Stewards of the land and Olmsted’s Plan

In 1868, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner, Calvert Vaux, were commissioned to plan a unique community just west of Chicago, Illinois. The result was Riverside, a beautiful community along the Des Plaines River, complete with curving lanes, abundant greenery, and gas street lights. One hundred years later, the Frederick Law Olmsted Society of Riverside was formed.

 

In 1970, Riverside was named a National Historic Landscape District.

 

Latest News

Presentation: Hidden Gems Road Trip

Presentation: Hidden Gems Road Trip

“Hidden Gems Road Trip” features photographs that speaker Pat Camalliere took of historic and scenic locations along the Des Plaines River, beginning at the Chicago Portage and ending in Lockport. The talk reveals why these places are important to the area’s history, how they look today, and how to visit them.

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Membership Renewal

Membership Renewal

Don’t delay…renew today!

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2023: Preservation Award

2023: Preservation Award

Frederick Law Olmsted Society of Riverside 2023 Preservation Award

The 2023 FLOS Preservation Award is presented to Thomas and Kelly Begani for their work on the Norris H. Mundy home. Designed in 1868 by William LeBaron Jenny, the Norris Mundy House is one of the oldest homes in Riverside, Illinois.

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Membership

Membership

If you are not yet a member you can join for 2024 today online! Renewals should visit our renewal page.

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Annual Meeting 2024

Annual Meeting 2024

The FLOS Annual Meeting was held on Friday, January 19, 2024 at 7pm at the Riverside Township Hall.

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Historic Walking Tours

Historic Walking Tours

Our 2024 Historic Walking Tours schedule of beautiful Riverside is now available. Private tours are available by special request all year round.

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Newsletters

Newsletters

Check out the 2023 Winter Newsletter today!

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Landscape Workdays 2023

Landscape Workdays 2023

Our 2024 Workday schedule will be released in early March.

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Tributes & Trees Program

Tributes & Trees Program

The Olmsted Society is announcing “Tributes & Trees” a program where you can thank, memorialize, recognize or congratulate others – and enhance the landscape of our National Historic Landmark.

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The Sweep and Curve: Olmsted’s Riverside by Charles Pipal

The Sweep and Curve: Olmsted’s Riverside by Charles Pipal

The Sweep and the Curve discussed history of the town and challenges us to view Riverside not only in historical context, but also as a model of sustainability that needs care and stewardship. Presented on April 27th by Charles Pipal. Link to presentation coming soon.

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Native Plants and Living Soil and the Joys of Complexity in the Garden

Native Plants and Living Soil and the Joys of Complexity in the Garden

Adrian Ayres Fisher, board member of West Cook Wild Ones, presented on March 23rd at the Riverside Public Library. A link to her talk, Native Plants and Living Soil and the Joys of Complexity in the Garden is now available.

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Hop Stop 2023

Hop Stop 2023

Riverside’s Craft Beer Festival was held at the Train Station and Guthrie Park on Saturday, September 3oth from 3-6pm.

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Annual Meeting 2023 Featured Presentation

Annual Meeting 2023 Featured Presentation

Serge Ambrose and Michelangelo Sabatino presented Modern Again! The Benda House & Garden in Riverside, 1938-2022. Co-owners of the Benda House, shared their journey of preservation and perseverance in restoring the original atmosphere of an International Style house.

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2023 Reflections on Nature Student Poetry Contest

2023 Reflections on Nature Student Poetry Contest

Winners announced for 2023 Reflections on Nature Student Poetry Contest!

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RBHS-FLOS Workday:  April 15, 2023

RBHS-FLOS Workday: April 15, 2023

A big shout out THANK YOU to all volunteers who gave their time on April 15th to beautify Indian Gardens, Guthrie Park and Patriots Park!!!

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Spring Workdays – 2023

Spring Workdays – 2023

It has been a busy Spring for our Workday crew. Check out all the great accomplishments!

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Living in a Modern or Contemporary House in Riverside

Living in a Modern or Contemporary House in Riverside

The Olmsted Society and the Riverside Arts Center hosted a conversation highlighting contemporary and modern houses in Riverside at the Riverside Library on Wednesday, October, 18th.

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Annual Meeting 2024 Featured Presentation

Annual Meeting 2024 Featured Presentation

Presentation to immediately follow the Annual Meeting on Friday, January 19, 2024

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Riverside – The History and the Mysteries

Riverside – The History and the Mysteries

The beautiful Village of Riverside has a long history that might surprise you. Riverside’s past also has some associated mysteries. Link to Presentation Video now available.

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Landscape Workday: November 5, 2022

Landscape Workday: November 5, 2022

This was our last workday of the year and we are so grateful for all of our volunteers and the help they give beautifying Riverside’s triangles and public spaces.

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Vintage Baseball Game Hits Riverside

Vintage Baseball Game Hits Riverside

Vintage baseball was back in Riverside! On Saturday, May 20th at 1pm at the Big Ball Park the Chicago Salmon played the Blue Island Brewmasters.

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Landscape Workday:  September 17, 2022

Landscape Workday: September 17, 2022

Fall planting along the DesPlaines River near Indian Gardens.

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Olmsted Overlook Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Olmsted Overlook Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

On Saturday, April 29 at 1:00 p.m. the Frederick Law Olmsted Society hosted a ribbon-cutting for the Olmsted Overlook. Located on Swan Pond Bluff between the Presbyterian Church and Hofmann Dam, the Overlook was planted by the Olmsted Society and community volunteers last spring.

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FLOS Video on RBTV

FLOS Video on RBTV

Several board members were interviewed by Sara Vacek for an RBTV informational spot on FLOS. It turned out very well. Check it out.

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Olmsted 200

Olmsted 200

Our Year-Long Initiatives! 2022 is the Bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted. We collected seeds last year, and are currently fundraising for two lasting commemorative gifts to the Riverside community!

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Hop Stop 2022

Hop Stop 2022

HopStop returns to Riverside! Beautiful weather and a great crowd made for a memorable day.

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2022: Restoration Award

2022: Restoration Award

The 2022 FLOS Preservation Award is presented to Serge Ambrose and Michelangelo Sabatino for their work on the Sylvia Valha and Francis J. Benda House and Garden (1939) by Winston Elting, Architect and Arvid H. Viren, Builder.

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2022: FLOS Spirit Award

2022: FLOS Spirit Award

Jim and Sandie Petrzilka are the deserving recipients of the 2022 FLOS Spirit Award!

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FLOS 2022 Poetry Contest Winners

FLOS 2022 Poetry Contest Winners

We are pleased to announce to the community the overall winners of the 2022 Reflections on Riverside Poetry Contest!

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FLOS Garden Groomers Program

FLOS Garden Groomers Program

Great Garden Opportunity for Teens aged 14-18 now available Spring 2021!

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RIVERSIDE AND DRUID HILLS PROCLAMATION

RIVERSIDE AND DRUID HILLS PROCLAMATION

FLOS Proclamation concerning a Riverside, Illinois, and Druid Hills, Atlanta, joint agreement to help celebrate the 200th anniversary of Olmsted’s birth.

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Home Rain Garden Discussion Panel

Home Rain Garden Discussion Panel

The Riverside Public Library and the Frederick Law Olmsted Society hosted a Panel Discussion on Home Rain Gardens, Thursday, April 29. Link to presentation and resources now available.

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Guided Tour of the Illinois Institute of Technology Campus

Guided Tour of the Illinois Institute of Technology Campus

The Architecture Committee is sponsoring a trip to the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) to tour the works of designed by world-renowned architect Mies van der Rohe, as well as the landscape architect Alfred Caldwell.

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The Gem of Chicago Wilderness: Ecology and Restoration of the Greatest Ecological Area in the U. S.

The Gem of Chicago Wilderness: Ecology and Restoration of the Greatest Ecological Area in the U. S.

Immediately following our Annual Meeting, Dr. Spencer Cortwright introduced us to an under-appreciated treasure, our Chicago Wilderness. Link to Lecture Now Available!

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House Walk 2019: Masterworks

House Walk 2019: Masterworks

Thanks to all who visited Housewalk Masterworks!

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Jazz Age Modern: Riverside’s Art Deco & Art Moderne Houses

Jazz Age Modern: Riverside’s Art Deco & Art Moderne Houses

The Frederick Law Olmsted Society of Riverside partnered with the Library to present a survey of Art Deco and Art Moderne buildings in Riverside. The link to the recorded Zoom presentation is now available!

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Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses, 1929-1975

Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses, 1929-1975

Riverside residents and authors Michelangelo Sabatino and Serge Ambrose presented their new book Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses, 1929-1975 (co-authored with Susan Benjamin). YouTube link now available to watch.

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Lecture:  CITY IN A GARDEN, NEW ENGLAND ROOTS

Lecture: CITY IN A GARDEN, NEW ENGLAND ROOTS

Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin and former Tribune writer Barbara Mahany explored the New England-Chicago connections and their meaning for today. Video link to presentation now available for YouTube.

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Lecture:  Olmsted’s Offspring: From Riverside to Seaside

Lecture: Olmsted’s Offspring: From Riverside to Seaside

Ms. Plater-Zyberk, an internationally-recognized architect, urban designer and planner, presented Olmsted’s Offspring: From Riverside to Seaside. Link to video now uploaded.

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August 10th – Wild Flower Walk and Talk

August 10th – Wild Flower Walk and Talk

Walk and Talk with “The Illinois Botanist” was presented on Saturday, August 10. Video link to the lecture with prominent naturalist, Chris Brenda, is now available.

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Lecture:  Secrets from Very Old Trees

Lecture: Secrets from Very Old Trees

On May 2nd, at the Riverside Public Library we presented a lecture titled: “Secrets from Very Old Trees” given by Arboretum specialist Dr. M. Ross Alexander.

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Lecture: Zoo News

Lecture: Zoo News

Get the latest scoop on our neighbor, the Brookfield Zoo. Jennifer Baader, the zoo’s Vice President of Government Affairs, will acquaint us with the history of the zoo, animal conservation efforts, and what’s been happening lately with the mammals, reptiles, and other species that live there.

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Lecture:  Bird Friendly Gardens and Landscapes

Lecture: Bird Friendly Gardens and Landscapes

“A Bird’s Eye View of Riverside,” was a lecture and discussion on how to attract birds to your garden and landscape. The event was videotaped by Riverside TV and is available now for viewing.

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Lecture: What’s New (& Old) in the Cook County Forest Preserves

Lecture: What’s New (& Old) in the Cook County Forest Preserves

In this talk, Elsa Anderson, a Stewardship Program Aide with the Cook County Forest Preserves, took us through the history of the Forest Preserves and some of the natural treasures found in the preserves today. Video link provided by Riverside TV is now available.

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Lecture: Restoring Wright Buildings to their Rightful Brilliance

Lecture: Restoring Wright Buildings to their Rightful Brilliance

Gunny Harboe, the renowned head of Harboe Architects, gave an inside view of the processes used in the restoration of two of Frank Lloyd Wright’s gems. Link to video is available inside.

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Lecture:  Undamming the Des Plaines

Lecture: Undamming the Des Plaines

Steve Pescitelli, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Stream Specialist,shared the latest river monitoring results in order to show the contrast between the “before” and “after” of dam removal. If you missed the lecture, a copy of the presentation is available for review.

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Lecture:  The Mafia in the Western Suburbs

Lecture: The Mafia in the Western Suburbs

On December 4th at 7pm John J. Binder, author The Chicago Outfit and Al Capone’s Beer Wars: A Complete History of Organized Crime in Chicago during Prohibition, will discuss the history of organized crime in Riverside and surrounding suburbs.

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