The Legacy of Planning in Mariemont, Ohio, and Riverside, Illinois
July 17, 2012
Riverside, Illinois, and Mariemont, Ohio, are two acclaimed examples of early planned communities. Riverside's plan was created in 1869 by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of New York City's Central Park, and John Nolen developed the town plan for Mariemont in 1921 as a national exemplar. Both of these pioneer planners were landscape architects who understood that good planning is good business.
In recognition of their uniqueness and significance, Riverside and Mariemont enjoy a special honor — designation as National Historic Landmarks. In addition, they possess such enviable but often elusive attributes as sense of place, strong community identity, and outstanding quality of life.
After presenting an overview of Olmsted, Nolen, and the two communities, former Mariemont Preservation Foundation president Frank Raeon, AICP, explained why the design principles used in Riverside and Mariemont merit not only further consideration but potential incorporation into the development patterns and character of communities.