroelectric grid, including nine major lakes. It also established a new town, seven rustic parks, a “freeway” and six progressive labor camps. The project was referred to by Harvard professor Norman Newton as “the greatest single landscape architecture project on record.” To complete the work, Draper assembled a staff of sixteen to twenty other landscape architects. On of these landscape architects, Sam Brewster, became the first superintendent of Tennessee state parks.
Draper designed the construction town of Norris, Tennessee, and was instrumental in acquiring the shoreline of the TVA lakes insuring that water quality was protected and the edges remained free from development. Landscape architect Tracy Augur [1896-1974] supervised the construction of Norris. Of all of his accomplishments, he was most proud of the 21 mile long access road constructed between Norris and Knoxville. The roadway was entirely free of curb cuts along its length and the 250 foot right of way precluded encroachments into the view. Philip Rutherford Ely[21] also served on the Mississippi River Parkway Planning Commission and prepared a plan for the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Working under Earle Sumner Draper, Rubee Jeffrey Pearse [1887-1973][22] supervised park planning for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Pearse supervised six Civilian Conservation Corp camps, with a total of twelve hundred men, six superintendents, and thirty-six foremen to build a dam, two lodges, sixty-four cabins, a riding stable, and various piers and floats.
The TVA represented the culmination of landscape architects efforts in the field of planning. At the founding of the American City Planning Institute in 1917, there were two landscape architects among the founders, the largest single professional group. By the New Deal, however, landscape architects comprised almost a third of the consultants advising the forty-two State Planning Boards under the guidance of the National Planning Board.
The outbreak of World War II slowed significantly the pace of state and national park improvements in Tennessee as the nation’s attention turned to the war effort. But improvements did not come to a complete stop. Cumberland Gap National Historic Park was founded in 1940. Four years later a master plan was prepared for the Natchez Trace Parkway. As part of the effort to end the War, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory was constructed. Hubert Bond Owens [1905-1989], for forty-five years the chairman of the landscape architecture program at the University of Georgia served as landscape architect.
The Post War Years:
The years following the end of World War II saw a response to the rapidly growing population and suburbanization of the country. More often than not this design response took the form of highways. Some were quite successful others less so. Stanley William Abbott [1908-1975] had worked with Jay Downer and Gilmore Clarke in New York upon graduation from Cornell. He apparently impressed his supervisors so much that in 1933 he was appointed as the onsite representative of the firm in the creation of a 469 mile road connecting Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When his supervisors withdrew from the project in 1934, Abbott provided the continuing vision that saw the project through to reality. In 1950, Abbott headed the team to prepare the plan for the proposed Mississippi River Parkway.[23]
In Nashville, Gilmore Clarke and Michael Rapuano[24] [1904-1975] prepared the Greater Loop Neighborhood Plan, the urban renewal plan for the city. They also led the Capitol Hill Redevelopment Planning effort. Landscape architects for Robert Moses, the specialty of the New York firm was highway design. Their plan proposed a tree lined boulevard along Deaderick Street which linked the symbols of city and state government and created an axial relationship between state and city governments.
Modernism and the Parks:
Through the second half of the 20th century, themes of the late 19th and early 20th century reappeared. New generations of pioneers shaped the land. A new war to end all ways, brought a third wave of development by the federal government in the Tennessee landscape.
The Mission 66 program of the National Park Service saw more contemporary approaches to landscape design within the national parks of Tennessee, as a wave of reinvestment brought design ideas no longer rooted in the rustic tradition of the CCC and WPA era. New visitor centers at Great Smoky Mountains, Fort Donelson, and Stones River explored modern design idioms and challenged the rustic image of rural Tennessee of Rocky Top and Smokey.
As they had during the days of the streetcar, commercial interests reappeared. The Rebel Railroad theme park opened in Pidgeon Forge near Gatlinburg and the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. That park would change its name in 1986 to Dollywood.
In 1975, Garrett Ekbo one of the early modernist designers in America, prepared a plan for Shelby Farms, a former penal farm near Memphis. As Nashville had done in 1897, Knoxville sought to do in 1982 inviting the world to the city with its own World’s Fair. That same year the Mud Island River Park opened in Memphis. Though neither opening to national acclaim, these projects sought to return the cities once again to the river as George Kessler had done 80 years before.

Though lagging in time the development of public open spaces in the East and Midwest, the landscape architecture of Tennessee followed very similar patterns of development. The creation of rural cemeteries was followed by the development of commercial pleasure grounds and streetcar parks. In time, the World Columbian Exposition spawned other industrial fairs such as the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in Nashville and Appalachian Exposition in Knoxville as a means of expressing the progressive outlook of Tennessee cities following the Civil War. The City Beautiful movement and the City Practical views of the progressive movement, in response to such issues as the yellow fever epidemics of the late 19th century led to the creation of comprehensive parks and parkways plans in Memphis, Chattanooga, and other cities.
The federal government shaped the state’s landscape in other ways. The first federal presence in the Tennessee landscape is found in national military parks and cemeteries. The Appalachian Trail brought visitors from around the country to see the Great Smokey Mountains. The Depression brought further federal action as the Tennessee Valley Authority sought to provide rural electrification to the state while at the same time developing recreation lands along the lake shores and other water bodies created as part of that effort.
Slowly but surely the historic landscape designed which followed the Civil War the the rustic landscapes of the CCC and WPA era are giving way to more modernist expressions. The Mission 66 initiative of the National Park Service brought more contemporary expression to the rural Tennessee landscape. Garrett Eckbo’s work at Shelby Farms in Memphis accelerate that trend. Another Exposition in Knoxville in 1982 brought further advances. The reinvention of the Chattanooga riverfront is another important act. The recent competition for the design of Shelby Farms, won by Field Operations of Philadelphia, offers yet another glimpse of the future of Tennessee landscape architecture.
The University of Tennessee , accepted its first class of students in the graduate program in landscape architecture in 2008, the first program in the state. These shapers of the public landscape of Tennessee are pioneers of a new era. They now build upon a grand tradition of landscape design in this state which must be studied, criticized, preserved, and honored. There is much to be done.

[1] Brandau, Roberta Seawell, ed., History of Homes and Gardens of Tennessee, Nashville: The Garden Study Club of Nashville, 1964.
[2] Hopkin, John Lynn, “Overton Park: the Evolution of a Public Space,” June 1, 1987, a paper prepared for Ritchie Smith and Associates. Memphis.
[3] Johnson, Leland R., The Parks of Nashville, Nashville: Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County Board of Park and Recreation, 1986, p. 38.
[4] Ibid.
[6] Birnbaum, Charles and Foell, Stephanie S., Ed. Shaping the American Landscape, “Harold Ap Rhys Caparn”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009, p. 47-49.
[7] Birnbaum, Charles and Foell, Stephanie S., Ed. Shaping the American Landscape, “John Bogart”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009, p. 28-32.
[8] Birnbaum, Charles and Foell, Stephanie S., Ed. Shaping the American Landscape, “Julius Pitzman”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009, p. 272-274.

[9] Johnson, The Parks of Nashville, p. 81.
[10] Birnbaum, Charles and Karson, Robin, Ed. Pioneers of American Landscape Design, “George Edwin Waring, Jr.”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000, p. 424-427.
[11] Culbertson, Kurt, Landscape Architect of the American Renaissance: The Life and Work of George Edward Kessler,
[12] Rushing, Wanda, Memphis and the Paradox of Place: Globalization in the American South, The University of North Carolina Press, 2009, p. 39-40.
[13] Nolen, John, General Features of a Park System of Chattanooga, Boston: George S. Ellis and Company, 1911, see also Birnbaum, Charles and Karson, Robin, Ed. Pioneers of American Landscape Design, “John Nolen”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000, p. 264-269.
[14] Birnbaum, Charles and Karson, Robin, Ed. Pioneers of American Landscape Design, “Bryant Fleming”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000, p. 121-123.
[15] McGaw, Robert A. The Vanderbilt Campus, A Pictorial History, Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1978, p. 60-61.
[16] The Papers of Warran Manning [1882-1998],Iowa State University Library, Series 2. See also Manning Collection, List of Clients, the University of Massachusetts, Lowell Center for Lowell History.
[17] MacKaye, Benton, “Suggested Location of Appalachian Trail,” Journal of the American Institute of Architects, October, 1921. See also, Birnbaum, Charles and Karson, Robin, Ed. Pioneers of American Landscape Design, “Bryant Fleming”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000, p. 233-236.
[18] Birnbaum, Charles and Karson, Robin, Ed. Pioneers of American Landscape Design, “Bryant Fleming”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000, p. 121-123.
[19] Birnbaum, Charles and Karson, Robin, Ed. Pioneers of American Landscape Design, “Earle Sumner Draper”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000, p. 100-101.
[20] Carr, Ethan, Wilderness by Design: Landscape Architecture and the National Park Service, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, p. 252, 279. See also, Cutler, Phoebe, The Public Landscape of the New Deal, New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 133-144.
[21] Birnbaum, Charles and Karson, Robin, Ed. Pioneers of American Landscape Design, “Philip Rutherford Ely”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000, p. 113-115.
[22] Birnbaum, Charles and Foell, Stephanie S., Ed. Shaping the American Landscape, “Rubee Jeffrey Pearse”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009, p. 254-257.

[23] Birnbaum, Charles and Karson, Robin, Ed. Pioneers of American Landscape Design, “Stanley William Abbott”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000, p. 1-3.
[24] Birnbaum, Charles and Karson, Robin, Ed. Pioneers of American Landscape Design, “Michael Rapuano”, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000, p. 308-311.


1794 University of Tennessee Founded in Knoxville.
1802 Cragfront in Castalian Springs.
1813 Oatlands Plantation in Murfreesboro.
1816 James K. Polk Home in Columbia.
1819 Rachel’s Garden at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage by William Frost
1822 City Cemetery Nashville.
1848 Rhodes College Founded in Memphis.
1850 Bickford Park – Memphis.
1852 Elmwood Cemetery – Memphis established. (national register property).
1852 Belmont Mansion and Gardens by August Heinman
1855 Old Grey Cemetery – Knoxville established.
1856 Mount Olivet Cemetery Nashville.
1867 Fort Donelson near Dover and Stones River National Cemeteries established.
1868-1874 Central Park – Memphis.
1869 Mount Ararat Cemetery Nashville.
1870 Watkins Park – Nashville established.
1871-1877 Tennessee State Capitol Grounds, Nashville, by John Bogart
1875 Railroad or Central Park in Union City established.
1884 Nashville West Side Park Race Track by Julius Pitzman (now part of Centennial Park)
1885 Spring Park, Nashville’s first “streetcar” park established.
1887-late 1920s East End Park, a “streetcar” park operated in Memphis.
1888 Woodstock Park later Glendale Park, a “streetcar” park established in Nashville.
Glendale Park – Nashville established.
1888 Greenwood Cemetery Nashville.
1889 Cherokee Park, Nashville’s third “streetcar” park established.
1890 Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park established (national register property)
1891 St. Cloud Hills Subdivision Nashville by Olmsted Brothers.
1890 Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park established (national register property)
1894 Shiloh National Military Park established (national register property).
1897 Nashville Centennial Grounds (Anetheum) , W. F. Josolyne, landscape architect.
1899 Church Park established in Memphis.
1899 Gifford Pinchot and Carl Schenck consult on the University of the South forests.
1900 Memphis Park Board established.
1900 Memphis Park System Master Plan by George Kessler
Overton Park
Forrest Park
Confederate Park
Riverside Park
1900-1905 Master Plan for Bemis, Tennessee by Arthur Shurcliff.
1901 Nashville park board established.
1901 Belle Meade Country Club opened with course designed by Donald Ross.
1901 Upper Montclair Country Club designed by
1903 Grounds of the National Soldier’s Home, Johnson City, Tennessee, by Harold Caparn and Carl Anderson
1905 Jackson Station Grounds by George Kessler
1905 Lancaster Park in Jackson opens (design perhaps by George Kessler).
1905 D. P. Montague Residence Chattanooga
1905 General Plan for Kingsport, Tennessee by John Nolen.
1905 Kessler Plan for Vanderbilt University
1905 Memphis Country Club formed (course was redesigned by Donald Ross in 1917)
1906 Thomas J. Felder Residence Nashville by Olmsted Brothers
1907 Cherokee Country Club of Knoxville by Donald Ross
1907-1908 Fairyland Park Memphis opens. It is later destroyed by fire.
1909 University of Memphis founded in Memphis as West Tennessee State University.
1909 Laitenberger’s Beer Garden is purchased to form Morgan’s Park in Nashville
1910 Appallachian Exposition in Chillowee Park in Knoxville.
1911 Park and Boulevard Plan for Chattanooga, Tennessee by John Nolen
1911 Middle Tennessee State University founded in Murfreesburo.
1911 East Tennessee State University founded in Johnson City.
1911-1912 Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville by Warren Manning [1860-1938].

1911-1912 George Peabody School for Teachers in Nashville by Warren Manning.

1912 Hadley Park – Nashville established.
1912 Tennessee State University established.
1913-1914 Douglass Park – Memphis’ first public park for blacks established.
1914 Belmont College campus plan in Nashville by Warren Manning.

1914 Private Estates for William M. Lesley in Chattanooga by Warren Manning.
1914 Tennessee Golf Association formed at Memphis Country Club.
1914 Athletic Fields and Playground at Southern Pacific Railyards in Memphis by George Kessler
1914-1919 World War I is fought is Europe.
1915-1917 Lincoln Memorial University campus plan in Harrogate by Warren Manning.

1916-1922 University of the South Campus Plan in Swanee by Olmsted Brothers.

1918 Signal Mountain Golf Course

1919 Johnson City Country Club by A. W. Tillinghast

1921 National State Parks Convention held in Tennessee.

1921 Appalachian Trail Concept by Benton MacKaye.
1922 Chattanooga Golf and Country Club by Donald Ross
1922-1923 Real Estate Subdivision for Bruce I Crabtree Chattanooga by Warren Manning.
1923 A. F. Sanford Residence Knoxville by Olmsted Brothers.
1923-1927 Roland W. Olmsted Residence by Olmsted Brothers.
1924 Fairyland Subdivision, Lookout Mountain 1924 Chattanooga by Warren Manning.
1924 A. F. Sanford’ Boxwood” in Knoxville by Olmsted Brothers.
1924 Harland Bartholemew Plan for Memphis.
1924-1925 Private Estates for Robert J. MacLellan in Chattanooga by Warren Manning.

1925 Tennessee State Parks and Forestry Commission Established.

1925 Private Estates for Mrs. Henry Overton Ewing, Lookout Mountain TN by Warren Manning.

1925 Private Estates for the Honorable Newell Sanders in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning.

1925 Town of Lookout Mountain parks & parkways plan by Warren Manning.

1925 Parks and Parkways Planning for the Lookout Mountain Garden Club by Warren Manning.

1925 Lookout Mountain Park by Olmsted Brothers (also 1928-1929).

1925-1928 Herbert Farrell Residence Nashville by Olmsted Brothers.

1926 Harland Bartholemew hired as Nashville park planner.

1926 Carrier Hall, the residence of Robert M. Carrier, 642 S. Willett in Memphis by Bryant Fleming.

1926 City & town planning for Eleventh Street Realty Company Chattanooga by Warren Manning.

1926 Real Estate Subdivision for Eleventh Street Realty Company Chattanooga by Warren Manning.

1926 Small Home Grounds for Mrs. E. Y. Chapin in Signal Mountain by Warren Manning.
1926 Private Estates for Alfred H. Thatcher in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning.

1926 Small Home Grounds for Mrs. W. B. Miller in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning.

1926 Private Estates for Morris E. Temple in Lookout Mountain TN by Warren Manning.

1926 Small Home Grounds for Mrs. Richard Thatcher in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning.

1926 Small Home Grounds for Mrs. W. J. Dodge in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning.

1926 Small Home Grounds for Mrs. Will O. Martin in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning.

1926 Small Home Grounds for Mrs. Dyer Butterfield in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning.

1926 Small Home Grounds for Mrs. S. Brunswick Lowe, S. Brunswick in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning.
1926 Small Home Grounds for Henry King in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning.

1926 Small Home Grounds for T. Walter Fred in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning.

1926 Small Home Grounds for Mrs. C. M. Willingham in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning.

1926 Hunt Club in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning

1926 Brainerd Country Club of Chattanooga by Donald Ross

1927 Holston Hills Golf and Country Club of Knoxville by Donald Ross

Ridgefield Country Club of Kingsport by Donald Ross

1927 Hugh Sanford Residence Knoxville by Olmsted Brothers

1927 Edwin Warner and Percy Warner Parks open in Nashville.

1927-1928 Cherokee Park Subdivision in Nashville by Olmsted Brothers.
1927-1955 Kingsport Cemetery by Olmsted Brothers.
1928 McCallie School Chattanooga school grounds by Warren Manning.

1928 Arthur Allen Residence in Nashville by Bryant Fleming.

1928 “Rostrevor” for W. C. Rosses, Knoxville.
1928 Guilford Dudley Residence in Nashville by Bryant Fleming.
1929 The United States Stock Market crashes in 1929.
1929 George Schwab Residence, Harding Road, Nashville by Bryant Fleming.
1929 Subdivision for Lookout Mountain Holding Company in Lookout Mountain by Warren Manning.

1929-1930 Fisk University Campus Plan Nashville by Olmsted Brothers.

1929-1932 Cheekwood by Bryant Fleming [1877-1946].
1930 “Watersmeet” for C. Runcie Clements in Nashville by Bryant Fleming.
c. 1930 “Brookhill”, home of Mrs. Ralph Owen in Nashville by Bryant Fleming.
c. 1930 Warner Parks by Bryant Fleming.
1931-1932 Mr. King and Mrs. Leroy Residence in Memphis by Bryant Fleming.
1931 Mr. T.J. Tyne, Jr. Residence in Nashville by Bryant Fleming.
1932 Frieda Carter’s Rock City Gardens open in Lookout Mountain.
1933 Earle Sumner Draper Plan for Norris, Tennessee
1933-1937 Woodmont Estates Nashville by Olmsted Brothers.
1934 American Association of Foresters meet in Knoxville.
1934 Big Ridge State Park developed by CCC.
1934 Great Smokey National Park established.
1934-1935 Tennessee Valley Authority Commercial and Industrial Buildings by Olmsted Brothers
1924-1942 Pickett State Rustic Park constructed by WPA (national register property).
1933 T.O. Fuller State Park established and developer in 1939 by CCC.
1934-1936 Rubee Jeffrey Pearse supervises park planning for the Tennessee Valley Authority.
1934 Norris to Nashville Parkway by Earle Sumner Draper
1934 Chickasaw State Park developed by the CCC.
1934 Norris Dam State Park developed by the CCC.
1935 Blue Ridge Parkway begins construction.
1935 Grundy Lakes State Park developed by the CCC.
1935 Montgomery Bell State Park developed by the CCC.
1936 Fall Creek Falls State Park developed by the CCC.
1937 Booker T. Washington State Park developed by the CCC.
1937 Cedar of Lebanon State Park developed by the CCC.
1937 Dixie Homes and Lauderdale Courts, public housing projects in Memphis. John F. Highberger, landscape architect.
1938 National Conference on State Parks held in Norris.
1938-1942 State Stone State Rustic Park constructed by WPA (national register property).
1938-1939 Laurel Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Great Smokey Mountain Gatlinburg by Olmsted Brothers.
1939 Ridgefield Farms in Kingsport by Olmsted Brothers.
1939 Riverview Park established in Chattanooga.
1939 Natchez Trace State Park established by CCC.
1939 Margaret and Hugo Dixon Garden (now the Dixon Gallery) by Hope Crutchfield in Memphis.
1940 Cumberland Gap National Historic Park established.
1944 Natchez Trace Parkway Master Plan.
1945 Oak Ridge National Laboratory established. Hubert Owens landscape architect.
1947 E.G. Hunter Residence Kingsport by Olmsted Brothers.
1948-1954 Philip Kerrigan, Jr. Residence Nashville by Olmsted Brothers.
1949-1952 Dennis Burial Plot in Kingsport by Olmsted Brothers.
1950 Mississippi River Parkway by Stanley William Abbott and the National Park Service
1950 Securities Company Commercial Buildings Kingsport by Olmsted Brothers.
1951-1955 Green Acres Shopping Center in Kingsport by Olmsted Brothers.
1953 Audubon Park established in Memphis.
1954 Links Hill Country Club in Greenville, Tennessee designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
1956 Tennessee Gardens are featured in Treasury of American Gardens by James. M. Fitch and F. F. Rockwell including the Memphis residence of Mr. and Mrs. Vance Norfleet by Ewald Associates, “Wildings” the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Howe, and the Nashville residence of Mrs. George Weeks Hale.
1955 Harland Bartholemew Plan for Public Buildings in Memphis.
1956 Reflection Riding Arboretum and Botanical Garden created in Chattanooga by John and Margaret Chambliss.
1956-1957 Andrew Johnson National Historic Site Mission 66 Visitors Center Addition in Greeneville.
1957 W. C. Paul Arboretum established in Memphis by George Madlinger, landscape architect.
1957-1958 Great Smokey Mountains National Park Mission 66 Visitors Center
1958-1968 Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg by Olmsted Brothers.
1959 Memphis Civic Center Plaza Plan, Walter A. J. Ewald was landscape architect on the team.
1960-1962 Fort Donelson National Battlefield Mission 66 Visitors Center
1960-1963 Stones River National Battlefield Mission 66 Visitors Center
1961 Rebel Railroad Theme Park opens in Pidgeon Forge (the future Dollywood)
1963 General Loop Neighborhood Plan by Clarke and Rapuano in Nashville.
c. 1965 Meditation Garden by Bernard Grenardier opens at Graceland.
1971 Gardens of William P. Hager of Memphis featured in Gardens of The American South by John Wedda including the J.S. Buxton and J. L. Kirkpatrick Residences.
1975 Shelby Farms Land Use Plan by Garrett Eckbo.
1982 Knoxville World’s Fair
1982 Mud Island River Park opens in Memphis.
1982 Master Plan for Reflection Riding by Thomas Kane.
1985 Japanese Garden in Audubon Park created in Memphis by Koichi Kawana.
1986 Mousetail Landing State Park created.
1986 Dollywood opens in Pidgeon Forge.
1992 Russell A. Adsit named an ASLA Fellow.
1992 David O. Lose named an ASLA Fellow.
1997 Tennessee Parks and Greenway Foundation established.
2001 Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum is formed on the grounds of the 1786 nurseries of Joe B. and C. B. Howell.
2002 Metropolitan Parks Plan for Memphis by WRT and Hawkins Partners.
2002 Jack Daniels Village Square BBQ Pavilion and Mulberry Creek Crossing in Lynchburg by Carol R. Johnson and Associates
2003 Memphis Waterfront Master Plan by Cooper, Robertson and Partners.
2003 University of the South Dining Hall and Central Area in Sawannee by Carol R. Johnson and Associates.
2003 National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis by SWA Group.
2004 Rhodes College Paul Barrett, Jr. Library and Palmer Quad in Memphis by Carol R. Johnson and Associates.
2005 Church Street and Capitol Boulevard Reconstruction in Nashville by Carol R. Johnson and Associates.
2006 Heritage Center Meadow Restoration, Oak Ridge National Laboratories by Carol R. Johnson and Associates.
2007 East Tennessee State University Summers-Taylor Soccer Stadium in Johnson City by Carol R. Johnson and Associates.
2008 Knoxville South Waterfront Public Improvements by Carol R. Johnson and Associates.
2009 Shelby Farms Memphis by Field Operations.
n.d. Memphis Chamber of Commerce City Plan by Olmsted Brothers.
n.d. Chattanooga City Plan and Parks by Olmsted Brothers.
n.d. Peabody College in Nashville by Olmsted Brothers.
n.d. Franklin Pike (the Estate of James C. Bradford) in Nashville by Olmsted Brothers.
n.d. R.R. Strong Residence Knoxville by Olmsted Brothers.
n.d. Knoxville Board of Commerce City Improvements by Olmsted Brothers.
n.d. E. R. Reynolds Estate in Bristol by Olmsted Brothers.
n.d. Miscellaneous Projects for Wilkinson and Wilkinson in Knoxville.
n.d. Briant J. Shwab Residence in Nashville by Olmsted Brothers.
n.d. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Gatlinburg by Olmsted Brothers.
n.d. Fairyland Subdivision in Chatanooga by Olmsted Brothers.
n.d. Dan Kiley consults on Vanderbilt Campus Plan
n.d. Knoxville Museum Vision Plan and Garden by Sasaki Associates
n.d. Chattanooga Waterfront Plan by Hargreaves Associates and Hawkins Partners.
n.d. Nashville Waterfront Plan by Hargreaves Associates and Hawkins Partners.
n.d. Vanderbilt University Master Plan by Sasaki Associates.