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YEAR 1885. 






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To the Sonorahle the City Council of the Oity of Boston : — 

Section 15 of the Act of 1875, Chapter 185, entitled " An 
Act for the laying out of Public Parks in or near the City of 
Boston," requires that the Board of Park Commissioners "shall 
annually, in the month of Januarj^, make to the City Council 
of Boston a full report of its doings for the preceding year, 
including a detailed statement of all their receipts and expendi- 

In accordance therewith the Board has the honor to submit 
the following report : — 

Financial Statements. 

Receipts and Expenditures of the Department for the Year 1885. 


Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 $6,639 57 

No payments have been made on this account during 1885. 


Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 .... $38,195 61 
Appropriation for the financial year 1885-86 . . 45,000 00 

Amount transferred from appropriation for Covered 

Channel, Muddy Eiver, by order approved Dec. 

28, 1885 2,300 00 

,495 61 


Excavating, Grading, Loam, and General Work. 
Grading, labor, and materials . . $16,596 97 
Dredging, labor, and materials . . 12,046 54 

Loam, labor, and materials . , 8,452 98 

Superintendence and general work . 7,508 75 

Engineering expenses .... 427 21 

$45,032 45 

Amount paid for filling done by tbe 

Boston & Albany Eailroad Co. . $14,479 50 
Superintendence and measuring . 56 00 

14,535 50 

Sidewalks, Gutters, and Drainage. 

Curb-stones $6,093 02 

Paving-blocks 2,458 12 

Setting cm-b-stones and paving gutters, 1,857 29 

Blue-stone edgings and posts . . 1,676 67 

Catch-basins and drains . . . 1,122 53 

Labor and expenses .... $5,179 18 

Trees, plants, and seeds . . . 4,134 31 

Plans and Designs. 
F. L. Olmsted, Landscape Architect . $1,520 00 
Drawing materials .... 58 32 

13,807 63 

9,313 49 

1,578 32 

Beacon Entrance Bridge. 
Amount paid Smith & Lovett, under contract, for 
iron fence 534 17 

Betaining Walls, Curb, and Fence. 
Expenses of construction, labor, and materials . . 77 GO 

$84,878 56 


Betterment Expenses. 
Expert evidence in betterment cases .... 100 00 

Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 .... 517 05 

$85,495 61 



[Muddy Biver Improvement.'] 


Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 $113,860 43 


Amount paid for land in 1885 $8,211 55 

Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 .... 105,648 88 

$113,860 43 


Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 $110 03 


Surveyors and assistants $110 03 


Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 $30,598 15 

No payments have been made on this account during 1885. 


Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 .... $6,333 14 

Appropriation for the financial year, 1885-86 . . 10,000 00 

Amount transfeired from Income Account . . 1,396 92 

$17,130 06 


Expenses of construction $13,596 12 
Fuel, supplies, carting, etc. 601 15 
Materials of construction . 521 01 
Engineering expenses . . 229 29 
Coach-hire .... 19 37 

$14,966 94 

Appraising land, etc 100 00 

$15,066 94 


Park Police. 
Pay of men . . . $942 50 

Paid Police Department . 60 00 
Equipment and supplies . 3 00 

$1,005 50 

AviQunta carried forward , i $1,005 50 $15,066 94 


Amounts brought forward. . . $1,005 50 $15,066 94 
Care of Grounds and Buildings. 
Wire fence .... $130 55 
Signs and notices . . 4 50 

Watchman and care of 
grounds .... 1,096 26 

1,231 31 
2,236 81 

Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 426 31 

$17,730 06 



Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 ,$350,610 78 


Amount paid for land in 1885 $98,947 52 

Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 .... 250,663 26 

$350,610 78 


Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 .... $2,895 33 

Appropriation for the financial year, 1885-86 . . 5,000 00 
Amount transferred from Eeserved Fund, by order 

approved June 29, 1885 10,000 00 

Amount transferred from Income Account . . 6,534 34 

$24,429 67 


Clearing and Improving Grounds. 
Labor and expenses .... $4,565 00 

Terrace JVall. 
Labor and expenses .... 3,891 05 

Superintendence and gen- 
eral work . 

Engineering expenses 
Water fountains . 
Coach-hire . 

General Work. 

,377 86 

547 83 

235 23 

232 15 
5 00 
3,398 07 


Sanitaiy buildings and shel- 
ter-houses . . . $1,170 52 
Propagating-house . . 1,038 41 

2,208 93 

$14,063 05 

Amount carried forward $14,063 05 

Amount brought forward . . $14,063 05 
Plans and Designs. 

Landscape Architect's expenses . . 38 50 

$14,101 65 


Park Police. 

Pay of men .... $3,560 36 
Paid Police Department for extra 
men 207 00 

Equipments and supplies . . 46 90 

$3,814 26 

Care of Grounds and Buildings. 
Labor in care of grounds . . $1,761 03 
Kepairs and care of buildings . 814 46 
Expenses in care of grounds . 144 59 

2,720 08 

6,534 34 


Betterment Expenses. 

Advertising, printing and reporting hearing, $2,345 71 
Clerical services at Registry of Deeds and 
Assessors' oflSce 1,338 27 

3,683 98 

Balaaice unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 . . 109 80 


Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 . 
Public Park Loan, issued Nov. 17, 1885 

Amoimt paid for land in 1885 
Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 . 


Balance imexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 . 
Temporary loan, by order approved Nov. 20, 1885 
Amount transferrer! from Income Account 

$175,013 00 
16,000 00 

$190,775 80 
237 20 


$125,493 07 

50,000 00 

1,749 18 

$24,429 67 

$191,013 00 

$191,013 00 

$177,242 25 



Sea-wall and Filling. 
Amount paid under contract with Par- 
ker & Sylvester $100,922 26 

Surveyors and Assistants . . . 4,992 25 

Labor 351 27 

Engineering expenses and incidentals , 253 70 

Paid Commonwealth for license . . 100 00 

Iron pipe 92 05 

Printing and advertising ... 51 18 

Coach-hire 8 00 

$106,770 71 


Care of Grounds and Buildings. 

Kepairs and care of buildings 1,647 83 

Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 .... 68,823 71 

$177,242 25 


Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 .... $54,271 33 
Public Park Loan, issued Nov. 17, 1885 . . . 13,000 00 

$67,271 33 

Amount paid for land in 1885 . ... . . $67,243 90 

Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 .... 27 43 

$67,271 33 


Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 .... $10,438 38 
Appropriation for the financial year 1885-86 . . 15,000 00 
Amount transferred from Income Account . . 913 95 

$26,352 33 


Filling material delivered by carts, $2,356 55 
Labor in measuring and levelling, 723 52 
Engineering expenses . . . 22 66 

},102 73 

Refectory building and fence . . $985 77 
Iron-pier — engineering expenses . 278 37 
Temporary pier — printing, adver- 
tising, and inspection . . . 250 66 

$1,514 80 

Amount carried forward . . . $4,617 53 


Amount brought forward . . . $4,61*7 53 
Plans and Designs. 
F. L. Olmsted, Landscape Architect . . $1,250 00 

General Work. 
Superintendence and general work, $1,149 85 

Coach-hire 44 00 

1,193 85 

$7,061 38 


Betterment Expenses. 
Clerical services at Registry of Deeds and 
Assessors' office . . . . . . $355 50 

Advertising 187 26 

Reporting hearing and printing . . . 30 98 

583 74 


Care of Grounds and Buildings. 

Watchman and labor on grounds 913 95 

Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 .... 17,793 26 



Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 .... $5,59484 

Appropriation for the financial year 1885-86 . . 5,000 00 
Amount transferred from Reserved Fund, by order 

approved Sept. 26, 1885 2,600 00 



Amount paid for filling done by the Bos- 
ton & Maine Railroad .... $6,170 70 

Amount paid for filling, under contract 
with John F. Barry .... 3,767 63 

Superintendence and measuring filling . 260 35 

Engineering expenses .... 51 56 

$10,250 24 

Grading, Loam, and General Wo7-k. 
Amount paid for loam, under contract 
with Thomas Wall . ... . . $1,268 00 

Grading, labor 797 55 

General work 13 50 

2,079 05 

Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 .... 865 55 

$26,352 33 

$13,194 84 

$13,194 84 



Balance iinexiDended, Dec. 31, 1884 
Appropriation for the financial year 1885-86 
Amount transferred from Income Account . 

$1,GS0 27 

4,0C0 00 

313 30 

$5,993 67 



Salary of secretary and clerk . . . $3,000 00 
Landscape Architect Advisory . . . 512 50 

Travelling expenses of Commissioners, 
Landscape Architect, and Assistant 
Engineer, to New York, Brooklyn, 
Philadelphia, and AVashington . . 253 80 

Clerical services at office Registr 

and Assessors' office 
Office expenses . 
Stationery . 
Coach-hire . 
Surveying expenses 
Drawing materials 

y of Deeds 

220 00 

135 99 

135 09 

21 20 

16 00 

8 28 

5 76 

$4,308 12 


Betterment Expenses. 

Clerical services at Registry of Deeds and 
Assessors' office $453 75 

Constables and expenses in serving no- 
tices 232 85 

Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 

686 60 

998 85 

$5,993 57 


Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1884 .... 
Appropriation for the financial year 1885-86 
Amount transferred from the Reserved Fund,- by order 
approved Nov. 14, 1885 

Balance of former appropriation merging at end of 
financial year 

$175 36 
3,000 00 

2,000 00 

$5,175 36 

88 91 

$5,086 45 





Expenses in care of propagating house and nursery 
Assistant Landscape Ga,rJener .... 
Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 



Balance remaining, Dec. 31, 1884 $4,728 58 

Keceived from rents and sale of buildings, grass, fruit, 
and old materials 15,324 42 

Transferred to Franklin Park 
Transferred to Charles River Embankment . 
Paid into Public Park Sinking-Fund 
Transferred to Bussey Park .... 
Transferred to Marine Park .... 
Paid Sinking-Fund Commissioners for redemption of 


Transferred to Park Department . 
Balance remaining, Dec. 31, 1885 . 

152,101 70 

637 65 

629 04 

549 99 

1,168 07 

$5,086 45 

$6,534 34 

1,749 18 

1,740 75 

1,396 92 

913 95 

583 87 

313 30 

6,820 69 

$20,053 00 

$20,053 00 


Summary of Receipts and Expenditures on account of Back 
Bay Construction from July 23, 1877, to Bee. 31, 1885. 


From aiDpropriations for Back Bay .... $1,081,662 34 
From appropriations for Park Department . . 22,808 85 

$1,104,531 19 


Filling $453,577 23 

Excavating, grading, loam, and general vi^ork . 274,824 40 

Retaining walls, curb, and fence .... 107,284 71 

Boylston bridge 92,011 43 

Beacon Entrance bridge 55,928 79 

Railroad bridge 39,995 04 

Amount carried forward . , . . . 1,023,621 60 


Amount brought forward 1,023,621 60 

Plantations 19,731 28 

Plans and designs 18,400 25 

Office and general expenses . . . . . 14,114 92 

Sidewalks, gutters, and drainage .... 13,807 63 

Machinery, tools, etc 8,810 91 

Surveying 5,472 IG 

Agassiz bridge 572 44 

$1,104,531 19 


Receipts and Disbursements of the Department from the Organi- 
zation of the Board, Oet. 8, 1875, to Dec. 31, 1885. 



Public Park Loan $2,409,000 00 

Appropriations, less transfers and merged bal- 
ances 1,501,662 05 

Income appropriated to maintenance . . . 28,608 16 

$3,939,330 21 

Back Bay construction . . 
Franklin Park land .... 

Back Bay land 

Charles River Embankment land . 
Marine Park land .... 
Charles River Embankment construction 
Riverdale land .... 

Bussey Park construction 
Wood Island Park land . 
Wood Island Park construction 
Franklin Park construction . 
Bussey Park land .... 
General account .... 
Marine Park construction 
Franklin Park maintenance . 

Park nursery 

Riverdale construction . 

Charles River Embankment maintenance 

Bussey Park maintenance 

Marine Park maintenance 

Wood Island Park maintenance 

Balance unexpended, Dec. 31, 1885 


104,531 19 

848,338 74 

459,360 43 

315,762 80 

232,972 57 

108,176 29 

94,351 12 

58,573 69 

50,000 00 

32,685 12 

31,607 22 

29,401 85 

25,283 89 

23,623 00 

14,034 60 

6,743 02 

4,000 00 

3,357 47 

3,081 85 

1,060 25 

49 33 

492,337 78 

,939,330 21 






Appropriations for interest on debt 
Eeceived from betterments . . . . 
Appropriations for Sinking Fund . 
Income applied to tlie payment of debt . 
Interest on banlc deposits and investments . 
From Park appropriations for Betterment 


Income paid into Sinking Fund 

Public Park Sinking Fund .... 
Interest on Public Park debt .... 
Debt cancelled by revenue and betterments . 

Betterment expenses 

Betterments in hands of City Treasurer 
Betterments held by Treasurer of Sinking Funds 
Income held by Treasurer of Sinking Funds 

$311,197 83 

290,383 26 

244,662 00 

04,026 92 

79,325 24 

9,661 62 

2,100 74 

$1,031,357 61 

$602,912 41 

311,197 83 

99,000 00 

9,661 62 

6,466 50 

2,092 33 

20 92 

$1,031,357 61 

Debt Statement. 

The Public Parh Debt., Bee. 31, 1885, to be paid as it becomes 

due.) from the Resources of the Public Parh Sinking Fund. 

Back Bay, 4^% Loan, due Oct. 1, 1887 . . . $450,000 00 

West Eoxbury Park, 4%Loan, due Jan. 1, 1913 . 233,000 00 

Arnold Arboretum, 4% Loan, due Jan. 1, 1913 . 60.000 00 

East Boston Park, 4% Loan, due Jan. 1, 1913 . 50,000 00 

West Eoxbury Park, 4% Loan, due April 1, 1913 . 300,000 00 
Charles Eiver Embankment, 4% Loan, due April 

1, 1913 285,000 00 

City Point Park, 4% Loan, due April 1, 1913 . 209,000 00 
Muddy Eiver Improvement, 4% Loan, due April 

1, 1913 119,000 00 

West Eoxbury Park, 4% Loan, due Jan. 1, 1914 . 500,000 00 
Muddy Eiver Improvement, 4% Loan, due April 

1, 1913 75,000 00 

Charles Eiver Embankment, 3J% Loan, due Oct. 

1, 1915 16,000 00 

City Point Park, Zl% Loan, due Oct. 1, 1915 . 13,s00 00 

Total Debt $2,310,000 00 

Less the means in the Sinking Fund, and in the hands of City 

Treasurer, for paying the same, Dec. 31, 1885 .... 611,498 16 

Debt, less means for paying . , . . , ... $1,698,50184 


Sinking Fund Statement. 

Resources of the Public Park Sinking Fund, Dec. 31, 1885, in 
hands of Sinking Fund Commissioners ; being Bonds of the 
City of Boston and Cash, with the Bates vjhen the Bonds 
become due. 

"West Koxbury Park, 4% Loan, due Jan. 1, 1913 . $100,000 00 

Back Bay, 4i% Loan, due Oct. 1, 1887 . . . 75,000 00 

Arnold Arboretum, 4% Loan, due Jan. 1, 1913 . 60,000 00 

East Boston Park, 4% Loan, due Jan. 1, 1913 . 50,000 00 

Albany Street, 6% Loan, due March 1. 1887 . . 30,000 00 
Muddy River Improvement, 4% Loan, due April 

1, 1913 19,000 00 

Total investments $334,000 00 

Cash 268,912 41 

Total resources $602,912 41 

Back Bat. 

Progress on tlie Back Bay Improvement during the yetir has 
been fair, considering the small amount appropriated for this 
work. It is due, however, to the fact that a balance of nearly 
$40,000 remained over from the appropriation of last year, 
allowing expenditures of about $85,000 to be made ; otherwise 
work would have been suspended in midsummer. As it was 
the Board could undertake no new work besides continuing- 
the dredging and grading operations within the basin, except- 
ing the partial putting in order of a small portion of the roads 
near the northerly end, which work consisted of filling in, con- 
structing catch-basins and drains, setting curbstones and paving 
gutters on the circuit drive from Commonwealth Avenue 
Bridge to the Boylston Entrance. 

The condition of the various works now under way in the 
construction of the Back Bay is as follows : 1,051,000 square 
feet, or 82 per cent., of the roadways and drives surrounding 
the basins are graded to tlie proper height, but with the excep- 
tion of the small portion noted above are otherwise unfinished. 


1,043,000 square feet, or 82 per cent., of the channels have been 
excavated, and 18,100 lineal feet, or 68 per cent., of the shores 
have been completed. An area of 692,000 square feet has been 
filled with dredged material to about grade eight, and 357,000 
square feet, or 43 per cent., of the marsh meadow have been 
graded and sodded. 

Planting areas aggregating 435,000 square feet, or 32 per 
cent., of the 'whole have been graded and loamed ready for 
planting, 315,000 square feet of which have been planted. 
The loam and compost needed for the remainder of the planta- 
tions is on the ground, ready for distribution, and a portion of 
the stone intended for the abutments of the bridge on Agassiz 
Road is also on the ground. 

The blue-stone edgings and posts for the sidewalks from 
Commonwealth Avenue Bridge to the Boylston Entrance are 
ready for setting, and will be put in place as soon as the 
ground will permit. 

The Board urges the importance and public necessity of 
immediately putting this public ground in a more finished con- 
dition, especially the roads of the Beacon Entrance and those 
bordering the northerly part of the Bay, all of which are noAV 
impassable. To complete this lower basin, grade the adjoining 
roads in gravel, and build the bridge on Agassiz Road will re- 
quire an expenditure of about $125,000, which, with $25,000 to 
carry on the dredging operations in the upper basin, will make 
a necessary appropriation for the next financial year of $150,000 
for Back Bay. 

This will facilitate the development of the lands beyond and 
westerly of the lower basin, besides increasing the value and 
making desirable for residence those in the immediate vicinity 
on the city side. 

A petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the city to 
complete the Back Bay Improvement has been filed in the 
Supreme Judicial Court by the Trustees of the Boston Water 
Power Company, on which an order of notice has been issued 
returnable February 1. 

After citing the statutes and acts of the city in relation to 


this improvement, the petition states that the city assessed 
betterments upon adjoining estates ; that the petitioners fur- 
nished about 75 per cent, of the land^ taken for the improve- 
ment, for which they were paid by the city the nominal price 
of ten cents per square foot; that they were the owners of 
certain parcels of real estate subject to the betterment assess- 
ments, and have paid to the city for betterments and increased 
taxes, assessed on account of said improvement, very large 
sums of money; that in 1885 the city appropriated but $45,000 
for said improvement, and with the present progress it will take 
from ten to twelve years to complete the same ; that it will 
require about $500,000 to complete the proposed plan, and 
that the Mayor and City Council have delayed unreasonably 
to make appropriations to complete the work; that the peti- 
tioners fear that the debt limit provided by law will be reached 
the present year, and that the Mayor and City Council will 
thus claim that they have no power or means to complete said 

It is sufficient to say that the statute requires all sums ex- 
pended for park construction to be raised annually by taxa- 

The limit of taxation being reduced by statute, it follows 
that appropriations for public jDarks, as well as for other pur- 
poses, must be reduced accordingly. To complete the parks 
within any reasonable time under this system would, if it were 
possible, be too great a burden for the present tax-payers to 
bear, and there seems to be no good reason why they should 
not be provided for, as in the case of other large public works, 
by means of loans, which can now be obtained on such favorable 

It is only justice to the petitioners in this case, as well as to 
others who have paid betterments and increased taxes on their 
lands, that the work of improvement should be carried forward 
to completion as soon as possible. 

The Assessors' valuations from 1877 to 1885 of the 15,388,567 
square feet of Back Bay lands, which, in the estimation of the 
Boa] d, were favorably affected by the locating and laying out 


of the proposed improvement, and were assessed a proportional 
share of the expense thereof, show an increase in valuation of 
$11,935,449, or an average of 77 cents per square foot, while 
the entire betterment laid upon these lands averaged about 5^^^ 
cents per square foot, only one-half of which could be charged 
under the law to the estates benefited. This assessment was 
^lo P®^" cent, of the valuation of these lands in 1877, while the 
increase in valuation in 1885 was 107 per cent., or more than 
twenty-seven times the amount of betterment assessed. 

The valuation of land in the rest of the city during the 
same period was reduced $9,014,425. 

The Assessors' valuations of the estates assessed for better- 
ment, not including buildings, for the above nine years, are as 
follows : — 




Total Increase. 

In 1877 


































Showing an increase in 1885 over 1877 of $11,935,449, and yielding 

an increas 

e of revenue in 1885 at the rate of $12.80 per M. of 

$152,773 74 

The value of 

new buildings erected upon this territory since 


was $9,996,900, from which the city derives an income 


year of 



127,960 32 

Total increased taxes in 1885 

$280,734 06 

The taxes upon the above increase 

of valuations of the lands 

assessed for betterment for eight year 

s are as follows 





In 1878 over 

1877 $1,146,641 

$12 80 

$14,677 00 



12 50 

21,398 91 



15 20 

81,869 46 



13 90 

122,509 72 



15 10 

146,526 60 



14 50 

158,410 31 


' 11,651,049 

17 00 

198,067 83 


, 11,935,449 

12 80 

152,773 74 


ed taxes on land 



$896,233 57 


The increased revenues from taxes upon new buildings 
erected upon these lands between 1877 and 1885 are as fol- 
lows : — 

Increase. Bate. Tax. 

In 1S78 over 1877 $461,300 $12 80 .$5,004 64 

1879 " 896,000 12 50 ' 11,200 00 

1880 " 1,866,700 15 20 28,373 84 

1881 " 3,092,300 13 90 55,492 97 

1882 " 5,549,100 15 10 83,791 41 

1883 " 7,053,100 14 50 102,269 95 

1884 " 8,837,700 17 00 150,240 GO 

1885 " 9,996,900 12 80 127,960 32 

Increased taxes on buildings $565,234 03 


Amoimt of betterments assessed . . . $431,972 00 

Abated for over-estimate of land . $375 00 

Assumed by city on land given for 

streets and in settlements of suits, 110,350 80 

110,725 80 

$321,246 20 

Increase of taxes on increased valuation of tlie lands assessed 

for betterment 896,233 57 

Increase of taxes on new buildings erected on said lands . . 565,234 03 

Total increased taxes and betterments .... $1,782,713 80 

Three parcels of land, containing about two acres, have been 
purchased during the year, making twenty acres in all thus far 
secured from seventeen owners. These lands ha,ve all been 
purchased at or within their assessed value. Tv\^elve of these 
lots are of the more valuable properties lying between Brook- 
line Avenue and Longwood Avenue, leaving only four lots yet 
to be secured in this section. 

The last annual report of this Board called especial attention ' 
to the damage done to the covered channel of Muddy River by 
the building of a sewer in close proximity thereto by the Sewer 
Department, which caused the conduit to spread to such an 
extent as to fall in in several places. The damage has been 
repaired during the year, under an appropriation of $20,000 for 
this purpose; but the stoppage of the channel caused great 


discomfort, and even danger, to the people living along the 
stream, from the bad sanitary condition of the water confined 
in the river during the summer months. Partial relief was 
afforded by a temporary connection with the Brooldine Sewer, 
by which means the water could be changed to some extent. 
The conduit is now in order, and no further danger is appre- 


The small appropriation available for this park has permitted 
work upon the driveways to be continued only part of the sea- 
son. A spur-road, one-quarter of a mile in length, extending 
from the driveway near Centre Street to the hilltop near the 
centre of the Arboretum, has been subgraded the greater part 
of its length, and is now ready for the stone foundation — a 
large amount of which was quarried last winter, and only awaita 
the necessary appropriation to be placed upon the road. 

The Indenture between the City of Boston and Harvard 
College of December 30, 1882, provides : " That the city will, 
within a reasonable time, make and finish, fit for use, of good, 
sound materials, and in a proper and workmanlike manner, the 
driveways, of which the sites and dimensions are delineated on 
the said plan, and so marked thereon, but at a cost not exceed- 
ing seventy-five thousand dollars." 

This sum was altogether too low an estimate for the described 
work, and will prove entirely insufficient for the purpose. The 
Board is, however, of opinion that no better contract for the 
city could have been made if there were no limit of cost for 
driveways. In fact this limit is practically no limit, for there 
is no other provision for the construction of roads in this park 
and Arboretum. The city must build them. Nevertheless, it 
will be the cheapest of all the parks. The land given by, and 
now leased to, Harvard College, is being put in condition by 
that institution at a considerable expense, and will be planted 
with "all the varieties of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants" 
which can be raised in the open air. This department is in the 
care of the roost skilful and learned hands, — Professor C. S. 


Sargent, Chairman of the Board of Park Commissioners of the 
town of Brookline. 

The driveway from South to Centre Street, completed early 
in the year, has been largely used by the public both for driv- 
ing and walking. The completion of the remaining driveways 
will open the whole of these beautiful grounds, and afford one 
complete park to the city in the shortest time, and at the least 

The terrace on the highest ground will furnish a noble out- 
look over the surrounding country, and will be easily approached 
in carriages and on foot. 

The Board therefore recommends that the driveways in this 
park be completed by liberal appropriations. 

The Board would also suggest that public convenience re- 
quires that the public road across the park lands, from Orchard 
to Morton Street, provided for by the plans of this Depart- 
ment, should be laid out at once and built by the Street 
Department. It will make a convenient route from the neigh- 
borhood of Jamaica Pond and the upper part of Brookline to 
the Forest Hills Station and Dorchester, and open a new tract 
of land for improvement. 

Fbanklin Park. 

The following action has been taken by the Board in the 
matter of naming the so-called West Roxbury Park, which title 
has been considered only a temporary one, suggested by the 
location of the lands : — 

In Boajjd of Pakk Commissioners, November 10, 1885. 
Tlie Chairman read the following from the records of the meeting of the 
Board of Aldermen on January 23, 1882 : — 

Fbanklin Fund. 
Alderman Stebbins submitted the following: — 

The Committee appointed to examine the accounts of S. F. McCleary, the 
treasurer of the Franklin Fund, have attended to that duty, and report that they 
iind said accounts to have been correctly kept and the interest duly collected, and 
the securities, which were examined by the Committee, were found in proper 


condition. It appears, from this examination, that the condition of the fund at 
this date is as follows: — 

Amount of fund, February 1, ISSl $259,068 86 

Interest, accrued and collected 10,302 40 

Total $269,431 26 

The above amount is invested as follows: — 

Deposits in Massachusetts Hospital Life $26'7,042 98 

Balance of seven bonds for loans ', 920 00 

In Suffolk Savings-Bank ' . . . 1,46*7 98 

Cash . 30 

$269,431 26 

Ills Honor tlie Mayor having suggested in his inaugural address the applica- 
tion of a portion of tliis fund, when due, to the extinction of the debt of the 
West Roxbury Park, the Committee desire to report the following facts for the 
information of the Board: By the Avill of Dr. Franklin, approved in 1791, 
he directed that the sum of money left by him to the Town of Boston (one 
thousand pounds), and known as the Franklin Fund, should be loaned at inter- 
est, and allowed to accumulate for one hundred years, at which period he esti- 
mated it would reach the amount of £131,000, or $582,000. Of this sum, the 
trustees at that date (1891) were emjjowered to lay out $100,000 in some impor- 
tant public work or works, and the balance of the fund should again be put at 
interest, and allowed to accumulate for one hundred years, when the Town of 
Boston was to dispose of a portion of the fund, and the State of Massachusetts 
to use the remainder. Owing to various causes the fund was not veiy produetive 
in its early years, or it would have reached a larger figure than it now exhibits. 
It will be observed, however, that its annual growth at this time exceeds $10,000, 
and, in all probability, in 1891 or 1892 the fund will reach $400,000. Of this 
amount it would seem iDroper to set aside $50,000 as a nucleus for a new accumu- 
lation, as directed by the testator. This would leave the sum of $350,000 to be 
devoted to the payment of the loan for the purchase of the West Eoxbury Park, 
to be called "Franklin Park," in perpetual recognition of the generosity of the 
great Bostonian to his native city. The Committee feel that this fund can be 
devoted to no more important " public work " than the purchase of this noble 
park, which cannot be destroyed or stolen, but will be an ever-enduring monu- 
ment to Franklin's memory. With these views the Committee feel that it will 
not be deemed inappropriate by the coming generation, if this Board ventures 
to put upon its record some expression of its opinion as to the future disposition 
of the fxmd by its successors in 1891-92. They therefore offer the following 





Eenolved, That, in the opinion of this Board, comprising a majority of the 
Trustees of the " Franklin Fund," it is expedient and highly desirable that the 


proportion of said fund which will be available in 1891-92 for investment in 
"some public work" should be devoted to the extinguishment of the debt 
incurred for the purchase of the West Koxbury Park. 

liesolved, That, in tlie event of sucli disposition of the said portion of the 
Franklin Fund, the park thus purchased should be called " Franklin Park," in 
honor of the testator Avho has so generously endowed his native town. 

The report was accepted and the resolves passed. 

The Chairman then said he brought the question of the name of Boston's 
large park before the Board at this time because before the publication of the 
new plan its name ought to be authoritatively determined. He also thought we 
ought to make known to the City Council our appreciation of the honor done 
this Board by the proposed appropriation of the hundred years' earnings of the 
Franklin Fund to the benefit of oar iirincipal park. 

The great need of the park would be means for its development and improve- 
ment. It could remain measurably in its present wild and natural condition for 
a few years, but by the time Franklin's hundred years had expired, tlie jpeople 
would wish to see it assuming a finished condition. The fund, therefore, would 
be more useful in developing and finishing the park than in paying off its funded 
debt. That, however, could be arranged when the time approached. It would 
be well now, therefore, to adopt and accept the proposition of the City Council, 
and give to the park that has, because of its location, been called the West Box- 
bury Park, the name of Franklin Park. 

The name West Roxbury, or Eoxbury, however i^leasant and familiar, is 
merely a local name. The name of Franklin is one of the glories of the nation. 

As patriot, diplomatist, statesman, and philosopher, he won the gratitude of 
his country, and the admiration of the world. 

His colleague, Mr. Adams, wrote: " Franklin's reputation was more universal 
than that of Leibnitz or Nevv'ton, Frederick the Great or Voltaire, and his charac- 
ter more beloved and esteemed than all of them. ... If a collection could be 
made of all the Gazettes of Europe for the latter half of the ISth Century, a 
greater number of iDanegyrical paragraphs ui^on ' le grand ' Franklin would ap- 
pear, it is believed, than upon any other man that ever lived." 

But to us he is connected by closer ties than these general ones. Here was his 
birthplace, and we are to appropriate to the daily use of our people the accumu- 
lation of his bounty, the results of his providence and foresight; and if for any 
reason the Franklin Fund shall be diverted to some other xise, still to this beauti- 
ful park, devoted to the refreshment and cheer and delight of all, but more 
especially of those whose walk is limited to a crowded city, what name is more 
appropriate than that of Franklin ; what name fuller of inspiration and promise 
and reward ? 

On motion of Mr. Maguire, it was voted: That, for the reasons set forth in 
the remarks of the Chairman, the park heretofore called West Boxbury Park 
shall be named and known as "Franklin Park." 

The Board has been pleased to find that the name has met 
public approval. 


Under a special appropriation of $10,000 for the purpose, the 
Board has cleared the ground of many of its dividing walls and 
fences, using the stone in the construction of a terrace over- 
looking what is designed to be the principal play-ground of the 
park. It was thought best to make this disposition of the stone 
at once, in order to avoid the exti'a expense of twice handling. 
The grounds in front have been cleared of supernumerary trees 
and boulders, and should be properly graded and surfaced for 
the purposes of recreation as soon as possible. It is the desire 
of the Board also to construct the driveways surrounding this 
field at once, in order that it may be a complete thing in itself, 
and furnish a short circuit drive entirely within the park. 
The terrace should also be finished and planted with shrubs 
and vines as designed. The woods have been somewhat cleared 
and opened, and most of the fruit trees have been taken away, 
thus removing a source of much trouble and lawlessness. Sev- 
eral buildings have been removed and the cellars filled, and 
large quantities of poisonous ivy have been uj)rooted. The 
large mansion-house, on what will be called Refectory Hill, 
near Blue Hill Avenue, has been rented and fitted up as a 
refectory, where refreshments of all kinds are served. The 
house at the corner of Walnut and Williams Streets has also 
been fitted up for minor refreshment purposes. In either of 
these houses proper attention will be given to the wants of vis- 
itors, who are free to occupj^ them as long as may be necessary. 
Drinking-^vater has been supplied to the ball-field through an 
iron pipe with two fountains. As early as the second week in 
March visitors began to frequent the park, and the latter part 
of the month found the boys using the ball-field and play-ground 
in large numbers. The Sunday attendance through the season, 
from March to November, as reported by the park police, ran 
from 3,000 to 20,000, with an average attendance of 11,000 for 
each Sunday reported, and of 15,000 in fine weather. No com- 
putation of the week-day attendance has been attempted, except 
in the matter of picnics, of which there were 42 reported from 
15 different societies or charities, with an average attendance 
of about 200 persons. 


The Board recommends that the streets running throug-h tiic 
park hinds be discontinued as public ways, and that Wahiut 
Street be continued through Sigourney Street to Forest Hills 
Street, in order to give an outlet to Walnut Street, outside the 
park limits. In connection with this change a triangular piece 
of land at the junction of Walxiut and Sigourney Streets will 
have to be acquired for park purposes, and the Board recom- 
mends that an appropriation by lean of $20,000 be made at 
once for this purpose. 

The plan for this park, as finally completed b}^ the Landscape 
Architect and adopted by the Board, is published in a supple- 
mentary report. 

Maeine Paek, City Point. 
Under a recommendation of this Board, contained in last 
year's report, application was made to the Legislature for a 
grant of flats, east of Q Street, for park purposes, which 
resulted in the following report and legislative action : — 


House of Eepbesentatives, June 15, 1885. 
The Committee on Harbors and Public Lands, to whom was referred the 
petition of tlie Mayor of Boston for a grant of flats owned by the Common- 
wealth, and lying between City Point and Castle Island, to be used for the pur- 
poses of a public park, having given the petitioners a hearing, and having heard 
the Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners in relation thereto, and viewed 
the premises, report the accompanying bill. It is not intended in this bill to 
define the exact limits within which the whole of the contemplated marine park 
at South Boston may be located. The plan of the Park Commissioners proposes 
the extension of a portion of the park beyond tlie north line of the area described 
in the bill. The limits and conditions of such extension involve important ques- 
tions in connection with the great work of harbor conservation and improvement 
whicli the Commonwealth is now prosecuting in the enclosure and filling of the 
South Boston Flats, and the construction of docks and piers between Fort Point 
Channel and Castle Island. More time is desired for careful study and consid- 
eration by the Harbor and Land Commissioners and the Park Commissioners of 
the interests involved, and the respective plans to be adopted, in the further 
reclamation of the flats by the Commonwealtli, and in the location and con- 
struction of the proposed park by the city. This will not delay the beginning of 
their work by the Park Commissioners within the limits defined in the bill. 

For the Committee, 




In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-five. 

[Chap. 360.] 


In further addition to ^n Act for the laying out of Public Parks in or near the 

City of Boston. 
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court 
assembled and by the authority of the same as follows : — 
Section 1. The Board of Park Commissioners of the City of Boston, sub- 
ject to the provisions of chapter nineteen of the Public Statutes, excepting so 
much of section sixteen of said chapter as requires the payment into the treas- 
ury of compensation for the rights and privileges hereby granted in land of the 
Commonwealth, may make such excavation and filling, and erect and maintain 
such structures, in and over the area of tide-v?ater at or near Dorchester Point, 
in South Boston, which lies south of the northerly line of East First Street, 
extended easterly to Castle Island, and east of the westerly line of Q Street, 
extended southerly into Old Harbor, as the said Board may deem necessary or 
desirable for the purposes of a public park, in accordance with the provisions 
of chapter one hundred and eighty-five of the acts of the year eighteen hundred 
and seventy-five. 

Sect. 2. All lands of the Commonwealth, which are occupied or enclosed 
under the provisions of this act, shall be appropriated to and used solely for the 
purposes of a public park. 

Sect. 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 

[Approved, June 19, 1885.] 

A contract was concluded October 23d with Benjamin iToung, 
of Chelsea, for the construction of a temporary wooden pier to 
extend some twelve hundred feet in a southeasterly direction 
from the present shore line, opposite East Fifth Street. The 
outer end will be at the inshore end of the proposed iron pier, 
and the site of the wooden pier will eventually be filled. 
Meanwhile it will prove useful in the construction of the iron 
pier, and will serve also for a promenade during the time in 
which the iron pier is building. The Refectory building was 
open through the season, the keeper being allowed to sell 
refreshments ; but it was not patronized to any great extent. 
Its position is unsuitable, and another season it will be moved 
to a point near the entrance to the pier. By the action of the 
Board of Street Commissioners, Q Street has been widened to 
ninety feet, and the streets running easterly from Q Street have 


been discontinued ; nothing, however, has been done by the 
Street Department to construct Q Street to its full width, and 
it is now in a very unsightly condition. 

The work of grading and reconstructing the street should be 
undertaken at the earliest time possible to facilitate the plant- 
ing of trees, and accommodate the large number of people who 
visit the park. No satisfactory result has been reached in the 
negotiations with the general government for the use of part of 
Castle Island in connection with this park ; but further efforts 
in this direction will be made until some solution of the differ- 
ences existing can be found. 

Wood Island Pabk:, East Boston. 

The small appropriation available for this park has been 
utilized in completing the filling of Neptune Road, running 
from Bennington Street to the park, and in filling the spaces 
provided for trees with loam to the depth of two feet below the 
surface, underlaid with six inches of clay. 

A license has been obtained from the Railroad Commission- 
ers for the construction of a bridge over the Boston, Revere 
Beach, and Lynn Railroad, with a headway of fifteen feet ; and 
as no approach to this park can be had until the bridge is con- 
structed and the parkway finished, the Board recommends that 
an appropriation for this purpose, and for a fence and plank- 
walk along the Neptune Road, be made at once. 

Chables RrvER Embankment. 

The construction of the sea-wall of that part of the Embank- 
ment which was authorized by the Act of the Legislature of 
March 16, 1881, was begun by the contractors, Messrs. Parker 
& Sylvester, about April 1st, and continued without interrup- 
tion to the close of the season ; the amount of the appropriation 
expended to January 1st being $108,176.29. 

A further appropriation of $50,000 was made by the last city 
government, in view of the fact that the act requires its com- 
pletion before March 16th next. The appropriation came too 


late, however, to camplete the work during the season. As it 
will be necessary to petition the Legislature for an extension 
of time in which the Embankment must be built, the Board 
recommends that the petition also ask for a change of line at 
the westerly end, to provide for further extensions in the future. 
In the opinion of the Board, the extension of the Embankment 
to and along the rear of the houses on Beacon Street is only a 
question of time ; and to prevent encroachments upon the 
Charles River Basin it seems important to secure the franchise 
for park purposes. 

Additional Parks and Parkways. 

The system of parks as planned and partially carried out by 
the preceding Boards requires sundry additional lands for the 
securing of which no provision has yet been made. The most 
important of these locations is the proposed Jamaica Park, 
approached on one side by the Riverdale Road. It is the con- 
necting link between the Back Bay and Riverdale Improve- 
ments and the Bussey Park, and will make a pleasure-ground 
of great beauty and attraction in the chain of parks. It has 
been referred to and recommended by the Board several times 
in past years, and this Board can only repeat its recommenda- 
tion, " that a loan of $350,000 be authorized, to be issued only 
as fast as needed, to purchase the estates now in the market, 
and to secure others from time to time as arrangements there- 
for can be made." 

The Board also advises that an application be made to the 
Legislature for the passage of the following draft for an act, 
which it is thought would facilitate the matter of securing the 
fee of the lands to the city at reasonable prices : — 

Draft for an Act permitting the Leasing of Estates taken for the Purposes of a 

Public Park. 
Whenever the owner of an estate which may hereafter he taken for the pur- 
poses of a public park shall, at the time of said taking, occupy said estate as his 
home, and shall desire to continue so to do, he may apply to the Board of Park 
Commissioners for a lease of said estate or of any part thereof. If said Com- 
missioners shall deem that it is desirable to make such lease, they shall be 


authorized to make a lease of said estate, or of any part thereof, to such former 
owner for such term, not exceeding the life of said former owner, and upon such 
mutual restrictions, reservations, covenants, and conditions as may be agreed 
upon between said Commissioners and said former owner. 

And whenever the City of Boston, by its Board of Park Commissioners, shall 
acquire title to lands for park purposes, but before it is necessary to use the 
same for said purposes, said Commissioners may in the meantime lease the 

Next in importance to this location is the need of securing 
the lands for the connecting parkway from Jamaica Park to 
Franklin Park, part of which have already been secured in 
the taking of lands for Bussey Park. The Board has made 
no estimate of the cost of taking the lands needed to extend 
this parkway, but would recommend that a loan of $100,000 
be appropriated for this purpose, and the Board be authorized 
to secure lands to that amount. This will allow the Board to 
negotiate with the owners in a satisfactory manner, and it is 
hoped that the sum will be found sufficient for the purpose. 

A further appropriation by loan of $50,000 will be needed 
for the Back Bay Improvement to pay for judgments against 
the city, and to secure a small amount of additional land lying 
on either side of the Longwood Entrance, which is required to 
conform the entrance to the lines of the Riverdale Improve- 

The removal of the sewage from South Bay and Fort Point 
Channel renders it no longer necessary to create a large park 
in this basin for sanitary reasons alone. The filling up of 
these mud-flats would be expensive, and of little value for park 
purposes. If it were necessary to do anything in this direction 
the maintenance of the present upper basin, by the construc- 
tion of a promenade and road about it, regulating thereby the 
ebb and flow of the tide, would perhaps offer the best solution. 

This proposed location is only one and one-half miles from 
Franklin Park and the Marine Park by direct roads, and it 
seems to this Board wiser to expend any money available for a 
park here in widening and improving the main thoroughfare 
between said parks. Columbia Street, in continuation of Dor- 
chester and Boston Streets, via Five Corners and Upham's 


Corner, is the only direct means of transit from South Boston 
to Franklin Park. It is now only a narrow lane in man}^ 
places, and, not being built upon to any great extent, can be 
widened at no very large expense. The Board therefore 
recommends that the Street Department be directed to widen 
this street to ninety feet. 

When this is done and the communication through Jamaica 
Park before described is completed, the entire system of parks, 
from Charles River to City Point, will be united by spacious 
and pleasant avenues. 

Land Settlements. 

The Board regrets the number of unsettled actions for dam- 
ages for lands taken for public parks, and is devoting much 
time in endeavoring to arrive at settlements, but will not yield 
to unjust claims. The number of cases in which there are 
negotiations for settlements has increased, and there is no 
reason why the number of unfinished cases should not rapidly 
diminish either by settlement or trial. 

Settlements have been effected in eight cases. In four of 
these the liability of the city was determined by a jury trial, 
although in one of them the amount paid was less than the 
judgment rendered. Twenty cases are in suit, divided as 
follows: four on Back Bay, four on Bussey Park, eleven on 
Franklin Park, and one on the Charles River Embankment. 
The amount involved in these cases, as heretofore estimated by 
the Board, is $350,217.53. Of the 500 acres in Franklin Park, 
868 acres have been settled for, leaving 187 acres still outstand- 

Improvement op Parks. 

The cost of constructing the public parks must, under the 
present law, be raised by taxation, thereby bringing the whole 
cost of these permanent improvements upon the present gen- 

The annual appropriations for interest and sinking-funds on 
account of loans issued for acquiring lands must also come 


from the tax levy. If to these be added sufficient appropria- 
tions for the proper development of the six parks already laid 
out by the Board, the total annual expenditure must necessarily 
be large if any progress is to be made in their construction. 

The pay as you go policy, however wise and necessary in or- 
dinary affairs, seems unwise and unfair when applied to great 
public improvements intended more for the future than for the 
present. Long-term loans can now be obtained at a very low 
rate of interest, and the cost to the tax-payers would be less 
under this system than by the present policy ; while the parks 
would be earlier constructed, and the expense spread over a 
longer term, thereby relieving the present from what would 
otherwise be too large a proportion of the total cost of these 
improvements, and also permitting it to share in the benefits 
derived therefrom. 

There are widely divergent opinions as to the effect of the 
different parks upon the value of lands immediately adjacent 
thereto ; some insisting that in the end the effect will be similar 
to that shown in the instance of the Back Bay lands, referred 
to above, and that the consequent increased revenue from the 
increased value of lands — from all the parks together — will 
more than pay the interest on the bonds that may be issued for 
their prompt completion, and provide the sinking-funds to re- 
deem the bonds at maturit}^ ; and that therefore the parks will 
build themselves and not impose any additional burden upon 
the tax-payers ; while others believe the case of the Back Bay 
Improvement to be exceptional in this respect, and that none 
of the results so wonderful in its case can be claimed for the 
other parks. 

The latter class claim that most of the parks are solely for 
the public use, convenience, and benefit, and should be built by 
the public, and that the public cannot and ought not attempt 
to escape from the burden ; and that where so many parks are 
built at the same time, their effect upon the adjacent lands, 
and the revenue therefrom, is so uncertain, that it cannot justly 
be taken into account. 

Whichever of these views is best founded, all now admit the 


general beneficence of parks, — and that the present is entitled 
to share with the future in that beneficence, — and that this 
equalization of benefits can be acquired only through the 
instrumentality of loans. 

The certainty and regularity of funds thus provided would 
also enable the work to be more economically prosecuted, 
thereby diminishing its final cost. 

The Board would therefore recommend that an application 
be made to the present Legislature for the passage of an act 
authorizing the city to issue bonds on a fifty years' loan for the 
construction of the public parks. These bonds may be limited 
to an amount not exceeding five million dollars, or to the 
amount actually expended in the construction of said parks, 
and to be provided for either by sinking-funds or by the pay- 
ment annually of one-fiftieth of the principal, as provided in 
the act of last year authorizing the "Suffolk County Court- 
House Loan." 

Reports by the Landscape Architect and City Engineer of 
the works under their charge, together with a collection of 
Statutes and City Orders relating to this department, will be 
found in the Appendix. 

Respectfully submitted, 


Boston, January 27, 1886. 



Boston, January 1, 1886. 
To the Park Commissioners : — 

Sirs, — I have the honor to submit the following Annual Re- 
port : — 

Back Bat. 

Referring to the report of the City Engineer for details of con- 
struction, I beg to say that, during the last year, the design pre- 
viously followed for managing the fluctuating waters of Back Bay by 
a system of basins and regulating inlets and outlets, various means 
for avoiding unseemlmess of aspect, and for providing a public 
promenade about the same, has been steadily pursued as far as the 
means at your command have allowed. The outlet district, from 
Boylston Bridge to Beacon Street, is complete except as to some 
revision of the plantations that have been in the hands of a con- 
tractor, and contain much material that will be later used elsewhere. 
As shown in the accompanying map, the lower basin is complete in 
about one-third, and nearly complete in two-thirds, of its area. The 
slopes, so far as complete, between the salt grass levels and the 
Promenade, and the areas about Westland Entrance have been 
planted. So much of the Promenade as borders the two districts 
named has been subgraded and partly planted, and supplied with 
curb and gutter. 

A severe and prolonged easterly storm, coincident with spring 
tides, has a second time supplied a test of the working operation of 
the scheme with satisfactory results, the entire operations fully meet- 
ing the intention of its design, and confirming the calculations on 
which it was based. The nuisance heretofore existing, and which 
rendered the neighborhood of the basins uninhabitable during the 
heat of summer, has been completely removed, the air of the vicinity 
during all of last summer being perfectly sweet and wholesome. 

The plan of artificial salt meadows has been so far carried out that 
its success may be considered as established, salt grass sward having 


been formed upon the prepared surface by two methods, transplant- 
ing and sowing. The attempt to finish the borders of the zone imme- 
diately above the salt grass has not as yet had satisfactory results, 
the greater number of plants set in 1884 liaving died. Here and 
there clusters of the same plants that have elsewhere failed are, how- 
ever, found not only living, but flourishing and spreading, and it is 
hoped that the deaths are due to transitory conditions. No doubt is 
had that by patient efforts the results contemplated in the design 
will in time be secured. 

FEANKLiiSr Park. 

The Commission, having approved the preliminary plan for Frank- 
lin Park, and wishing to begin the work of clearing the ground of 
incumbrances, concluded early in the summer to finally adopt so 
much of the plan as covered a tei'ritory of above thirty acres at the 
north end of the property, adjoining Walnut Street. This division 
of the ground is designed to be adapted for use as a play-ground, and 
in connection with a ledge that borders it a platform eight hundred 
feet long and about eight feet in height is planned. During the 
summer a small force has been employed in collecting the stone lying 
upon the surface of the ground, drawing it and constructing the plat- 
form from it. The work done thus far consists of about six hundred 
feet of retaining-wall averaging eight feet in height, built with a front 
of dark, weather-stained field stone with a concave battered face. 
Chambers of soil have been formed in the rear of this outer wall, to 
sustain plants intended to grow, through numerous apertures, over 
the face of the wall, and to merge in effect with others to be scat- 
tered along the base. A sufficient amount of stone has been lifted 
and awaits removal for the completion of the wall, and a part of it is 
intended to be planted in the spring, the plants needed being for the 
most part now under propagation or in the nursery. If suitably pro- 
ceeded with, the design of the work may be essentially realized in 
three years. 

The Aboeetfm. 

The road crossing the Arboretum from Centre to South Street has 
been finished, the slopes toward it on both sides formed, the adjoin- 
ing ground given in charge to Harvard College, and in large part 
planted, the work of the college being of an admirable, liberal, 
thorough, and excellent character. 

The general plan of the plantations to be made by the college, 


which has been under discussion several years, is now determined. 
Having a few years since made a study of the principal collections 
passing under the same name in Europe, and being familiar with 
those of this comitry, I am of the opinion that that which the college 
will provide the City of Boston, in following this plan, will, both in 
respect to beauty and to instructive utility, be of unrivalled value. 

By permission of Professor Sargent the following account of the 
plan prepared by him is presented in advance of its intended publi- 
cation by the college : — 

"An Arboretum is a museum devoted to one branch of natural 
history, and intended by the aid of living specimens primarily to 
facilitate the study and increase the knowledge of trees and other 
plants. It should contain and display, therefore, as many forms of 
arborescent life as is compatible with the climate of the region in 
which it is situated, its own extent and resources. A public Arbo- 
retum, like any other public museum, must be prepared to instruct 
the public through the display of representative types selected from 
its collections and specially arranged for the definite purj)ose of 
object-teaching ; and it must be prepared to facilitate investigations 
in the particular department of science it is created to illustrate, by 
means of working collections, both living and dead. As it is expected 
to perform two distinct, although concurrent, duties, the public Arbo- 
retum should contain two distinct collections : — 

" 1. The permanent collection for display, consisting of a selection 
of species intended to illustrate as j)erfectly as circumstances of cli- 
mate will permit, and by fully developed specimens, the most impor- 
tant types of arborescent -vegetation. 

" 2. A collection for investigation, which need not necessarily be 
permanent, and which should be arranged in a manner to permit of 
the admission of new species or new forms, and the removal of others 
which have served their purpose. To this second collection would 
naturally be joined all minor collections, like that of shrubs, and 
other plants of less enduring character than trees. 

" The educational value of any great Arboretum would, I believe, 
be increased by such a division of its collections ; in the present case 
it is essential. A complete collection of trees, — that is, of arbor- 
escent species and natural or artificial foi-ms or varieties already 
known, which could be made to grow in a climate as severe even as 
that of Eastern Massachusetts, without i^rovision for future addi- 


tions, which are likely to increase rather than diminish in number as 
the cultivation of trees becomes more general, but with a proper 
representation for each species — would occupy not less than a thou- 
sand acres of land, and require an annual outlay for maintenance far 
in excess of any income the Arboretum can possibly hope to enjoy 
for this purpose. Selection, therefore, is absolutely necessary, and 
the establishment of two distinct collections has been decided upon, 
— a permanent or exhibition collection, in which certain selected 
species or forms will be allowed space for full development, and a 
working or experimental collection, which can be crowded into a 
comparatively small space, and in which species of doubtful hardiness, 
transitory forms of horticulture rather than of botanical or economic 
value, new introductions and other trees, which for one reason or 
another have been omitted from the permanent collection, will all 
sooner or later find their places. 

" The selection and proper grouping of the tropical forms, intended 
to illustrate in the main collection the hardy arborescent vegetation 
of the temperate zones, is difficult ; and this difliculty is immensely 
increased by the fact that the permanent arrangement of an Arbore- 
tum is really permanent, and cannot, as is the case with collections 
in other museums, be changed or modified to meet the demands of 
more advanced knowledge or the requirements of changing fashions. 
A tentative arrangement is impossible, and the difiiculty of selection, 
and especially of grouping, is not diminished by the nature of the 
collections in which each individual will continue to require yearly 
additional space for a century perhaps. The selection of this type 
collection has only been reached after the most careful consideration, 
and with many modifications of the plan which at first appeared 
practicable. It wiU contain, as now determined upon, representa- 
tives of all the genera of trees hardy in Eastern Massachusetts. 
Species of doubtful hardiness, and all accidental and other varieties 
not permanently fixed by time or long cultivation, will be excluded. 
Prominence will be given to the species of Eastern North America, 
and especially to those native of New England, because these spe- 
cies are better adapted to reach maturity in this climate than those 
of any other region ; and because it is believed that the community, 
which will naturally have the closest relation with the Arboretum, 
will derive the greatest benefit from the examination of a collection 
of our native trees growing under favorable conditions and eventu- 
ally fully developed. And this will doubtless be found true whether 


the collection is studied in its scientific, industcial, or purely orna- 
mental aspect. 

" The plan contemplates that each hardy tree species of Eastern 
America shall be represented by an individual so planted as to 
secure for it the maximum growth attainable in this climate, and 
also by a group of individuals, varying in number from six to 
twenty-five, selected to show variations of character and habit in the 
species, and planted with the view of securing its expression in 
mass rather than perfect individual development. This plan, it is 
hoped, will assume the pei-manence in the Arboretum of the most 
important species, which without the groups would depend upon 
the life of single individuals for representation ; it will, moreover, 
show the habit and behavior of all our principal trees under as 
nearly natural conditions as it is possible to secure in any artificial 

" Exotic species and their most valuable and best fixed varieties 
will be represented by single specimens, except in the case of a few 
exceptional species, where some peculiar value or marked fitness to 
support our climatic conditions makes it desirable to supplement the 
single specimen, as in the case of indigenous species, by a considera- 
ble group of individuals. 

" The plan allows for every species, native or exotic, what is be- 
lieved to be more than sufiicient space for its possible full growth ; 
and no more individuals of any species, and no supplementary species 
other than those expected to reach maturity, will be planted. This 
plan has, of course, serious disadvantages. The different specimens, 
and even the different species groups, will for a long time appear 
needlessly remote from each other, and close planting at the begin- 
ning would doubtless make the Arboretum more attractive to the 
casual visitor. It has, however, its advantage in a very great 
economy of labor and material. Trees, too, which one generation 
plants in the expectation that the next generation will cut them 
down, are rarely cut at the right time. Overcrowding and the com- 
plete ruin of specimens is the result. It is hoped in this Arboretum, 
however, that by adhering to the plan of only planting in the type 
collection the number of individuals intended to reach maturity, it 
will be saved from the fate of all the old public collections of trees 
in which early overplanting or unsystematic planting has produced 
either confusion or the entire ruin of all perfection of individual 
growth. The general type collection will be arranged by genera in 


the sequence of their botanical relationship, such an arrangement 
affording the greatest facility for examination and maintenance. In 
a few instances, however, genera will be placed out of the natural 
sequence in order to secure for them favorable conditions of soil and 
exposure. The sjDecies of the different genera will, as far as prac- 
ticable, be arranged geographically, first, those of North America, 
then those of Europe, and then those of Asia ; the species of each 
continent in their proj^er botanical sequence, 

" The advantages and the disadvantages of this general plan, thus 
briefly described, cannot unfortunately be finally judged until long- 
after all those interested in the early development of the Arboi'etum 
have passed away. This generation can neither enjoy its mature 
fruits nor feel the full weight of errors in arrangement made now, 
and which time is only too certain to bring to light. 

" The years which have passed since the conception of the Arbore- 
tum have been years of preparation. These are now to be followed 
by a period of active construction, and for this the Arboretum 
is fairly well equipped in its own resources and in the interest of its 
friends and correspondents. The germ of construction and early 
growth will, it is to be hoiked, be followed by a long period of real 
educational importance and value." 


"The provisional or tentative arrangement of the shrub collec- 
tions referred to in my last report has been completed. These now 
occupy 37 parallel beds, each 10 feet wide and 300 feet long. This 
collection now contains about 1,100 species and varieties, arranged 
in botanical sequence, with provisions for a considerable further 

" Trees and shrubs to the number of 2,574 have been moved from 
the different nurseiies into permanent boundary and other planta- 
tions. The plantations and nurseries are all in excellent condition. 
During the year, 444/jffj squares of peat have been dug and stocked 
for future use, at a cost of 11,022.10; and llOf cords of wood have 
been cut, at a cost of $221.50.- The largest part of this wood remained 
unsold at the end of the year. 

"The result following the pruning of the old trees forming the 
permanent natural woods of the Arboretum, described in my last 
report, has so far been satisfactory, and this work, on a larger scale 
than before, has been carried on uninterruptedly dui'ing the past 


Interchange op Plants and Seeds. 

" The interchange of plants and seeds with other botanical and 
horticultural establishments has been continued during the year. 
There have been 4,459 i^hi^nts (including cuttings and grafts) and 
39 packets of seeds distributed, as follows: To all parts of the 
United States, 4,216 plants and 8 packets of seeds ; to Great Britain, 
43 plants and 13 packets of seeds ; to the continent of Europe, 200 
plants and 18 packets of seeds. 

" There have been received during the year 6,783 plants (includ- 
ing cuttings and grafts) and 40 packets of seeds from 21 donors. 
The most considerable contribution of the sort has been a set of cut- 
tings and grafts from the Kew Arboretum, numbering 2,200, and 
representing several hundred species and varieties of rare trees and 

No other works of the Department have as yet been advanced 
beyond preliminary grading operations and provisional construc- 
tions, in regard to which statements will be found in the Report of 
the City Engineer. 


There are now in the nursery of the Department on Franklin 
Park, of 

Coniferous trees , 1,150 

Deciduous trees . 
Evergreen shrubs 
Deciduous shrubs 
Climbing plants . 
Hardy perennials 






Landscape Architect. 

Office of City Engineeb, City Hall, 
Boston, Jan. 18, 1S86. 
Hon. Benjamin Dean, 

Chairman Board of Parh Commissioners : — 
Sir, — I lierewith submit the following report of work done and of 
other matters of interest in connection with the work placed under 
my direction by your Board : — 

BRooXLwe Ave /^ver 

City of Boston -Park Department 

Improvement of IBack Bay 

HeLiOfyjje Pimting Ci> Boston 


Back Bat Impeovemekt. 

Grading and Loaming. — The work of excavating the marsh to 
the established grade has been continued. 

In doing this work the sods were removed, the mud excavated, 
and the sods relaid, A portion of the proposed marsh-meadow, 
which had been filled with dredged materials, was also sodded. 
The total area of marsh-meadow graded and sodded is now 357,000 
square feet, or 43 per cent, of the whole. The muck excavated from 
the marsh, together with a large amount dug from the channel by 
the dredging-machine, was used in grading the slopes between the 
driveways and the shore of the waterway. These slopes were after- 
wards covered with loam and compost, and are ready for planting. 

The total area now graded and loamed for planting is 435,000 
square feet, or 32 per cent, of the whole area to be treated in this 

The greater part of the area graded in 1884 has been planted dur- 
ing the past season, making the total area planted 315,000 square 
feet, or 23 per cent, of the whole. 

Gravel Filling. — The Boston & Albany R. R. Co. has furnished, 
during the year, the gravel required for grading the driveways and 
forming the shores of the waterway, the total amount delivered being 
8,594 squares, and the j^rice paid $3.50 j)er square. 

Excavation of Waterway. — Dredging was resumed on April 15th, 
and continued until December 17th, the total quantity of material 
dredged during the year being 51,419 cubic yards. This amoimt is 
less than that of the previous year, the working season having been 
shorter, and the work more difficult to do. 

The cost was about 23 cents per cubic yard, including the cost of 
all repairs, no allowance being made for the cost and dejDreciation in 
value of the plant. 

There is charged to dredging the cost of handling considerable 
material, which could not be measured, and is therefore not included 
in the above amount of work done, and also the cost of towing scows 
loaded by hand with sods and other material. 

The area of waterway excavated to grade is now 1,043,000 square 
feet, or 82 per cent, of the whole, and the length of shore line com- 
pleted is 18,100 lineal feet, or 68 per cent, of the whole. 

Driveways. — The driveway from Parker Street to Commonwealth 
Avenue has been graded, curbstones have been set, gutters paved, 
and the catch-basins and drains constructed. 


The blue-stone edgings and posts for enclosing the tree spaces on 
the northerly side of the drive have been purchased, and are on the 
ground, but have not as yet been set. 

The total length of curbstone set is 4,138 lineal feet, and the area 
of gutters paved, 1,876^ square yards. 

Miscella7ieous. — Temporary wire fences have been constructed 
around such portion of the planted areas as needed protection. 

The various structures are in good condition, with the exception of 
the granite curb whieh supports the iron railing around the planted 
areas in the Beacon Entrance ; a portion of this has settled out of 
shape, and will have to be reset before sidewalks are built. 

The structures for controlling the flow of the water in Stony Brook 
and the Back Bay Basin have satisfactorily performed the work for 
which they were designed. 

On February 10th an unusual freshet occurred in Stony Brook, 
and on the 25th of November a severe easterly storm caused the tide 
to rise to a height greater than it has attained for several years. On 
neither of these occasions was there any serious damage done to the 
slopes around the basin. 

A sewer has been built by the Sewer Department in Marlborough 
Street, and connected temporarily with the Stony Brook conduit, 
with the understanding that early in next season this sewer, together 
with one in Newbury Street which was connected with the conduit 
in 1884, and the sewer in Huntington Avenue shall be connected 
with the Main Drainage system. 

A plan of the improvement of the Back Bay, herewith annexed, 
shows the progress made to December 31, 1885. 

Covered Channel oe Muddy River. 

The conduit which was damaged as described in the last annual 
report has been thoroughly repaired, and in December the flow of 
Muddy River was again tui-ned through it, and the connection with 
the Back Bay Basin closed. 

The conduit across Bi'ookline Avenue, which is intended to con- 
nect Muddy River with the Back Bay Basin, is uncompleted, the 
land needed for that purpose not having been obtained. This work, 
together with the retaining-wall required, should be done during the 
coming: season. 


BussET Park. 

Owing to the small amount of the appropriation for this park, less 
work has been done during the past year than in previous years. A 
small force was employed during the early part of the year at the 
quarry on Bussey Street, getting out stone for use on the driveways. 
The driveway to the top of the open hill has been partially graded. 

Stones for granite gate-posts at the entrances to the driveway 
already built have been cut, and the posts at the South Street 
entrance have been built. 

Wire fences have been placed on the boundaries of the park where 
there were no fences previously. 

Feanklin Park. 

A small force was employed in the early part of the year in remov- 
ing fruit and other unsightly trees. 

The " Sewall house," on Blue Hill Avenue, having been leased for 
a Refectory, a water-pij)e was laid for the introduction of city water, 
and a sanitary building for men was built. 

The "Williams house," at the corner of Williams and Walnut 
Streets, was fitted up for a Refectory and a waiting-room, and a sani- 
tary building for men was built near it. 

Two drinking-fountains were erected in the field in rear of the car- 
station on Blue Hill Avenue, and about 1,400 lineal feet of pipe laid 
to connect them with the city pipes. 

In August work was begun on the erection of a retaining-wall to 
support the " Overlook," near Walnut Street and Glen Road, the 
stone for this wall being obtained from the old fence walls in the 
vicinity and from the field in front of it. 

The boulders were removed from an area of about 20 acres, and 
the holes filled with loam. 

A small force has been kept constantly employed in the nursery 
and propagating house since the completion of the latter. 

All the cellars where buildings have been removed have been filled 
and the grounds about them cleared up. 

Charles River Embai^kmbnt. 

Work was commenced upon this improvement by the contractors 
about April 1st, and continued at a rapid rate until about the middle 
of September, from which time until the closing of work for the 


winter its progress was somewhat slow, on account of the want of an 
additional appropriation to carry it on. 

About 1,800 lineal feet of pile foundation, 1,600 lineal feet of 
wall below coping, with the filling behind it, and 800 lineal feet of 
coping have been completed, comj)rising work to the value of about 

To complete the work will require about 400 lineal feet of pile 
foundation, 650 lineal feet of wall, with filling back of it, and 1,450 
lineal feet of coping. 

As the contractors have considerable material on hand for the 
work, it can be rapidly carried to completion as soon as the weather 
permits in the spring. 

MAEiisrE Park, City Point. 

In June the filling deposited during the previous year was levelled 
off and rolled. 

In August jjlans and specifications were prepared for a temjDorary 
wooden pier, to extend in a southeasterly direction from the foot of 
Fifth Street, and on October 23d a contract was made with Benjamin 
Young for building the pier, for the sum of $10,960. This pier is 
to be 30 feet wide and 1,166 feet long ; the foundation for 364 feet 
at the shore end is to be of spruce piles, and for the balance of oak 
piles, the whole to be thoroughly braced. The fioor is to be of hard 
pine, i^laned ; there is to be a railing on both sides and across the 
outer end, and seats are to be built along the railing. The elevation 
of the floor will be about ten feet above mean high water. 

The storm of IsTovember 25th damaged the old bulkheads which 
protect the shore, and this damage has been repaired. All of these 
structures are in a decayed condition, and will need continual repairs 
for their maintenance. 

Wood Island Park. 

The contract with John F. Barry for filling the parkway was closed 
on January 24th, 1885, and under that contract, 6,685-j^g- squares of 
filling deposited, at '$3.35 per square. 

This did not complete the filling to the full width of the parkway, 
the appropriation for' this park having been exhausted. , 

Under an ngreement with the Boston & Maine R. R. Co., filling 
was commenced on October 23d by that company. The parkway was 


graded to its full width, and the work completed on December 3d. 
The total amount of filling deposited under this latter agreement was 
1,842 squares, at $3.35 per square. 

After the completion of the filling, trenches five feet in width and 
two feet three inches in depth were dug on the curb line for the 
whole length of both sides of the parkway. These trenches were 
filled with two feet of loam underlaid by six inches of clay. 

The ground is ready for the planting of trees in the spring. 

The total amount of loam delivered was 1,268 cubic yards, at 
$1.00 per yard. 

The clay was found upon the ground. 

Respectfully submitted, 


City Engineer. 



Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

[Chap. 247.] 

In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty-six. 


£e it enacted by the Senate and House of Jtepresentatives i?i General 
Court assemUed, and by the authority of the same, as follows : — 
Section 1. The city of Boston is hereby authorized and empow- 
ered to build a sea-wall in the Charles river on or within the follow- 
ing described lines: beginning at the point of intersection of the 
northerly side of Revere street, with the harbor commissioners' line 
as established in the year eighteen hundred and forty-one, and extend- 
ing in a straight line south-westerly for a distance of six hundred 
and twenty-two feet to a point forty feet distant westerly and jDcr- 
pendicular to the said harbor commissioners' line ; thence on a con- 
cave arc of a circle of fourteen hundred feet radius south-westerly for 
a distance of eleven hundred and sixty-one feet to a point forty feet 
distant northerly and perpendicular to tlie harbor commissioners' 
line on the northerly side of the milldam, established in the year 
eighteen hundred and forty; and to fill up to a projDer grade the 
enclosed flats between the above-described lines and the harbor com- 
missioners' lines herein referred to, in order to abate and prevent a 
nuisance arising from the discharge and deposit of sewerage matter 
upon those flats, now situated outside the reach of the scouring forces 
of the current of Charles river. And the city of Boston is hereby 
authorized to make any contracts with the riparian owners, and any 
other parties, as to the building of the sea-wall, the filling of said 
flats, and the future use thereof when filled, subject to the express 
condition that the flats filled under the authority hereby granted 
shall not be used for building purposes or for any other purpose than 
for ornamental grounds and a street. 


Sect. 2. The building of the sea-wall and the filling up of said 
flats shall be under the general supervision of the board of harbor 
commissioners, and subject to all the regulations and conditions i)ro- 
vided for in the act entitled An Act to establish a board of harbor 

[Approved May 19, 1866.] 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

[Chap. 185.] 

In the year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy-Jive. 


£e it enacted hy the Senate and House of Representatives in General 
Court Assembled, and hy the authority of the same, as follows : — 

Section 1. The mayor of the city of Boston, with the approval of 
the city council, shall, as soon as may be after this act shall take 
effect, appoint three competent commissioners, who shall hold their 
offices until the expiration of terms of two, three, and four years, 
respectively, from the first day of May, in the year eighteen hundred 
and seventy-five. The mayor shall, with like approval, before the 
first day of May in each year after the year eighteen hundred and 
seventy-six, appoint a commissioner to continue in office for the term 
of three years from said day. No person shall be a commissioner 
who is at the same time a member of the city council of said city ; 
and any commissioner may at any time be removed by a concurrent 
vote of two-thirds of the whole of each branch of said council. 

Sect. 2. Said commissioners shall constitute a board of park com- 
missioners, and any vacancy occurring in said board shall be filled, for 
the residue of the term of the commissioner whose place is to be filled, 
in the same manner in which such commissioner was originally a^)- 
pointed. Said commissioners shall receive such compensation as the 
city council shall determine. 

Sect. 3. Said board shall have power to locate, within the limits 
of the city of Boston, one or more public parks ; and for that pur- 
pose, from time to time, to take in fee, by purchase, or otherwise, 
any and all such lands as said board may deem desirable therefor ; or 


to take bonds for the conveyaTioe thereof to said city, to lay out, im- 
prove, govern, and regulate any such park or parks, and the use 
thereof ; to make rules for the use and government thereof, and for 
breaches of such rules to affix penalties not exceeding twenty dollars 
for one offence, to be imposed by any court of comjDetent jurisdic- 
tion ; to appoint all necessary engineers, sm*veyors, clerks, and other 
officers, including a police force to act in such parks ; to define the 
powers and duties of such officers, and fix the amount of their com- 
pensation; and generally to do all needful acts for the proper execu- 
tion of the powers and duties granted to, or imposed upon, said city, 
or said board, by this act ; provided^ however, that no land shall be 
taken, or other thing involving an expenditure of money done, until 
an appropriation, sufficient to cover the estimated expense thei*eof, 
shall have been made by a vote of two-thirds of each branch of the 
city council of said city. 

Sect. 4. Said board shall, within sixty days after the taking of 
any land under this act, file in the registry of deeds for the county 
in which the land is situated a description thereof, sufficiently accu- 
rate for identifying the same. 

Sect. 5. Said board shall estimate and determine all damages 
sustained by any persons by the taking of land or other acts of said 
board in the execution of the jDOwers vested in them by this act ; but 
any party aggrieved by any such determination of said board may 
have his damages assessed by a jury of the superior court, in the 
same manner as is provided by law with respect to damages sustained 
by reason of the laying out of ways in the city of Boston. 

Sect. 6. The fee of all lands taken or purchased by said board 
under this act shall vest in the city of Boston, and said city shall be 
liable to pay all damages assessed or determined, as provided in the 
preceding section, and all other costs and expenses incurred by said 
board in the execution of the powers vested in them by this act. 
Said city shall also be authorized to take and hold, in trust or other- 
wise, any devise, grant, gift, or bequest that may be made for the 
I^urpose of laying out, improving, or ornamenting any parks in said 

Sect. 7. Any real estate in the city of Boston, which in the opin- 
ion of said board shall receive any benefit and advantage from the 
locating and laying out of a park under the provisions of this act, 
beyond the general advantages to all real estate in the city of Boston, 
may, after like notice to all parties interested, as is provided by law. 


to be given by the street commissioners of the city of Boston in cases 
of laying out streets in said city, be assessed by said board for a pro*- 
portional share of the expense of such location and laying out ; pro- 
vided^ that the entire amount so assessed upon any estate shall not 
exceed one-half of the amount which said board shall adjudge to be 
the whole benefit received by it. 

Sect. 8. No assessment shall be made as provided in the preced- 
ing section, except within two years after the passage of the order, 
the exception of which causes the benefit for which the assessment 
is made. 

Sect. 9. All assessments made under this act shall constitute a 
lien upon the real estate so assessed, to be enforced and collected by 
the city of Boston, in the same manner and with like charges for 
costs and interest as is j^rovided by law for the collection of taxes; 
and such assessments may be apportioned by said board in like 
manner as assessments for benefits caused by the laying out of 
ways may now be apportioned by the street commissioners of said 

Sect. 10. Any party aggrieved by any assessment made by said 
board as aforesaid, may have the amount of the benefit received by 
his estate assessed by a jury of the superior court in the same man- 
ner as is provided by law with respect to damages sustained by 
reason of the laying out of ways in the city of Boston. 

Sect. 11. When an assessment is made under this act upon an 
estate, the whole or any portion of which is leased, the owner of the 
estate shall pay the assessment, and may thereafter collect of the 
lessee an additional rent for the portion so leased, equal to ten per 
centum per annum on that proportion of the whole sum paid which 
the leased portion bears to the whole estate after deducting from 
the whole sum so paid any amount he may have received for dam- 
ages to the estate above what he has necessarily expended on such 
estate by reason of such damages. 

Sect. 12. For the purpose of defraying the expenses incurred 
under the provisions of this act, the city council of Boston shall have 
authority to issue, from time to time, and to an amount not exceed- 
ing the amount actually expended for the purchase or taking of lands 
for said parks, bonds or certificates of debt, to be denominated, on 
the face thereof, the " Public Park Loan," and to bear interest at a 
rate not exceeding six per centum per annum, and to be payable at 
such periods as said council may determine. For the redemption of 


such loan said council shall establish a sinking-fund sufficient, with 
the accumulating interest, to provide for its payment at maturity. 
All sums received for betterments shall be paid into said sinking- 
fund, until such fund shall amount to a sum sufficient, with its accu- 
mulation, to pay at maturity the bonds for the security of which the 
fund was established. 

Sect. 13. No street or way, and no steam or horse railroad, shall 
be laid out over any portion of any park located under this act, 
except at such places and in such manner as said board shall ap- 

Sect. 14. No military encampment, parade, drill, review, or other 
military evolution or exercise, shall be held or performed on any 
park laid out as aforesaid, except with the prior consent of said 
board ; nor shall any military body, without such consent, enter or 
move in military order within the same, except in case of riot, insur- 
rection, rebellion, or war. 

Sect. 15. Said board shall annually, in the month of January, 
make to the city council of Boston a full report of its doings for the 
preceding year, including a detailed statement of all their receipts 
and expenditures. 

Sect. 16. The mayor of any city adjoining the city of Boston 
may, with the approval of the city council of such adjoining city, 
appoint, and the inhabitants of any town adjoining the city of Boston 
may, at any legal meeting called for the purpose, elect park commis- 
sioners, who shall have powers similar to those hereinbefore given to 
the j^ark commissioners of the city of Boston, to lay out and imjorove 
j^arks within such adjoining city or town in conjunction or connec- 
tion with any park laid out in Boston ; and any park laid out by the 
park commissioners of such adjoining city or town shall be subject 
to similar provisions to those hereinbefore made regarding parks in 
Boston, and such adjoining city or town shall have similar rights 
and be subject to similar duties to those hereinbefore given to and 
imposed upon the city of Boston in relation to incurring debts for 
the purpose of defraying expenses incurred under this act ; provided, 
however^ that the provisions of this section shall not apply to any 
such adjoining city that has not accepted the same by a vote of a 
majority of the legal voters at the annual meeting for the clioice of 
municipal officers. 

Sect. 17. This act shall not take full effect unless accepted by 
a majority of the legal voters of the city of Boston, present, and 


voting thereon, by ballot and using the check-list, at meetings which 
shall be held in the several wards of said city on the second Wednes- 
day of June in the present year, and upon notice thereof duly given 
at least seven days before the time of said meetings ; and the polls 
shall be opened not later than nine o'clock in the forenoon and 
closed not earlier than six o'clock in the afternoon of said day. In 
case of the absence of any ward officer at any ward meeting in said 
city, held for the purpose aforesaid, a like officer may be chosen pro 
tempore by hand vote, and shall be duly qualified, and shall have all 
the powers and be subject to all the duties of the regular officer at 
said meeting. Said ballots shall be " Yes," or " No," in answer to 
the question, " Shall an act passed by the legislature of the com- 
monwealth, in the year eighteen hundred and seventy-five, entitled 
' An Act for the laying out of public parks in or near the city of 
Boston,' be accepted ? " Such meetings shall be called, notified, and 
warned by the board of aldermen of said city in the same manner in 
which meetings for the election of municijDal officers are called, noti- 
fied, and warned. 

The ballots given in shall be assorted, counted, and declared in 
open ward meeting, and shall be registered in the ward records. 
The clerk of each ward shall within forty-eight hours of the close of 
the polls make return to the board of aldermen of the number of bal- 
lots cast in his ward in favor of the acceptance of this act, and of the 
number cast against its acceptance. And it shall be the duty of the 
board of aldermen to certify, as soon as may be, to the secretary of 
the commonwealth, the whole number of ballots cast in said city in 
favor of the acceptance of this act, and the whole number cast against 
said acceptance ; and if it shall appear that a majority of the ballots 
have been cast in favor of acceptance, the said secretary shall imme- 
diately issue and publish his certificate declaring this act to have 
been duly accepted. 

Sect. 18. So much of this act as authorizes and directs the sub- 
mission of the question of its acceptance to the legal voters of the 
city of Boston, shall take effect upon its passage. 

[Approved May 6, 1875.] 


Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

[Chap. 144.] 

In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty. 


3e it enacted hy the Senate and Souse of Representatives in General 
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows : — 

Section" 1. In case the board of park commissioners of the city of 
Boston deem it desirable to take that tract of land in that part of the 
city of Boston known as West Roxbury, held by the president and 
fellows of Harvard College, and by them dedicated to the use of the 
Arnold Arboretum, so called, together with certain adjoining tracts, 
the property of other parties deemed by said commissioners conven- 
ient and necessary for use in connection therewith, for the jDurposes 
and under the powers and limitations set forth in chapter one hun- 
dred and eighty-five of the acts of eiighteen hundred and seventy- 
five, and acts in addition thereto and amendment thereof, the city of 
Boston is hereby authorized to lease such portion of said Arboretum 
and adjoining tracts so taken as the said board of park commission- 
ers may deem not necessary for use as parkways and grounds, to the 
jDresident and fellows of Harvard College, to be held by them, to 
the same uses and purj)oses as the Arboretum is now held under 
the trusts created by the wills of Benjamin Bussey and of James 
Arnold; and for such a term and upon such mutual restrictions, 
reservations, covenants, and conditions as to the use thereof by the 
l^ublic, in connection with the uses of the same under said trusts, 
and as to the rights, duties, and obligations of the contracting par- 
ties, as may be agreed upon between said commissioners and said 
president and fellows. 

The board of j^ark commissioners on the part of the city of Boston, 
and the president on behalf of the president and fellows of Harvard 
College, are respectively authorized to execute and deliver said 

Sect. 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 

[Approved March 29, 1880.] 


Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 
[Chap. 92.] 

In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-one. 


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General 
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows: — 

Sectiok 1. The board of park commissioners of the city of Boston 
is hereby authorized and empowered to build a sea-wall on the 
Boston side of the lower basin of the Charles river, between Craigie's 
bridge and West Boston bridge, and to fill uj) the grounds enclosed 
by said wall for the purposes of a public park, in accordance with 
the provisions of chapter one hundred and eighty-five of the acts of 
the year eighteen hundred and seventy-five. The said sea-wall shall 
be on or within the following lines : — 

Beginning at a point on the southerly side of Craigie's bridge, 
distant two hundred feet perpendicular from the westerly line of 
Charles street, and running southerly by a line parallel to said 
Charles street to a point ojDposite the first angle in said street; 
thence turning a similar angle and running southerly by a line 
parallel to and two hundred feet perpendicular again from said 
Charles street to a point opposite another angle in said street, near 
Fruit street ; thence turning a similar angle and running southerly 
by a straight line two hundred feet perpendicular from and parallel 
to the next adjoining portion of said Charles street to West Boston 

The lines of the sea-wall aforesaid shall constitute the harbor lines, 
beyond which no wharf, pier, or other structure, and no fiUing-in 
shall be extended into or over the tide-water of the said basin, 
excepting such landing-places as the said park commissioners shall 
build with the aj)proval of the board of harbor and land commission- 
ers ; and if the construction of said sea-wall and the fiUing-in of the 
grounds therein enclosed shall, in the opinion of said harbor and land 
commissioners, cause a projection injurious to the flow of the current 
and the protection of the harbor, then the said park commissioners 
or the city of Boston shall make suitable remedy or provision for 
the same, by connecting the line of the said sea-wall with the jDresent 
sea-wall, in such manner as the said board of harbor and land com- 


missioners shall approve, and may occupy and use any spaces thereby 
enclosed for the same purposes for which said sea-wall and filling-in 
is authorized. 

Sect. 2. This act is made subject to the following conditions and 
restrictions, namely : — 

" The city of Boston or the said board of park commissioners shall 
take, by purchase or otherwise, all the land, dock, and wharf property 
lying westerly of said Charles street between said bridges, under the 
provisions of said chapter one hundred and eighty-five of the acts of 
the year eighteen hundred and seventy-five, which, together with the 
grounds above authorized to be enclosed and filled up, shall be used 
solely for the jjurposes of a public j^ark, facing and abutting upon 
the said Charles river basin. And when the city of Boston or the 
said park commissioners shall have taken the said land and v/harf 
property, and built the said sea-wall, and fitted up the said grounds 
as a park as aforesaid, and so long as the same shall be used solely 
as said jDark, the commonwealth will not authorize or permit any 
person or corporation to construct any extensions or erections from 
or contiguous to the water-line of said park, except with the consent 
of said park commissioners or said city of Boston ; provided, also^ 
that the city of Boston or said park commissioners shall build the 
said sea-wall, and fill and fit up the said grounds during the five years 
from and after the passage of this act." 

Sect. 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 

[Approved March 16, 1881.] 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

[Chap. 197.] 

In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-one. 



3e it enacted by the Seriate and Souse of Representatives in General 
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows : — 

Section 1. The city of Boston is authorized to lay out and con- 
struct continuously or in sections, from time to time, and to maintain 
for public use, a plank-way or sidewalk of a width not exceeding- 
fifteen feet, over the waters of Charles river outside and adjoining 


the sea-wall now constructed between Berkeley street extended and 
a point near Hereford street extended, and outside and adjoining 
any sea-wall that may be constructed to the new park in extension of 
said sea-wall already built ; provided, however, that with the assent 
of the harbor and land commissioners such plank- way or sidewalk 
may be laid out, constructed, and maintained as aforesaid to a width 
not exceeding twenty feet. 

Sect. 2. The city of Boston is authorized to make all such reason- 
able rules and regulations in regard to such sidewalk or promenade, 
and the access to the water therefrom, and from the water thereto, 
as may be expedient and proper; to ai^point all necessary officers 
and agents to enforce such rules and regulations, and to construct 
and maintain for the public use, in connection with such sidewalk or 
promenade, suitable landing-places. 

Sect. 3. Any real estate in the city of Boston, which in the 
opinion of the board of street commissioners of said city shall receive 
any benefit and advantage from the laying out of such sidewalk or 
promenade, or any sections of the same, under the provisions of this 
act, beyond the general advantages to all real estate in the city of 
Boston, may, after like notice to all parties interested as is provided by 
law to be given by said board in cases of laying out streets in said city, 
be assessed by said board for a proportional share of the expense of 
such laying out ; provided, that the entire amount so assessed upon 
any estate shall not exceed one-half of the amount which said board 
shall adjudge to be the whole benefit received by it. All general 
laws in relation to the assessment of damages and betterments in the 
case of the laying out of a street, highway, or other way in the city 
of Boston shall be applicable to the laying out of the way herein 

Sect. 4. In the exercise of the powers granted by this act the 
city of Boston shall be subject to the provisions of the four hundred 
and thirty-second chapter of the acts of the year eighteen hundred 
and sixty-nine, and all general laws applicable thereto. 

Sect. 5. When the plank- way or sidewalk herein authorized shall 
have been laid out by said city and constructed as herein provided, 
the commonwealth will not authorize any person or corporation to 
construct any extension or erection from or contiguous to the water- 
line of said way or walk. 

Sect. 6. This act shall take effect on its acceptance by the city 
council of the city of Boston. 

[Approved April 11, 1881.] 


Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

[Chap. 168.] 

In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-two. 


£e it enacted hy the Senate and House of Mepresentatives in General 
Court assembled^ and hy the authority of the same, as follows : — 

For the purpose of defraying the expenses incurred under the pro- 
visions of chapter one hundred and eighty-five of the acts of the year 
eighteen hundred and seventy-five, entitled " An Act for the laying 
out of public parks in or near the city of Boston," and of any acts in 
amendment thereof or addition thereto, the city council of the city 
of Boston shall have authority to issue, from time to time, and to an 
amount not exceeding the amount actually expended for the pur- 
chase or taking of lands or flats for park purposes, bonds or certifi- 
cates of debt to be denominated on the face thereof, " Public Park 
Loan," to bear interest at a rate not exceeding six per centum per 
annum, and to be payable at such periods as said city council may 
determine, not exceeding thirty years from their respective dates. 
For the redemjation of such loan said city council shall establish a 
sinking-fund sufiicient with the accumulating interest to provide for 
its payment at maturity. All sums received for betterments from 
the laying out of public parks shall be paid into said sinking-fund 
until such fund shall amount to a sum sufficient with its accumulation 
to pay at maturity the bonds for the security of which the fund was 

[Approved April 19, 1882.] 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

[Chap. 226.] 

In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-four. 

£e it enacted by the /Senate and House of Mepresentatives in General 
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows : — 
Section 1. Whenever the authorities empowered to locate, lay 
out, or construct streets, ways, or public parks, in a city or town, 


shall take, by purchase or otherwise, any land therefor, such authori- 
ties may make an agreement in writing with the owner of such land 
that the city or town shall assume any betterments assessed upon the 
remainder of such owner's lands or any portion thereof, for such 
location, laying out, and construction, and such agreement shall be 
binding on such city or town ; provided, such owner shall, on such 
terms as may be agreed upon with said authorities, release to the 
city or town all claims for damages on account of locating, laying 
out, and constructing such street, way, or park. 

Sect. 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 

[Approved May 8, 1884.] 

commonweaiith of massachusetts. 

[Chap. 237.] 

In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-four. 



£e it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General 
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows: — 

Section 1. All assessments on account of betterments and other 
public improvements which are a lien upon real estate shall bear 
interest from the thirtieth day after assessment, until paid. 

Sect. 2. In case of any suit or other proceeding calling in ques- 
tion the validity or amount of such assessment, the assessment shall 
continue to be a lien for one year after final judgment in such suit 
or proceeding, and may, with all costs and interests, be collected by 
virtue of such lien in the same manner as provided for the original 

Sect. 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 

[Approved May 15, 1884.] 


Commonwealth of Massachttsetts. 

[Chap, 299.] 

In the Year One Thousand Mght Hundred and Eighty -five. 


He it enacted by the Senate and House of Mepresentatives in General 
Court assembled^ and by the authority of the same, as follows: — 

Notice of any assessment of betterments hereafter made under the 
provisions of chapter fifty-one of the Public Statutes shall, within 
three months from the date thereof, be given by the board of city or 
town officers making such assessment to the party to be charged 
thereby, or to his agent, tenant, or lessee. 

[Approved June 8, 1885.] 

\ commonweaxth of massachusetts. 

[Chap. 360.] 

In the Tear One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-five. 


JBe it enacted by the Senate and Souse of Mepresentatvves in General 
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows: — 

Sbctiok 1. The board of park commissioners of the city of Boston, 
subject to the provisions of chapter nineteen of the Public Statutes, 
excepting so much of section sixteen of said chapter as requires the 
payment into the treasury of comjjensation for the rights and privi- 
leges hereby granted in land of the commonwealth, may make such 
excavation and filling, and erect and maintain such structures, in and 
over the area of tide-water at or near Dorchester Point, in South 
Boston, which lies south of the northerly line of East First street, 
extended easterly to Castle Island, and east of the westerly line of Q 
street, extended southerly into Old Harbor, as the said board may 
deem necessary or desirable for the purposes of a public park, in ac- 


cordance with the provisions of chapter one hundred and eighty-five 
of the acts of the year eighteen hundred and seventy-five. 

Sect. 2. All lands of the commonwealth, which are occupied or 
enclosed under the provisions of this act, shall be appropriated, to 
and used solely for the purposes of a public park. 

Sect. 3. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 

[Approved June 19, 1885,] 

City of Bostoit, In Boaeb of Aldermen, April 5, 1875. 

Ordered^ That His Honor the Mayor be requested to j)etition the 
General Court, now in session, for the passage of an act authorizing 
the city to purchase, or otherwise take, lands within the limits of 
the city, for the purpose of laying out public parks, and authorizing 
any adjoining city or town, that may desire to do so, to cooperate 
with this city by purchasing or otherwise taking lands within the 
limits of such city or tOM^n for similar purposes, and also authorizing 
the assessment of betterments upon any neighboring lands benefited 
by the establishment of such parks ; provided^ however, that all said 
parks and the purchase of land for the same in the City of Boston 
shall be placed in charge of three commissioners, to be appointed by 
the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council, none of said commis- 
sioners to be at the same time members of the City Government, 
and all to be removable at any time by a two-thirds vote of the City 
Council. And provided, further, ihsLt no money shall be expended 
either in the purchase or improvement of said parks unless authorized 
by a vote of two-thirds of the City Council, said act not to take effect 
unless accepted by a majority of the legal voters present and voting 
thereon at meetings duly called for that purpose in the several wards 
at a special election to be called for that purpose. 

Passed in Common Council. Came up for concurrence. Con- 

Approved by the Mayor, April 6, 1875. 

City of Boston, In Boabd of Aldekmen, July 10, 1876. 
Ordered, That the report of the Commissioners on Public Parks 
(City Doc. 42) be recommitted to said commissioners, with instruc- 
tions to bond such tracts of land as they may select for Public 


Parks, either within the limits ah-eady reported by them or else- 
where, and to report the same from time to time to the City Coun- 
cil, specifying the number of acres, the names of the owners, and the 
estimated expense of the purchase. 

Passed. Sent down for concurrence. July 13, came up con- 

Approved by the Mayor, July 17, 1876. 

CiTT OF Boston, In Boaed of Aldeemen, July 23, 1817. 

Ordered^ That the Treasurer be, and he hereby is, authorized to 
borrow, under the direction of the Committee on Finance, the sum 
of $450,000, for the purpose of purchasing land for a park and streets 
connected therewith ; said money, or so much as may be required, to 
be expended by the Park Commissioners in the purchase of not less 
than 100 acres of land or flats situate within the area bounded by 
Parker street, Huntington avenue extended in the direction of Tre- 
mont and Francis streets, Longwood avenue, Brookline avenue, and 
the Boston & Albany railroad, with approaches from Beacon street 
west of Chester park, Boylston street extended from Chester park 
westerly, and Huntington avenue extended, — the land or flats so to 
be purchased shall be located with special reference to the improve- 
ment of the sewerage of the city. 

Said park to be of such shape as not to require other adjoining 
lands to make it symmetrical, and to be bounded on all sides by 
public avenues to be taken from the land purchased. 

The price to be paid for said lot not to exceed 10 cents per super- 
ficial foot. 

Passed in Common Council: Yeas, 57, nays, 10. Came up for 
concurrence. Read and concurred : Yeas, 9, nays, 3. 

Approved by the Mayor, July 23, 1877. 

City of Boston, In Board op Aldermen, Dec. 24, 1877. 

Whereas^ The Park Commissioners were authorized by an order 
of the City Council, approved by the Mayor on the 23d day of July, 
1877, to purchase not less than one hundred acres of land or flats on 
the Back Bay, in the City of Boston, as appears by said order ; and 

Whereas^ The tract of land selected by the Park Commissioners 
is owned in parcels by a lai-ge number of persons and corporations, 


and it is found impracticable to complete examinations of the titles 
and pass the deeds, and complete the purchase of all said lands 
simultaneously ; it is hereby 

Ordered, That the Park Commissioners be and they are hereby 
authorized to complete the purchase of any part or parts of the said 
tract upon the terms provided in the said order at such times as they 
shall deem expedient. 

Passed in Common Council. Came up for concurrence. Read 
and concurred. 

Approved by the Mayor, Dec. 24, 1877. 

City of Boston, Isr Boaed of Aldeemen, Feb. 25, 1878. 

Ordered, That the Park Commissioners be and they are hereby 
authorized to purchase 2^^^^'^ acres of land, comprised in a part of 
the Longwood entrance to the Back Bay Park, for a sum not exceed- 
ing thirteen thousand dollars ; and that they be also authorized to 
purchase, at a cost not exceeding ten cents per square foot, such land 
as may be required to continue the Beacon entrance of the Back 
Bay Park to Charles River, provided the total cost thereof does not 
exceed the sum of three thousand dollars. 

Passed in Common Council. Came up for concurrence. Read 
and concurred. 

Approved by the Mayor, Feb. 26, 1878. 

City of Boston, In Boaed of AiiDEKMEN, Nov. 10, 1879. 

Ordered, That the Board of Park Commissioners be and they are 
hereby authorized, so far as the consent of the City Council may be 
necessary thereto, to exercise their power of taking, under the pro- 
visions of Chapter 185 of the Acts of 1875, for the purpose of locat- 
ing and laying out the proposed public park on the Back Bay, so 
called, and acquiring by such taking the several parcels of land in 
said park not already purchased, and confirming by such taking the 
title of the city to all lands therein heretofore purchased, anything in 
the order of the City Council passed July 23, 1877, to the contrary 

Read twice and passed : Yeas, 9 ; nays, none. Sent down for 
concurrence. Nov. 20, came up concurred : Teas, 55 ; nays, none. 

Approved by the Mayor, Nov. 21, 1879, 


City of Boston, In Boaed of Aldebmen, May 3, 1880. 

Ordered, That the Board of Park Commissioners be and they 
hereby are authorized to construct a covered channel to carry the 
waters of Stony Brook through the Back Bay Park to Charles River, 
at a cost not exceeding one hundred and ten thousand dollars 
($110,000), to be charged to the special appropriation for that pur- 
pose and that amount. 

Read twice and passed. Sent down for concurrence. June 3, 
came up concurred. 

Approved by the Mayor, June 5, 1880. 

City of Boston, In Boakd of Aldermen, Nov. 7, 1881. 
Ordered, That the City Treasurer be and he is hereby authorized 
to borrow, under direction of the Committee on Finance, the sum of 
six hundred thousand dollars, the bonds or certificates of debt to be 
issued in negotiating this loan to be denominated on the face thereof 
" The Public Park Loan," and to bear such rate of interest as the 
Committee on Finance shall determine ; and the Park Commission- 
ers are hereby authorized to expend said sum for the taking in fee, 
by purchase or otherwise, for the purpose of a public park, lands to 
the amount of six hundred thousand dollars in assessed valuation, 
within the limits of the proposed West Roxbury Park. Passed: 
Yeas, 10 ; nays, 2. Sent down for concurrence. Dec. 15, came up 
concurred : Yeas, 50 ; nays, 17. 

Approved by the Mayor, Dec. 16, 1881. 

City of Boston, In Boaed of AiiDEKMEN, Nov. 7, 1881. 
Ordered, That the City Treasurer be and he is hereby authorized 
to borrow, under the direction of the Committee on Finance, the sum 
of fifty thousand dollars, the bonds or certificates of debt to be issued 
in negotiating this loan to be denominated on the face thereof " The 
Public Park Loan," and to bear such rate of interest as the Commit- 
tee on Finance shall detei'mine; and the Park Commissioners are 
hereby authorized to expend said sum for the taking in fee, by pur- 
chase or otherwise, for the purpose of a public j^ai-k, land which shall 
be upland, to the amount of fifty thousand dollars in assessed valua- 


tion, for a public park in East Boston, in such available location as 
said Commissioners deem expedient. Passed : Yeas, 9 ; nays, 3. 
Sent down for concurrence. Dec. 22, came up concurred ; Yeas, 50 ; 
nays, 6. " 

Approved by the Mayor, Dec. 24, 1881. 

City op Bostoit, In Boaed of Albebmest, Nov. 7, 1881. 

Ordered^ That the City Treasurer be and he is hereby authorized 
to borrow, under the direction of the Committee on Finance, the sum 
of one hundred thousand dollars, the bonds or certificates of debt 
to be issued in negotiating this loan to be denominated on the face 
thereof " The Public Park Loan," and to bear such rate of interest 
as the Committee on Finance shall determine ; and the Park Com- 
missioners are hereby authorized to expend said sum for the taking 
in fee, by purchase or otherwise, for the purpose of a public park, 
lands to the amount of one hundred thousand dollars in assessed 
valuation, for a marine park at City Point. Passed : Yeas, 9 ; nays, 3. 
Sent down for concurrence. Dec. 22, came up concurred: Yeas, 50; 
nays, 9. 

Approved by the Mayor, Dec. 24, 1881. 

CiTT OF Boston, In Board of Aldebmen, Nov. 21, 1881. 
Ordered^ That the City Treasurer be and he is hereby authorized 
to borrow, under the direction of the Committee on Finance, the sum 
of three hundred thousand dollars, the bonds or certificates of debt 
to be issued in negotiating this loan to be denominated " The Public 
Park Loan," and to bear such rate of interest as the Committee on 
Finance shall determine; and the Park Commissioners are hereby 
authorized to expend said sum for the taking in fee, by purchase or 
otherwise, for the purpose of a public park, lands to the amount of 
three hundred thousand dollars in assessed valuation, for the Charles 
River Embankment, between Craigie's and West Boston Bridges. 
Passed : Yeas, 8 ; nays, 4. Sent down for concurrence. Dec. 22, 
came up concurred : Yeas, 53 ; nays, none. 

Approved by the Mayor, Dec. 24, 1881. 


City of Boston, In Board of Aldermen, Dec. 5, 1881. 
Ordered^ That the City Treasurer be and he is hereby authorized 
to borrow, under the direction of the Committee on Finance, the sum 
of two hundred thousand dollars, the bonds or certificates of debt to 
be issued in negotiating this loan to be denominated on the face 
thereof " The Public Park Loan," and to bear such rate of interest as 
the Committee on Finance shall determine ; and the Park Commis- 
sioners are hereby authorized to expend said sum for the taking in 
fee, by purchase or otherwise, for the purpose of a public park, lands 
to the amount of two hundred thousand dollars in assessed valua- 
tion, for the Muddy River Improvement, whenever the town of 
Brookline shall cooperate and appropriate a proportionate sum for 
said improvement. Passed : Yeas, 9 ; nays, 3. Sent down for con- 
currence. Dec. 22, came up concurred : Yeas, 53 ; nays, 1. 
Approved by the Mayor, Dec. 24, 1881. 

City of Boston, In Boaed of Aldeemen, Dec. 27, 1881. 

Ordered^ That the Park Commissioners of Boston be requested to 
take, for the purposes of a public park, trie land known as the 
Arnold Arboretum, and to purchase or take for the same purposes 
land adjoining said arboretum, for an amount not exceeding sixty 
thousand dollars, paying therefor not more than twenty-five i:)er cent, 
advance on the assessed value of A. D. 1880; and also, said Com- 
missioners are authorized to lease any portion of said arboretum 
when taken, or of said lands when taken or bought, and to enter 
into suitable covenants with the President and Fellows of Harvard 
College, in regard to any of such lands taken for a public park, sul> 
stantially as set forth by said Commissioners in their report, dated 
October 21, 1880, and printed as City Document No. 118 of said 

Provided that the estimated cost of all driveways called for under 
such arrangement shall not exceed the sum of seventy-five thousand 
dollars; also, provided, that, before any covenant is made with 
the authorities of Harvard College, a set of rules and regulations, 
to govern the use of the grounds by the public, shall be drawn up, 
which shall receive the approval of the Mayor, the Park Commis- 
sioners, and the Corporation Counsel on the part of the City of 


Ordered^ That the City Treasurer be and he hereby is authorized 
to borrow, under the direction of the Committee on Finance, for the 
purchase or taking of lands for a public park in connection with the 
Arnold Arboretum, the sum of sixty thousand dollars, the bonds or 
certificates of debt to be issued in negotiating said loan to be 
denominated on the face thereof "Public Park Loan," and to bear 
such rate of interest as the Committee on Finance may determine ; 
and the Park Commissioners are hereby authorized to expend said 
sum for the purpose aforesaid. 

Passed in Common Council : Yeas, 52 ; nays, none. Came up for 
concurrence. Read, and passed in concurrence : Yeas, 11 ; nays, 1. 

Approved by the Mayor, Dec. 28, 1881. 

City of Boston, In Boajrd of Aldermen, June 26, 1882. 

Ordered^ That the Board of Park Commissioners be and they 
hereby are authorized to construct a covered channel to carry the 
waters of Muddy River through Brookline Avenue to Charles River, 
the expense thereof to be charged to the special appropriation for 
that purpose. 

Passed. Sent down for concurrence. June 29, came up concurred. 

Approved by the Mayor, June 30, 1882. 

City of Boston, In Boaed of Aldeemen, Oct. 2, 1882. 

Ordered^ That the order appropriating six hundred thousand 
dollars for the purchase of land for the West Roxbury Park, ap- 
proved Dec. 16, 1881, and also the order appropriating one hundred 
thousand dollars for the jDurchase of land for a Marine Park at City 
Point, approved Dec. 24, 1881, be and they are hereby amended by 
striking out of each of said orders the words " in assessed valuation." 

Read twice and passed : Yeas, 12 ; nays, none. Sent down for 
concurrence. November 23, came up concurred : for West Roxbury 
Park, Yeas, 50, nays, 6 ; for Marine Park, Yeas, 51, nays, 4. 

Approved by the Mayor, Nov. 25, 1882. 

City of Boston, In Boaed of Aldeemen, Nov. 27, 1882. 
Ordered^ That the Board of Park Commissioners be authorized to 
take all lands belonging to the City of Boston lying westerly of 


Charles Street, and between Craigie's and West Boston Bridges, for 
park purposes, and to expend the three hundred thousand dolhirs 
($300,000) appropriated by the order of the City Council, passed 
Dec. 24, 1881, for the remaining lands within said limits. 

Passed in Common Council : Yeas, 56 ; nays, 1. Came up for 
concurrence. Read and concurred : Yeas, 12 ; nays, none. 

Approved by the Mayor, Nov. 28, 1882. 

City of BosToisr, lis Board of Aldeemen, Dec. 26, 1882. 

Ordered, That the Board of Park Commissioners be authorized to 
include in the lease of the Arnold Arboretum to the President and 
Fellows of Harvard College a covenant that the city will keep the 
premises leased free and discharged of and from all taxes and assess- 
ments thereon dming the term of the lease. 

Passed. Sent down for concurrence. December 28, came uj) con- 

Approved by the Mayor, Dec. 29, 1882. 

City of Boston, In Boaed of Aldeemen, April 16, 1883. 

Ordered, That, in addition to the amount heretofore authorized, 
the Treasurer be authorized to borrow, under the direction of the 
Committee on Finance, the sum of one hundred and twenty thousand 
dollars (|120,000), for the purposes of a public pai'k at City Point, the 
bonds or certificates of debt to be issued in negotiating said loan to 
be denominated on the face thereof " The Public Park Loan," and to 
bear such rate of interest as the Committee on Finance may deter- 
mine ; and the Park Commissioners are hereby authorized to expend 
said sum, in addition to the amount heretofore appropriated, for tak- 
ing in fee, by purchase or otherwise, lands for the purpose of a public 
park at City Point. 

Passed in Common Council : Yeas, 49 ; nays, 4. Came up for 
concurrence. Read and concurred : Yeas, 11 ; nays, none. 

Approved by the Mayor, April 17, 1883. 

City of Boston, In Boaed op Aldeemen, June 11, 1883. 
Ordered, That the Park Commissioners be authorized to sell at 
public auction any buildings or structures of any kind standing upon 


,nd8 purchased or taken for park purposes, the proceeds thereof to 
le paid into the Public Park Sinking-Fund. 

Passed. Sent down for concurren.ce. June 14, 1883, came up 

Approved by the Mayor, June 16, 1883. 

City of Boston, In Boabd of Aldermen, July 2, 1883. 
J Ordered, That the tract of land on Mt. Bellevue, given to and 
accepted by the city in 1877 for a public park, be, and the same 
hereby is, placed in charge of the Park Commissioners. 

Passed in Common Council, June 28, 1883. Came up for concur- 
rence. Concurred. 

Approved by the Mayor, July 3, 1883. 

City of Boston, In Boabd of Aldeemen, July 2, 1883. 

Ordered^ That the order appropriating two hundred thousand 
dollars for the purchase of lands for the Muddy River Improvement, 
approved Dec. 24, 1881, be and it is hereby amended by striking out 
the words " in assessed valuation." 

Passed : Yeas, 11 ; nays, none. Sent down for concurrence. Nov. 
8, 1883, came up concurred : Yeas, 55 ; nays, 5. 

Approved by the Mayor, Nov. 10, 1883. 

City of Boston, In Board of Aldermen, Dec. 17, 1883. 

Ordered, That the Board of Park Commissioners be authorized to 
include in theii* purchases of lands for the West Roxbury Park such 
estates or portions thereof bounded by Morton, Forest Hills, Walnut, 
and Scarborough streets as they may deem desirable for improving 
the boundaries of said park. 

Passed in Common Council, Dec. 13, 1883. Came up for concur- 
rence. Concurred. 

Approved by the Mayor, Dec. 18, 1883. 

City of Boston, In Board of Aldermen, Dec. 17, 1883. 
Ordered, That all moneys received as rent from lands and build- 
ings acquired by the city for park purposes through the agency of the 


Board of Park Commissioners be appropriated to the expenses incl 
dent to the care and maintenance of the public parks so acquired 
and the Auditor is hereby authorized to allow payments from sai I 
moneys for such exjDenses upon the requisition of said Board, Passe 
in Common Council, Dec. 13, 1883: Yeas, 54; nays, none. Cam 
up for concurrence. Concurred: Yeas, 12; nays, none. 
Approved by the Mayor, Dec. 18, 1883. 

City of Boston, In Board of Aldekmen, Dec. 24, 1S83. 

Ordered, That the City Treasurer is hereby authorized to borrow,! 
under the direction of the Committee on Finance, the sum of five 
hundred thousand dollars ($500,000), the certificates of debt to be 
issued in negotiating this loan to be denominated on the face thereof 
" The Public Park Loan," and bear such rate of interest as the Com- 
mittee on Finance shall determine ; and the Park Commissioners are 
hereby authorized to expend said sum for the taking in fee, by pur- 
chase or otherwise, for the pui-pose of a j)ublic park, estates within 
the limits of the proposed West Roxbury Park as defined by the 
oi'ders of the City Council. Passed : Yeas, 8 ; nays, 3. Sent down 
for concurrence. Jan. 3, 1884, came up concurred : Yeas, 56 ; nays, 9. 

Approved by the Mayor, Jan. 4, 1884. 

City of Boston, In Boabd of Aldebmen, Oct. 5, 1885. 

Ordered, That the Board of Park Commissioners be requested to 
use all possible means to make settlements for the lands taken for 
the purposes of jDublic parks, and they are hereby authorized to make, 
with the approval of the Mayor, such settlements for said lands as 
they deem just and proper. Passed. Sent down for concurrence. 
Nov. 12, came up concurred. 

Approved by the Mayor, Nov. 14, 1885. 

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The taking of land having been completed, instructions were given 
for the preparation of a plan in general accordance with the views 
which had determined the locality and the limits of the proposed 
park. In December, 1884, a series of propositions in regard to the 
principal features of the plan were submitted and approved by the 
Board. In the spring of 1885 a preliminary drawing of the plan was 
submitted, and, to facilitate discussion, the lines of it were fully 
staked on the ground and followed out by the Commissioners. After 
debate this study, with some immaterial variations, was approved as 
the basis of the final plan. Later, a change in the membership and a 
re-organization of the Board having occurred, the preliminary plan 
was reviewed and found acceptable. Still later the Commissioners, 
to be satisfied as to various conditions of park economy, visited and 
made a comparative examination of several large parks in use. 

January 30, 1886, at a meeting of the Commissioners held at the 
office of the Landscape Architect on the park site, the Mayor being 
present, the finished general plan was presented and considered. 

February 10, the Commissioners voted as follows: — 

(1) That the plan prepared by the Landscape Architect, now 
before the Board, is adopted as the Plan of Franklin Park. 

(2) That the Landscape Architect is requested to prepare a state- 
ment for publication explanatory of the plan, and setting forth the 
views of the undertaking that he has presented to the Board. 






public opinion compaeatively ill-prepaked to sus- 
tain" an economical management oe a laege 
park work 1 

Part First. 

the condition of boston in regard to provisions 
for ventilation and urban recreation .... 19 

Part Second, 
the plan of franklin park , 89 

I. Of Certain Conditions op the Site ..»,„... 39 

II. The Pukpose of the Plan 41 

III. A Review of the Plan by Divisions 49 

IV. A Review of the General Landscape Design .... 60 

Deives and Walks 63 

Riding Pad , 64 

Enclosukes 64 

Entbances 64 

Part Third. 

the key of a conservative park policy, and the 
cost of carrying out the plan under such a 


A Beief Histokt of the Rtjbal Pakk of Buffalo, with eef- 


The Maintenance Cost of Parks 83 

Pabt Foukth. 


COME 89 

I, Of the Supkemk Impoetanck that a Labgb Paek may 

come to have in the histokt of a city 90 

11. The Element of Lastingness as affectikg the Ijipokt- 


Work of a Park 95 

ni. The Eajsniwgs of a Park to a City accpvUe largely 
through the Less Conspicuous Use of it, and through 
the Use of the Less Conspicuous Parts of it . . . 99 

IV. The Adaptation of the Park to the Use of Invalids . 103 

V. The Value of a Rural Park to the Parts of a City 

more distant from it ... 105 

VI. The Bearing of the Difficulties that have been re- 
viewed UPON the Main End of these Notes .... 106 

Part Fifth. 

THE park as a department OF EDUCATION 113 


In the course of the series of notes to follow, reasons will be 
given for thinking that what shall occur in the history of 
Franklin Park during the next few years, whether the under- 
taking be much advanced or little, will determine results of 
greater lasting consequence to the city than those of any other 
of its public works of the present time. Therefore, in connec- 
tion with an exposition of the plan for the park, various facts 
and considerations are to be presented, bearing upon the policy 
of the city in dealing with it. 

An addition to the numerous, extensive, and varied public 
grounds now available to the people of Boston, of a body of 
land in one block of the extent, situation, and topographical 
characteristics of that to be reviewed, would have been a pro- 
ceeding ■'of great extravagance and folly, unless made with 
regard to a purpose for which no provision existed or could be 
made upon those grounds. 

It may be held also that to justify the undertaking, this dis- 
tinctive purpose should have been one through success in 
which the city's rate of taxation might be expected to be re- 
duced, and this in a manner to benefit all its people of what- 
ever condition and in whatever parts of it domiciled. 

It is believed that such a purpose may be defined, and that 



the land taken for Franklin Park may be shown to be neither 
of greater extent than is needed, nor in any essential respect 
unsuitable to the pursuit of it. It is believed to be perfectly 
practicable, as the business now stands, to secure results more 
valuable and less costly than the most sanguine promoters of 
the scheme have heretofore been authorized to promise. 

It must nevertheless be recognized that there has been 
much in the experience of other cities to justify fear that the 
work will grow to be a very costly one. 

How is this danger to be met ? 

What is first of all necessary is that those who are alive to 
it should not be content to remain under a mere blind appre- 
hension, moving to a distrustful, hesitating attitude, favoring 
a desultory, devious and intermittent advance of the work. 
They must seek to clearly understand, through a closer study 
than is often made of the history of the large park works of 
other cities, in what the danger of extravagance consists. 

Reasons will be given for believing that such a study will 
result in a conviction that it consists mainly in the preva- 
lence, during the earlier years of such undertakings, of vague, 
immature, conflicting, and muddled ideas of their purpose, 
and a consequent tendency to fritter away the advantages 
of the ground upon results that pass for collateral, but are 
really, for the most part, counteractive of their main design. 
These ideas lead to expectations, disappointments, customs, 
demands, that become important factors in determining the 
character of the park. If a notable number of the people, 
though a minority of all, come to suppose that it is not being 
prepared to meet expectations they may have happened, even 
though inconsiderately, to have formed, it is quite possible that 
their influence will compel the work to proceed upon a fluctu- 
ating plan to a degree that would be generally recognized to be 


scandalously wasteful in any other important class of public 


What has been done thus far in the undertaking of Franklin 
Park, encourages a belief that the danger is less in Boston than 
it has been found to be in other communities. But if any one 
doubts that it exists and is to-day the chief difficulty in the 
way of a successful prosecution of the enterprise, let him first 
consider that the proposition to form a large rural park for the 
people of Boston has already been before them at least twenty 
years, that it has been annually debated in the City Council 
seventeen years, and in the form of a distinct project has been 
ten years before an executive department of the government 
expressly formed to advance it ; that from year to year it has 
been brought up freshly in the Mayors' messages, in reports of 
Commissioners and Committees, and in proceedings of public 
meetings reported and discussed by the press. A site for it 
has been obtained and preliminary work for its improvement 
has been two years in progress. 

These circumstances borne in mind, let a judgment be formed 
of the standing which this park project has at the present 
moment in the minds of any considerable number of citizens to 
whom it is not in some way a matter of special personal inter- 
est, in comparison with the standing had in the minds of a 
similar body, of projects of other sorts of public works at 
corresponding periods. 

Let those projects be taken, for example, by the successive 
carrying out of which the present complex system of water- 
works for the city has come to be what it is. Of the uses and 
consequently of the practical value of water, every one knows 
something experimentally. Every one knows that water may 
be held in a vessel or reservoir, and that through an outlet at 
its bottom it will run from this vessel downward wherever a 


way is opened. With this knowledge, the conditions of effi- 
ciency of various proposed new works for supplying water 
have been easily comprehended, and the value of what has 
been aimed to be accomplished has been generally appreciated. 

So it has been with all other important public works of the 
city. The benefits to be gained by the people, for example, 
through various important steps in the improvement of the 
sewer system have been matters of clear-headed popular dis- 
cussion. Even the questions at issue between the engineers in 
this respect have been generally fairly well understood. It 
was the same as to the advantages to be gained by the substi- 
tution of steam for hand fire-engines, and of horse power for 
man power in moving them, and many other modern improve- 
ments. The same as to the Public Library and as to the Court 
House. By comparison it will be seen that such notions as 
prevail of the benefits to be realized through outlays to be 
made by the city on the body of land of five hundred acres 
bought for a purpose defined as that of " a park," are not only 
varied and conflicting between different men, but in each man's 
mind are apt to be wanting in practically serviceable clearness 
and definiteness. 

That this is the case even with many who suppose them- 
selves better informed than most, may appear a more reasonable 
assumption if the fact can be established that while the busi- 
ness of forming a large park and bringing it into suitable use 
is one in which the government and people of the city have no 
local experieDce, it is also one of which less is to be learned by 
casual observation than of most others in which cities com- 
monly engage. 

Let it be considered, then, that the persons who manifest 
the highest sense of the value to themselves individually of a 
park, in all Large cities, are not those who in the aggregate 


resort most to it, and, as a body, benefit most bj it. They 
are those to whom time, because of the weight of affairs resting 
upon them, is most valuable, and to whom an alert working 
condition of mind and body is worth the most money. In 
Paris and London, New York and Chicago, many of this class 
may be found for a certain time daily in a park. It is almost 
as fixed a habit with them to go there at a certain hour, as at 
certain other hours to go to their meals or to repose. It is not 
a matter of fashion or social custom, for their manner of using 
the park varies : some of them walking, others driving, others 
riding ; some pursue their course alone, others seek company, 
some keep to the main thoroughfares, others seek the secluded 
parts. With some men of much public importance now in 
New York, their present habit of using the park, began when 
the first section of it was opened to public use, seven-and- 
twenty years ago. 

It will be obvious that the manner in which such men, 
making such use of a park, find it of value is not that in which 
a stranger or an occap'onal visitor finds it interesting; and, 
looking further, it m iy be recognized that the benefits of a 
park to the people of c, city, of all classes and conditions, come 
chiefly in a gradual way, through a more or less habitual use 
of what it provides, and that such benefits are neither experi- 
enced nor are the conditions on which they depend apt to be 
dwelt upon by an occasional observer, to whom the interest of 
a visit unavoidably lies largely in the comparative novelty to 
him of what he sees. Neither do the gains in value of the 
park in this more important respect often engage the attention 
of the press. Columns will necessarily be given to the intro- 
duction of a statue, or a new piece of masonry, or a novelty in 
horticulture, for every line to the development of the essential 
constituents of the park, or the eradication of obstructive con- 


ditions. The eyes of a frequenter of a park rarely rest for a 
moment on objects before which strangers generally halt. A 
park may affect a man at the first visit exhilaratingly, which, 
when he is accustomed to the use of it, will have a reverse, 
that is to say, a soothing and tranquillizing effect. Thus, that 
only is of much solid and permanent value to a city in a park 
which increases in value as it becomes less strikingly interest- 
ing, and of that which has value in this way, an occasional 
visitor is apt to be in a great degree oblivious. No guide book 
calls his attention to it. No friend can bring it home to 

As an illustration of the wrong impressions that are natu- 
rally propagated in the manner thus suggested, it may be said 
that the costliness of certain parks is habitually assumed by 
many intelligent men to have been chiefly in outlays for what 
is called "decoration." This term is not thus applied to trees, 
plants, and turf; to the plain work, however good, of sub- 
stantial structures, nor to gracefulness or picturesqueness of 
modelling in graded surfaces, but first to objects which are 
merely decorative, such as fountains, vases, artificial rock- 
work, pagodas, temples, kiosks, obelisks, or other independent 
structures ; and, second, to works of decoration superadded to 
structures for use, such as crestings, carvings, mosaics, mould- 
ings, flutings, panellings, and the like. The fact is that no 
large part of the cost of any great park has been for these 
purposes. Of upwards of ten millions of dollars paid by cities 
upon the certificate of the writer, it is believed that less than 
four per cent has been for such decorative work. On the 
Buffalo Park, than which none is more satisfactory to the 
people, the outlay for decorative work is reckoned not to 
have exceeded one half of one per cent. And it may be 
added, with respect to another form of this error, having its 


origin probably in early impressions from superficial and incom- 
prebensive observation, that the value of no rural park to the 
people who habitually use it would be seriously impaired if 
every scrap of ornament to be found upon it should fall to 
decay or be effaced, except as the spaces left unfurnished would 
appear shabby and incongruous with the general character of 
the place. Beyond question, the value of many large parks 
would be increased by the removal of a variety of objects 
which, when introduced, were thought to be desirable acqui- 

In one of the notes to follow it will be shown that the confu- 
sion of the popular mind in the early years of a large park 
work which has been described gradually passes off with an 
experience of the benefits resulting from an habitual use of the 
finished ground. The chief peril from it occurs during the 
period of constructive operations, and before any important 
results of growth have been attained. For this reason, it is 
important that those who may be able to aid in moulding a 
sound public opinion should see how the difficulty of working 
out of the confusion is increased by a common equivocal use of 
certain terms applicable to park work. 

There is a space in Boston called Park Square, and in it there 
has lately been a sign with the inscription, "Park Square 

* Consistently with this view is Hamerton's observation that "very much 
of tlie impressiveness of natural scenery depends on the degree in which mass 
predominates over details." The chief advantage of the "new" (of the last 
century) over the old gardening was found in the fact that while works of the 
latter might he striking and impressive as they were to be seen for a moment 
from particular points of view, and might have an endless number of interesting 
points of detail, these advantages were greatly outweighed by the more sus- 
tained, comprehensive, and pervading pleasantness of the simpler, unosten- 
tatious, and uneventful work of the "new gardening." This advantage is 
easily dissipated on a public park. Where it is to be largely so by the intro- 
duction of numerous objects of special admiration, it would be better to adopt 
thoroughly the old architectural motive. F. l,. o. 


Garden." There is neither a park nor a square nor a garden 
in the vicinity, nor has there been. The word park is applied 
in a similar loose way to various comparatively small public 
spaces which are otherwise more discriminatingly called 
Greens, Commons, Squares, Gardens, and Places. In most con- 
siderable cities there is now to be found a ground called a park 
to which none of these names are applied. It is a ground more 
or less well adapted to serve a purpose that cannot be served 
on the smaller class of grounds. Such a ground is therefore 
a park distinctively, — a park proper. But it thus occurs that 
when a large space of ground is taken by a city for the pur- 
pose of a park proper, there is a tendency to regard it simply 
as a larger provision for the same ends with those which 
Commons, Greens, Squares, and Gardens are adapted to 
serve, and the real park is looked forward to not a little as it 
might be if it were to be in effect an aggregation or a combina- 
tion and improved form of various smaller public grounds. 

Even though, when ground is taken for a park proper, it may 
be understood that a purpose distinct from any or all of the 
purposes of these smaller grounds is had in view, this tendency 
leads propositions to be urged as to the uses to which it shall 
be put, and the way in which it shall be fitted and furnished, 
that common sense would otherwise recognize as propositions 
to set aside the distinctive purpose of the park. 

Such confusion as may naturally occur in the way that has 
been thus explained is apt to be aggravated by the additional 
circumstance that the word landscape is constantly used, is 
used even by eminent writers, confoundingly, with reference to 
two essentially distinct arts. One of these arts is inapplicable 
to the smaller grounds of a city, but fully applicable to a large 
ground ; the other is a decorative art, applicable to all forms 
and conditions of ground in which vegetation is possible, avail- 


able for the smallest city grounds, and often, as for years past 
in Boston, practised upon small grounds with results most 
gratifying to the public. With such results, that to be wisely 
had in view in the undertaking of a rural park is scarcely 
more to be brought in comparison than the results proper to a 
Public Library building with those proper to a Court House, 
those of a church with those of a theatre. 

The object of these notes is to give reasons for the convic- 
tions that have been thus expressed, and, in a measure, to meet 
in advance the dangers that have been indicated. This object 
obliges an exposition of the subject, under various heads, from 
many points of view. It is not to be expected, with the pres- 
ent slight public interest in the scheme of the park, that such 
an exposition will have many readers ; but should it have none, 
proper respect for the future interest of the public in the 
matter requires a somewhat detailed record of the groundwork 
of the plan, of the expectations with which the work is entered 
upon, and of the foreseen conditions of its successful prose- 

For those who may wish to obtain in the briefest possible 
way a slight general knowledge of what is intended, the draw- 
ing illustrative of the plan hereto attached, with which a con- 
cise statement is printed explanatory of the design, will be 
independently distributed in the form of a broadsheet, and it 
is hoped that with such aid as the public journals may see 
fit to give the purpose, an understanding of what is to be 
reasonably expected of the park may become common before 
customs in the use of it, growing out of different expectations, 
can be established. 

Part First. 




Among habits of thouglit that we have by inheritance there 
is one which is evinced in the custom of speaking of public 
grounds comprehensively and indiscriminatingiy as " the lungs " 
of a city, " ventilating-places," " breathing-holes," and " airing- 

This habit originated in walled towns, with extremely narrow, 
crooked streets, half built over, in which all the filth and gar- 
bage of dwellings was deposited, and often remained until 
flushed out by heavy rains. In such cities of fifty thousand 
inhabitants, the deaths due to foul air were larger than they now 
need be in cities of five hundred thousand. 

With it has come down to us a subtile disposition, — the 
ghost of a serious, solid, and firm-footed ancestral conviction, — 
by which we are often influenced in dealing with questions of 
public grounds more than we are aware. It is a disposition to 
assume that the chief value of such grounds is that of outlets 
for foul air and inlets for pure air, and to regard whatever 
else our taxes are required to provide upon them in the 
character of a comparatively trifling luxury, adding something 
to the pleasure of life, no doubt, like sweet things after dinner, 
or buttons on the back of a man's coat, or the "gingerbread 
work " of a ship, but supplying almost nothing of solid suste- 
nance and strength. 



A wholly different understanding of the use of public 
grounds has long since begun to prevail ; yet we are so much 
haunted by the old idea that we are rarely able to take clear, 
business-like views of the conditions of value in their equip- 

Even those who have been advocating the great addition 
lately made to the ground reserved from building within the 
city of Boston, have frequently made the sanitary requirement 
of airing-spaces in the midst of a city, and the need of provid- 
ing them well in advance of the line of compact building, their 
main argument. Let it be supposed that the term "airing- 
place," as now used, means a little more than it once did ; 
that it means a place to which people shall be drawn by various 
attractions, and having been drawn shall be induced to exer- 
cise in such a manner as to quicken their circulation and give 
their lungs a good cleansing of fresh air ; it is yet an error 
fruitful of bad management and of waste to suppose that such 
an undertaking as this of Franklin Park is to be justified on 
that ground. 

This will be better seen and several other considerations 
affecting the problem of the plan, will be made plainer if the 
advantages which the people of the city now hold with respect 
to airing-grounds are passed in review. 

To aid a cursory examination of them the accompanying 
map has been prepared, showing the city and so much of its 
outskirts as can conveniently be brought within the limits of 
the sheet, and indicating one hundred and eighty-six localities, 
in each of which there is now a body of land, great or small, 
serving, or available to serve, at least a ventilating purpose. 
Of these, seventy-one have been already "improved," are now 
in process of improvement, or are held with a definite intention 
of improvement, with a view to recreative qualities, as for 
example, by being turfed and planted. Fifty-six of these are 
public squares, commons, or gardens, of the city of Boston 
proper, the number of these much exceeding that of the same 
class of grounds of the united cities of New York and Brook- 
lyn. Thirty-nine are burial grounds, most of them small. 


ancient, and disused. These are not likely to be built upon, 
and should the course now being pursued in London and 
other old cities be followed, as in time it probably will be, most 
of them will eventually be made public groves and gardens. At 
least they will be verdurous breathing-places. Forty-seven are 
lands which in various ways have come into the possession of 
the city, and may at any time be sold when the government 
thinks it wise to part with them. Tlieir bearing on the present 
subject is this, that when it shall be thought that additional 
urban grounds are needed in any part of the city, it will not 
always be necessary to make a special purchase of land to sup- 
ply sites for them. Many of these properties, for instance, are 
well situated for playgrounds for school children, and could be 
adapted to that use at moderate exjpense. Others, smaller, are 
available for open-air gymnasiums. 

Within the city of Boston, or close upon its border, there are 
nearly two hundred public properties which are not held with 
a view to building over them, and most of which are secured by 
legal enactments from ever being built over. Omitting the 
larger spaces recently acquired and held by the Department of 
Parks, these grounds are on an average thirteen acres each 
in area. Omitting the islands, the burial grounds, the larger 
grounds of the Department, and all that would not ordinarily 
be classed with " city squares and gardens," the latter have an 
average area of about four acres each. 

The area of the entire number of public properties numbered 
on the map, and of which a classified list follows showing the 
situation and area of each, is 3356.63 acres, or over five square 
miles. Of those likely to be permanent green oases among the 
buildings of the city, the area is about four square miles, or 
nearly as much as the entire building space within the walls of 
some cities that had great importance in the world when the 
building of Boston was began. 


I, Properties now appropriated to the purpose of public refresh- 
ment as recreation grounds or " hreathing-p>lacesP 


City Pkoper. 

9. Common . . . 

10. Public Garden . 

8. Fort-Hill Square 

21. Franklin Square 

20. Blackstone Sq. . 

34. East Ckester Park | 

30. Chester Park . I 

29. Chester Square . | 

19. "West Chester ( 
Park .... 1 

13. Commonwealth ( 

Avenue . . . ( 

17. Union Park . . | 

31. "Worcester Square | 
3. Lowell Square . . 

12. Square . . . . | 

16. Montgomery Sq. | 

5. Pemberton Sq. . | 

14. Copley Square • | 

15. Trinity Triangle | 
2. Charles River Em- ( 

baukment . . \ 

KoxBUET District. 
42. ISIadison Square | 

46. Orchard Park . | 
66. "Washington Park . 
37. Longwood Park 

68. "Walnut Park . | 

41. Lewis Park . . . 
52. Bromley Park . . 

57. Fountain Square | 
49. Cedar Square . | 

40. Linwood Park . . 

59. Public Ground . . 

36.Paverdale and ( 

Back Bay . . | 


Park, Tremont, Boylston, 

Charles, and Beacon Sts. . . 
Charles, Boylston, Arlington, 

and Beacon Sts. . . . . . 

Oliver and High Sts 

"Washington, East Brookline, 

East Newton, and James Sts. 
Washington, "West Brookline, 

"West Newton Sts., and Shaw- 

mut Ave 

Between Albany St. and Harri- 
son Ave ) 

Between Harrison Ave. and) 

"Washington St J 

Between "SVashington and Tre- 1 

niont Sts ) 

Between Tremont St. and Co- ) 

lumbus Ave ) 

From Arlington St. to"West Ches- ) 

ter Park (malls) ) 

Between Tremont St. and Shaw- ) 

mut Ave ) 

Between "Washington St. and I 

Harrison Ave. ...... j 

Cambridge and Lynde Sts. . . . 

Columbus Ave., Eliot and Pleas- ) 

ant Sts ) 

Tremont, Clarendon, and Mont- ) 

gomery Sts ) 

Between Tremont Row and ) 

Somerset St i 

Between Huntington Ave., Boyl- ) 

ston and Dartmouth Sts. . . J 
Between Huntington Ave., Trin- ) 

ity PL, and St. James Ave. . ) 
Between Canal and "West Bos- I 

ton Bridges I 

Sterling, Marble, "Warwick, and ) 

"Westminster Sts ) 

Chadwick, Orchard-Park, and) 

Yeoman Sts ) 

Dale and Bainbridge Sts. . . . 

Park and Austin Sts 

Between "Washington St. and ) 

W^alnut Ave J 

Highland St. and Highland Ave. . 
From Albert to Bickford St. . . 
"Walnut Ave., from Munroe to ) 

Townsend St ) 

Cedar St., between Juniper and ) 

Thornton Sts ) 

Centre and Linwood 

Centre and Perkins Sts 

Between Beacon and Perkins) 
Sts ) 

48.25 acres. 

24.25 " 
29,480 sq. ft. 
2.42 acres. 

2.41 " 

9,300 sq. ft. 
13,050 " 

1.70 acres. 
10,150 sq. ft. 

9.86 acres. 

16,000 sq. ft. 

16,000 " 
5,772 " 
2,867 " 

550 " 

3,390 " 

28,399 " 

5,410 " 

10.00 acres. 

2.81 acres. 

2.29 " 





sq. ft. 




sq. ft. 

f Enclosed by an 
I iron fence. 

I Malls enclosed by 
an iron f-ence. 

[Enclosed by & 
granite curb. 

Park Department 

Three enclosures. 

[ Enclosed by stone 

Park Department, 


I. — Properties, etc., continued. 




South BosTOisr. 

71. Telegraph Hill . . 

65. Independence Sq. 

66. Lincoln Square . 

67. Marine Park . . 


77. Dorchester Square 

78. Eaton Square . . 
80. Mt. Bowdoin Green 

West Eoxbuet DIS'l^. 

93. Public Grounds . 

94. Soldiers' Monu- 1 

ment Lot . . ) 

97. Franklin Park . . 

96. Arboretum . . . 

110. Public Grounds . 

109. Franklin Park . . 


116. Play Grounds . . 
115. Play Grounds . . 


12.3. Public Grounds . 
128. Massachusetts 
Avenue . . . 

130. Jackson Square 

129. Brighton Square 


141. Commons . . . 
140. Winthrop Square . 

146. Broadway Park . 

147. Dana Square . . 
149. Washington Sq. . 

148. Hastings Square . 


143. Broadway Park . 

144. Public Park . | 

Charlestown Dist. 

153. Sullivan Square . 

154. Public Grounds . 

160. Monument Square 

Thomas Park 

Broadway, Second, M, and N Sts. 

Emerson, Fourth, and M Sts. . . 
City Point 

Meeting House Hill 

Adams and Bowdoin Sts. . . . 
Top of Mt. Bowdoin 

Shore of Jamaica Pond .... 

South and Central Streets , . . 

Sever, Blue Hill Ave., and Morton 
Centre, South, and Bussey Sts. . 
Top of Mount Bellevue .... 
Franklin Ave. and Hamilton St. . 

Cypress Street 
BrookUne Avenue 

Pleasant and Franklin Streets . 

Brighton Avenue to Chestnut j 
Hill Reservoir ) 

Chestnut-Hill Avenue, Union, ) 
and Wiuship Streets . . . j 

Between Chestnut-Hill Avenue 1 
and Rockland Street, and op- I 
posite Branch of Public Li- [ 
brary J 

North Avenue 

Brighton and Mount Auburn Sts. 


Magazine Street 

Grand Junction Railroad . . . 
BrookUne Street 

Broadway and Mystic Avenue . 

Highland Avenue, School and \ 

Walnut Streets ) 

Main and Sever Streets .... 
Essex and Lyndeboro' Streets . . 

High, Concord, and Lexington Sts, 

4.36 acres. 

6.50 " 

9,510 sq. ft. 
about 40 ac. 

1.29 acres. 

13,280 sq. ft. 
25,170 " 

31,000 sq. ft. 
5,870 " 

518 acres. 

167 " 
27,772 sq. ft. 
30,000 " 

5.27 acres. 
3.83 " 

1,900 sq. ft. 
47.13 acres. 

4,300 sq. ft. 
25,035 " 

10.29 acres. 
10,236 sq. ft. 
2.46 acres. 
33,531 sq. ft. 
42,123 " 
29,999 " 

15.90 acres. 
12.60 " 

1.30 acres. 
930 sq. ft. 

3.80 acres. 

(Enclosed by an 
( iron fence. 
<( >< 

Park Department. 

I Soldiers' Monu- 
( ment on this Sq. 

( Enclosed by stone 
\ curb. 

Park Department, 

( Enclosed by stone 
I curb. 

Four enclosures. 

r Bimker Hill Mon- 
( ument on this.Sq 


Properties^ etc.^ continued. 





Chablestown Dist. 

161. Winthrop Square 

162. City;Sqtiare . . . 

163. Public Grounds | 

East Boston Dist. 

172. Maverick Square . 
170. Central Square . 

173. Belmont Square | 

166. Putnam Square . 

167. Prescott Square . 

174. Wood Island Park 

"Winthrop, Common, and Adams 

Head of Bow and Main. . . . 

Water Street, Charles River and ) 
Warren Avenues ) 

Sumner and Maverick 

Meridian and Border 

Webster, Sumner, Lamson, and ) 

Seaver ) 

Putnam, White, and Trenton . . 
Trenton, Eagle, and Prescott . . 
Wood Island 

38,460 sq. ft. 

8,739 " 
3,055 " 




81.3 acres. 

Enclosed by an 
iron fence. Sol- 
diers' Alonument 
on this square. 

Enclosed by stone 

( Enclosed by iron 
( fence. 

Park Department. 

11. — burial Grounds^ etc. 




City Pbopee. 

1. Copp's Hill . 

6. King's Chapel 

7. Granary . . 
11. Central . . 

22. South ... 

RoxBUEY District. 

43. Eliot . . 

47. Warren . 

48. Catholic 

South Boston. 

68. Hawes and Union 

69. St. Augustine . 


72. Dorchester North 

83. Old Catholic . . 

84. Codman . . . 

90. Cedar Grove . . 

91. Dorchester South 

Charter and Hull Streets . . 
Tremont and School Streets . 
Tremont near Park Street . . 

On the Common 

Washington, near East Newton 

Washington and Eustis Streets 

Kearsarge Avenue 

Circuit Street 

Fifth Street 

Sixth and Dorchester Streets . 

Stoughton and Boston Streets 

Norfolk Street 

Norfolk Street 

Adams Street 

Dorchester Avenue .... 

2.04 acres. 
19,200 sq. ft. 
1.88 acres. 
1.38 " 

1.72 " 

34,700 sq. ft. 

1.25 acres. 

15,000 sq. ft. 

16,800 sq. ft. 
1.00 acre. 

3.10 acres. 

12.00 " 
3.7G " 

42.01 " 
2.00 " 

Owned by the city. 

Owned by the city. 

Owned by the city. 

Owned by the city. 
Owned by the city. 


II, — Burial Grounds, etc.^ continued. 


"West Roxbukt. 

I. Forest Hills . . 
I. Old Catholic 
5, Miinnt Hope 
1. ]\iouut Calvary 
5. Walter Street . 
3. Cuiifre Street . 
r. llouut Benedict 

3. Catholic . . . 

4. Hand-in-Hand 


Morton Street . . . 
Hyde Park Avenue , 
Walk Hill Street . , 
Canterbury Street 

Arnold Street 
Grove Street 
Grove Street 


7. Walnnt Street 
1. Holyhood . , 
S. Walnut Hills , 


lie. Market Street . 
53. Evergreen . . 


'39. Old Burying 
Ground . . . 

38. Cambridge Cem- 
etery .... 

37. Mt. Auburn " 

,36. Catholic " 


145. Cemetery . . . 

Brookline . 
Heath Street 
Grove Street 

Chestnut-Hill Aveque 

North Avenue , 

Coolidge Avenue . 

:Mt. Auburn Street 
Cottage Street . 


155. Catholic . . . . 

156. Bunker Hill St. . 
.57. Old Burial ) 

Grounds . . ) 

East Boston. 

168. Bennington St. 

169. Ohabei Shalom 

Somerville Avenue 

Bunker Hill and Medford Sts. 
Between Elm and Polk Streets 

Phipps Street 

Swift and Bennington Streets . 
Wordsworth and Homer Sts. . 

176.83 acres. 

1.25 " 

106.75 " 

41.05 " 

39,216 sq. ft. 

30,460 " 

86.05 acres. 

5.09 " 

2.50 " 

1.42 acres. 

about 30 acs. 

" 30 " 


Owned by the city. 
Owned by the city. 

18,000 sq. ft. Owned by the city. 
13.83 acres. " " 

2.04 acres. 


30,500 sq. ft. 

1.68 acres. 
1.10 " 


3.62 acres. 
1.38 " 

Owned by the city. 

Owned by the city. 



III. — Parcels of Land xoithin which there are Reservoirs or other 
appurteyiances of Public Water Works but which are 
partly available for and generally in use as Public 
Pleasure Grounds. 




"Water Wokks. 

50. Highlaud Park 
Stand Pipe . 
39. Parker Hill Res- 
ervoir . . . 
70. South Boston " 
120. Brookline " 
119. Fisher Hill " 
134. Chestnut Hill " 
165. East Boston " 

Water Works, 

118. Reservoir Lot . 

Fort Avenue, Roxhury . 

Fisher Avenue, Roxhury . 

Telegraph Hill .... 
Boylston Street, Brookline 
Fislier Avenue, Brookline 
Brighton District . . . 
Eagle Hill 

Fisher Avenue, Brookline 

2.62 acres. 





4.86 acreSi 

IV. — Grounds in Connection with Public Institutions, 




53. Marcella-Street \ 
Home ... I 

99. Austin Farm . . 

60. House of Oorrec- ) 

tion and Lunatic [ 

Hospital . . . ) 

152. Alms House . . . 

100. Small Pox Hos- ) 

pital . . . . J 

79. PuDjping Station . 

142. City Farm . . . 

Eoxbury District . . . 
West Roxbury District 
South Boston .... 

Alford Street, Charlestown . . 
Canterbury St., West Eoxbury 

Old Harbor Point, Dorchester . 

6.98 acres. 





' In charge of Di- 
j rectors of Pub- 
lic Institutions. 

In charge of 
Board of Health. 
Main Drainage 


V. — Miscellaneoiis Froperties in Land held^ except in a few cases 

noted, with no permanent pur^^ose, and generally unimproved. 


City Proper. 

23. Harrison Ave., corner Stougliton St. . . 

24. East Newtou St., north side 

25. Stoughton St. to East Newton St. . . 
28. Albany St. Wliaif. opposite Hospital . 

26. Albany St. Wharf, opp. East Canton St. 

27. Albany St., City Stables, etc 

33. Chester Park and Springfield St. . . . 

32. Northampton and Chester Park . . . 

4. Keservoir Lot, Beacon Hill 

18. Rutland St., west of Tremont St. . . . 

KoxBPRY District. 
35. Old Small-Pox Hospital Lot, Swett St. . 

44. Fellows St., northwest side 

45. Fellows St., southeast side 

54. Greenwood St., opp. Marcella^St. Home, 
38. Tremont and Pleath Sts 

51. Highland St., Stable Lot 

55. Ledge Lot, Washington St 

South Boston. 

61. East First and L Sts 

64. East Third and L Sts 

62. East First and M Sts 

63. East Second and N Sts 

Dorchester District. 

73. Boston St., near Upham's Corners . . 

74. Ledge Lot, Magnolia St 

76. Almshouse Lot, Downer Ave 

75. Downer Ave 

82. Marsh west of Exchange St 

85. Gravel Lot, Forest Hills Ave 

86. Codman St., east of railroad .... 

87. Codman St., west of railroad 

88. Adams St., near Codman St 

89. Ledge Lot, Codman St 

92. Marsh near Cedar Grove Cemetery . . 
81. Gibson School Fund Land, Dorchester 1 

Ave., Gibson and Park Sts. . . . j 

West Roxbury District. 

95. Child St 

98. Gravel Lot, Morton St 

108. Gravel Lot, Moreland St 

111. Muddy Pond 

112. Toll-House Lot, Grove St 

Brighton District, 

124. City Ledge Lot, Cambridge St 

125. Old Gravel Lot, Cambridge St 

127. Wilson's Hotel Lot, Washington St. . . 

131. Gravel Lot, Union St 

132. Ledge Lot, Chestnut Hill Ave 

Chaelestowit District. 

151. Alford St., opposite Almshouse . . . . 

158. Rutherford Ave., southwest side . . . 

169. Rutherford Ave., northeast side . . . 

East Boston District. 
17] . Gravel Lot, Marion, Paris, and Chelsea ) 
Streets I 

10,597 sq. ft. 
16,120 " 

2.09 acres. 

l.GO " 
26,024 sq. ft. 

7.37 acres. 
1.29 " 

2.98 " 

37,488 sq. ft. 
30,600 " 

2.56 acres. 
25,288 sq. ft. 

8,429 " 
20,500 " 

7.36 acres. 

1.84 " 
3.09 " 

27,000 sq. ft. 
33,250 " 

2.89 acres. 

1.45 " 

5,300 sq. ft. 

1.86 acres. 

2.00 " 
35,300 sq. ft. 
21,844 " 

1.10 acres. 
9,800 sq. ft. 
35,700 " 

1.02 acres. 

6.86 " 

3.46 " 

10.26 " 

14,457 sq. ft. 
14,520 " 
30,421 " 
12.00 acres. 
27,432 sq. ft. 

2.35 acres. 
1.35 " 
1.63 " 
37,000 sq. ft. 
13.00 acres. 

1.67 acres. 
20,000 sq. ft. 
31,000 " 


Subject to sale. 

(Used by Health, Paving, Sewer, 

\ and Water Departments. 

(In care of Trustees of City 

( Hospital. 

I In care of Superintendent of 

( Commons. 

Subject to sale. 

Reserved for a school-house. 

Subject to sale. 

fUsed by Paving and Health 

i Departments. 

Used by Paving Department. 

Suhject to sale. 

Subject to sale. 

Used by Paving Department. 

Used by Paving Department. 

Used by Paving Department. 
Subject to sale. 

Used bv'Paving Department. 
<r ■ it « 

« II II 

Subject to sale. 

Subject to sale. 

II <i 
Used by Paving Department. 

Subject to sale. 

1.00 acre. Used by Paving Department. 


VI. — Public Property upon Islands in the Harbor. 



180. Long Island. .... 

175. Apple Island .... 
186. Great Brewster's Island 

177. Deer Island .... 

182. Kainsford Island . . 

183. Gallop's Island . . . 

181. Moon Island .... 

178. Castle Island .... 

176. Governor's Island . . 

184. Loveirs Island . . . 

185. George's Island . . . 

179. Long Island Head . . 

City of Boston owner. 

United States owner. 

Vll. — Properties of the United States on the Main Land, in part 
open and planted. 




164. Navy Yard 

150. Hospital Grounds 

Charlestown District ..... 

87.5 acres. 

79.0 " " 

The numbers prefixed to the names of localities in the preceding tables refer to their 
corresponding positions on the map accompanying these Notes. 


Area under Class I : — 

Within limits of City of Boston 1204.15 acres. 

« " " « Somerville 28.50 « 

« « « " Cambridge 15.41 « 

« " « Town of Brookline 9.10 « 

Total .... 1257.16 acres. 

Area under Class II. : — 

Within limits of City of Boston 620.12 acres, 

" " " « Somerville 0.70 « 

" " " « Cambridge 187.24 " 

" " " Town of Brookline 61.42 " 

Total .... 769.48 acres. 

Area under Class III, : — 

Boston Water Works 273.31 acres. 

Brookline " « 4.86 « 

Total .... 278.17 acres. 

Area under Class IV. : — 

Boston 100.57 acres. 

Somerville 10.20 « 

Total .... 110.77 acres. 

Area under Class V. (all within limits of Boston) . . 105.95 acres. 


Area under Class VI. : — 

Owned by City of Boston 406.00 acres. 

« « the United States 172.60 " 

Total .... 578.60 acres. 

Ai'ea under Class VII. : — 

Within limits of City of Boston 87.50 acres. 

Outside " " " " 169.00 " 

Total .... 256.50 acres. 

The total area shown on the map, of all the classes, is 3356.63 
acres. Of this, 659 acres are eitlier outside the limits of, or are not 
owned by, the City of Boston. 


Before taking up the question of the proposed large park, it 
niaj be desirable to form some idea of the present standard for 
the equipment of cities in respect to public grounds other than 
large parks, and consider how Boston's possessions, as thej 
have been set out, may be rated by it. Of course this can be 
done but loosely, but the purpose may be carried far enough to 
answer with assurance the question. How are the people of 
Boston faring and likely to fare in this particular in comparison 
with civilized townspeople generally ? 

For this purpose it must be kept in mind that the public 
grounds of most cities have come to be what they are and 
where they are by various detached and desultory proceedings, 
of which the result, as a whole, illustrates penny-wise-pound- 
foolish wisdom quite as much as the result of laying out streets 
with reference to immediate local and personal interests, regard- 
less of burdens loading up to be carried by an entire city 
ever after. 

Of late, however, ideas of systematization, with a view to 
comprehensive and long-sighted public economy, have taken 
root, and in a few instances are growing to profitable results. 

These ideas move in two directions; and as confusion between 
them can only lead to blunders, it is well to see where the 
parting occurs. 

If a large town were about to be built on a previously deter- 
mined plan, a series of public grounds might be contemplated, 
to be situated at regular distances apart, all of the same extent, 
and all looking to a similarity and an equality of provisions for 
the use of those who would resort to them, the aim being to 
distribute the value of whatever should be done for the purpose 
of public recreation, as nearly as possible equitably among the 
several corresponding districts of the city. A type of grounds 
would result, an inclination to approach which is here and there 

Certain advantages follow, but they are obtained at a cost 
that would be unreasonable in any city, the site of which 
was not generally flat, reckless, and treeless, or in any the nat- 
ural growth, expansion on all sides and prosperity of which 


were not singularly assured. Nor are the advantages aimed at 
in such a system, so far as attainable, of controlling importa,nce. 

As cities grow in a manner not to be accurately foreseen, as 
centres of business and centres of residence sometimes shift, 
and in the course of years become interchanged, and as some 
parts of the site or the neighhorhood of a city will nearly always he 
specially favorable to provisions of recreation of one class, other 
parts to provisions of another class, it is generally better to have 
in view the development of some peculiar excellence in each of 
several grounds. And this may be considered the central idea 
of the alternative system, only that in proceeding with refer- 
ence to it, it is to be remembered that cities are built com- 
pactly because of the economy of placing many varied facilities 
of exchange of service in close and direct intercommunication. 
Any large area within a city, not occupied by buildings, and 
not available as a means of communication between them, 
lessens this advantage, compelling circuitous routes to be taken 
and increasing the cost of the exchanges of service, upon the 
facilities offered for which the prosperity of the city depends. 

It follows that so far as any purpose of public grounds can 
be well provided for on a small ground, it is better to so provide 
for it, rather than to multiply and complicate the purposes to 
be provided for on a larger ground. In a system determined 
with unqualified regard to this principle no ground would be 
used for any purpose of recreation which purpose could as well 
be served by itself elsewhere, on a small ground. 

It follows, also, that the larger the ground needed for any 
special purpose, the more desirable it is (other things being 
equal) that that ground should be at a distance from the 
centres of exchange, which will be the denser parts of the city, 
and out of the main lines of the compact outward growth of the 

The smaller grounds of the class designed for general use 
(being such as are commonly called squares and places) may 
with advantage, as far as practicable, be evenly distributed, with 
a view to local convenience, throughout a city. Yet, with 
regard to these, there are at least three circumstances which 

should make numerous deviations from such equalizing distri- 
bution: First, topographical circumstances may compel spaces 
unsuitable for building to be left between streets, which it will 
be economical to use for such grounds; many such are found in 
and about Boston. Second, spaces should be left about public 
buildings, in order to give them better light, remove them from 
the noise of the streets, protect them from conflagrations, and 
make the value of their architecture available. Such spaces 
will economically become small public grounds. 

Lastly, it is most desirable to make use of any local circum- 
stance of the slightest dignity of character to supply a centre 
of interest for such grounds. Such a circumstance may be 
found, for instance, in a natural feature, as a notable rock, or in 
a historical feature, as the site of an old fort, or in the birth- 
place of a great man, or simply in a point of vantage for a view, 
as a prospect down the harbor. There is no better example of 
a very small public ground than one in Paris, where a beautiful 
church tower, decorated by centuries of superficial decay and 
mossy incrustations, has been taken as the centre of the work, 
the body of the church being removed and its place occupied by 
seats and gardenry. 

Usually, however, there is nothing better for the purpose 
of this class of grounds than a simple open grove, or, on the 
smaller spaces, a group of forest trees (selected with regard for 
probable vigor and permanent health under the circumstances) 
with a walk through or around it, proper provisions against 
injury and unseemly use, a drinking fountain, and convenient 
seats out of the lines of passage, of which type there are good 
illustrations in Boston. 

Playgrounds for children need not be so large as to interfere 
with direct, short communication, and should be evenly distrib- 
uted in the residential part of the town, except as special 
localities are to be preferred on account of unusual topographical 

If it is thought desirable to make any special provision for 
carriage and saddle exercise without going far from the central 
parts of the town, the most convenient and economical plan is 


that of a passage having the character of a street of extraor- 
dinary width, strung with verdant features and other objects of 
interest, so laid out as not to seriously interfere with the pri- 
mary business of the city ; that is to say, with convenience of 
exchange. Such passages are found between the principal 
palaces and better-built parts and the more frequented parks in 
Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Dijon, and other European cities, and 
are there more commonly classed as boulevards ; in America 
they are to be found notably in Buffalo and Chicago, and are 
there called parkways. 

To further develop a system of public grounds, areas will be 
selected as far as practicable in parts of the city where they 
will least interrupt desirable general communication, the topo- 
graphical conditions of each of which adapt it to a special pur- 
pose, and each of these will be fitted for public use upon a 
plan intended to make the most of its special advantages for 
its special purposes. 

These observations may be considered to suggest the present 
standard of civilization in respect to the urban grounds of a 
city situated as Boston is. Looking with reference to this 
standard to Boston possessions and Boston's opportunities held 
in reserve to be used as her borders extend, hardly another city 
will be found in an equally satisfactory condition. 

In the Boston provisions for urban public grounds there are: 

(1) Two extensive parkway S3^stems, one formed by Massachu- 
setts Avenue, expanding into the broad, shady drives and walks 
that pass around and divide Chestnut Hill Reservoir ; the other 
formed by the Muddy River (Riverdale) roads, spreading into 
the Promenade now forming about the Back Bay Drainage 
Basins, and with Commonwealth Avenue connecting the Com- 
mon and Public Garden with Jamaica Pond, the Arboretum, 
and the site of Franklin Park. 

(2) There are numerous local grounds so small in extent as 
not to interfere with desirable lines of street communication. 

(3) There are a few grounds adapted to serve a similar pur- 
pose of a brief recreation for the people of their several neigh- 
borhoods, which are larger than the first, but so situated that 


they will interrupt street communication only where natural 
obstacles occur (such as the deep slough of Back Bay). 

(4) There is one ground which, though centrally situated, 
is fully large enough for the purpose, wherein the enjoyment of 
floral beauty and plant beauty of a specific character is liber- 
ally provided for. 

(5) In another, much larger and of strikingly diversified 
surface, on the outskirts of the city, provision is made for the 
greatest possible variety of hardy trees in a manner to show 
their specific qualities, and to combine opportunity for scientific 
research and popular instruction with the enjoyment of the 
forms of individual sylvan beauty to be thus presented. 

(6) In another, marine landscapes are offered and special pro 
visions made for various aquatic recreations under particularly 
favorable natural conditions for their enjoyment. 

(7) In another, a natural lake with beautifully wooded 
borders is to be availed of, which, besides its value in other 
respects, has this, that it will serve as a general skating-place 
and a safe still-water boating-place. 

Looking for deficiencies in this system of non-rural grounds^ 
the chief will be found to be the want of sufficient local and 
suitabl'fe general grounds for active exercises. It would be a 
good thing for the city to have a large, plain, flat, undecorated 
ground, not far away, easily accessible, if practicable, both by 
rail and boat, adapted to military and athletic exercises. 

Considering the advantage which pertains to the subdivision 
of the city by bays and rivers, and the constant movement 
through and around it of strong tidal currents, and the advan- 
tages thus offered for boating and bathing, as well as for obtain- 
ing unstagnant air, it is believed that this exhibit of Boston's 
Breathing-Places will be found gratifying. Few cities have a 
larger number of small urban grounds proportionately to their 
population ; and, while some of Boston's grounds are of a non 


descript character, serving no particular purpose very well, 
others are models of their class, and in no Northern city is the 
average usefulness of such grounds greater. As to reservations 
for the future, in respect to this class of grounds, no city is 
more forehanded. 

Finally, it will be plain that with such advantages as Boston 
has been shown to have within reach for a great varietj'- of 
purposes to be served upon public grounds, it would have been 
a wholly irrational thing for the city to have purchased five 
hundred acres more of land, all in one body, except for a pur- 
pose to which so large a space was more essential than it is to 
the purpose of making a place attractive and suitable for those 
needing air and exercise. 

As to the idea that the main object of making a park beauti- 
ful is to make it attractive, argument is hardly needed by any 
one giving the slightest reflection to the question. Much 
more efficient means than can be found in any public ground 
could be easily and cheaply adopted for the purpose. 

' Tell tliem, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, 
Then beauty is its own excuse for being." 

Part Secoi^d. 





That the site for Franklin Park could have been rationally 
bought only with a view to a purpose previously not all pro- 
vided for, and that no use of the ground should now be per- 
mitted likely to lessen its value for this distinctive purpose, 
will yet more clearly appear if the topography of the ground 
and the manner of its selection are considered. 

The scheme of Franklin Park, as it now stands, is a contrac- 
tion of a much larger scheme outlined to the city government 
in 1869. This larger scheme included bodies of comparatively 
rich, humid, flat land, much better adapted to provide many 
forms of public ground than any within the field of the present 
scheme ; a parade ground, for instance, and ball grounds ; 
much better adapted, also, to the beauty to be obtained through 
refined horticulture, floral displays, and other decorations. It 
included streams of water and areas in which lakes with pro- 
visions for boating, skating, and bathing, as well as water-side 
beauty, could have been readily provided. All such ground 
has, long since, upon mature consideration by the city govern- 
ment, been thrown out of the scheme. 

The ground finally selected has in its larger part the usual 
characteristics of the stony upland pasture, and the rocky 



divides between streams commonly found in New England, 
covered by what are called " second growth " woods, the trees 
slow growing from the stumps of previous woods, crowded^ 
somewhat stunted, spindling ; not beautiful individually, but, in 
combination forming impressive masses of foliage. It not only 
contains no lake, permanent pool or stream of water, but it 
commands no distant water view. It includes no single natural 
feature of distinguished beauty or popular interest. It is in 
all parts underlaid by ledges which break out at some points 
in a bold and picturesque way, at others in such a manner 
only as to make barren patches, with scanty vegetation that 
wilts and becomes shabby in dry, hot weather. It is thickly 
strewn with boulders ; even in parts where the surface appears 
smooth and clear, their presence just below it generally becomes 
obvious in dry weather, and they are turned out by the plough 
in great numbers. Any fine cultivation of the ground will be 
comparatively costly. It is not generally adaptable at moderate 
expense for lawn-like treatment, nor to the development of what 
are commonly, though perhaps not accurately, regarded as the 
beauties of landscape gardening. As a whole, it is rugged, 
intractable, and as little suitable to be worked to conditions 
harmonious with urban elegance as the site of the Back Bay 
Drainage Basins, Mount Royal Park at Montreal, East Rock 
Park at New Haven, or Arthur's Seat at Edinburgh. 

It is on the borders of the city, remote from its more popu- 
lous quarters, remote, also, from any of its excellent water 
highways, and out of the line of its leading land thorough- 

What can be said for the property as a whole is this : That 
there is not within or near the city any other equal extent of 
ground of as simple, and pleasingly simple, rural aspect. It 
has been at various points harshly gashed by rudely engineered 
roads, scarred by quarries and gravel-pits, and disruralized by 
artificially disposed trees and pseudo-rustic structures, but, 
considering its proximity to the compact town, it has remarka- 
bly escaped disturbances of this character. 



Under this head a distinction is to be made which is of criti- 
cal importance. It is a distinction so rarely regarded in garden- 
ing works, or in engineering or architectural works nominally 
subsidiary to gardening works, that a strong prejudice of mental 
habit will be found to be working against a complete entertain- 
ment of it. It will be necessary, therefore, to set it forth 
painstakingly and to justify insistence upon it. An indolent 
indisposition to be bothered with it has added greatly to the 
taxes of several cities. 

What is the special purpose of a large park in distinction 
from the various purposes that may be served by such smaller 
grounds as Boston is provided with ? 

In the first division of these pages reference has been made 
to the manner in which various evils of town life, by the intro- 
duction of one special expedient after another, have been grad- 
ually so well contended with, that in cities that at present have 
several times the population they had in the last century, much 
less time is now lost than then to productive industry; the 
average length of life much advanced, and the value of life 
augmented. The evils in question have been for the most part 
intangible, and to those who were not close students of them 
have been considered inscrutable ; not to be measured and reck- 
oned up like the evils of fire and flood, famine, war, and law- 
lessness. Consequently plans for overcoming them have always 
been regarded for a time as fanciful, and those urging them 
as theorists and enthusiasts. For a time, no city outlays hgve 
been so grudgingly made or given so much dissatisfaction to 
taxpayers as those required to advance measures of this class. 
Looking back upon their results, after a few years, it is admit- 
ted that no other money has been so profitably expended. No 
one thinks that they were untimely or were advanced too rap- 


Of this class of evils there is one rapidly growing in Boston, 
in contention with which nothing has yet been accomplished. 
It is an evil dependent on a condition involved in the purpose 
of placing many stacks of artificial conveniences for the inter- 
change of services closely together. It may be suggested if 
not explained (for evils of this class are seldom fully explaina- 
ble) in this way. 

A man^s eyes cannot he as much occupied as they are in large 
cities hy artificial thijigs, or by natural things seen under obvi- 
ously artificial conditions, without a harmful effect, first on his 
mental and Jiervous system and ultimately on his entire constitu- 
tional organization. 

That relief from this evil is to be obtained through recrea- 
tion is often said, without sufficient discrimination as to the 
nature of the recreation required. The several varieties of 
recreation to be obtained in churches, newspapers, theatres, 
picture galleries, billiard rooms, base ball grounds, trotting 
courses, and flower gardens, may each serve to supply a miti- 
gating influence. An influence is desirable, however, that, act- 
ing through the eye, shall be more than mitigative, that shall 
be antithetical, reversive, and antidotal. Such an influence is 
found in what, in notes to follow, will be called the enjoyment 
of pleasing rural scenery. 

But to understand what will be meant by this term as here 
to be used, two ideas must not be allowed to run together, that 
few minds are trained to keep apart. To separate them let it 
be reflected, first, that the word beauty is commonly used with 
respect to two quite distinct aspects of the things that enter 
visibly into the composition of parks and gardens. A little 
violet or a great magnolia blossom, the frond of a fern, a carpet 
of fine turf of the form and size of a prayer rug, a block of 
carved and polished marble, a vase or a jet of water, — in the 
beauty of all these things unalloyed pleasure may be taken in 
the heart of a city. And pleasure in their beauty may be en- 
hanced by aggregations and combinations of them, as it is in 


arrangement of bouquets and head-dresses, the decoration of the 
dinner-tables, window-sills and dooryards, or, in a more com- 
plex and largely effective way, in such elaborate exhibitions 
of high horticultural art as the city maintains in the Public 

But there is a pleasure-bringing beauty in the same class of 
objects — foliage, flowers, verdure, rocks, and water — not to 
be enjoyed under the same circumstances or under similar com- 
binations ; a beauty which appeals to a different class of human 
sensibilities, a beauty the art of securing which is hardly more 
akin with the art of securing beauty on a dinner-table, a win- 
dow-sill, a dooryard, or an urban garden, than the work of the 
sculptor is akin with the work of the painter. 

Let beauty of the first kind be called here urban beauty, not 
because it cannot be had elsewhere than in a city, but because 
the distinction may thus, for the sake of argument in this par- 
ticular case, be kept in mind between it and that beauty of the 
same things which can only be had clear of the confinement of 
a city, and which it is convenient therefore to refer to as the 
beauty of rural scenery. 

Now as to this term scenery, it is to be borne in mind that 
we do not speak of what may be observed in the flower and 
foliage decorations of a dinner-table, window-sill, or dooryard, 
scarcely of what may be seen in even a large urban garden, 
as scenery. Scenery is more than an object or a series of 
objects ; more than a spectacle, more than a scene or a series 
of scenes, more than a landscape, and other than a series of 
landscapes. Moreover, there may be beautiful scenery in 
which not a beautiful blossom or leaf or rock, bush or tree, not 
a gleam of water or of turf shall be visible. But there is no 
beautiful scenery that does not give the mind an emotional 
impulse different from that resulting from whatever beauty may 
be found in a room, courtyard, or garden, within which vision 
is obviously confined by walls or other surrounding artificial 

It is necessary to be thus and even more particular in 
defining the term used to denote the paramount purpose 

embodied in the plan of Franklin Park, because many men, 
having a keen enjoyment of certain forms of beauty in vegeta- 
tion, and even of things found only in the country, habitually 
class much as rural that is not only not rural, but is even the 
reverse of rural as that term is to be here used. 

For example : in a region of undulating surface with a 
meandering stream and winding valleys, with much naturally 
disposed wood, there is a house with outbuildings and enclo- 
sures, roads, walks, trees, bushes, and flowering plants. If the 
constructions are of the natural materials of the locality and 
not fashioned expressly to manifest the wealth or art of the 
builders, if they are of the texture and the grain and the hues 
that such materials will naturally become if no effort to hide 
or disguise them is made, if the lines of the roads and walks 
are adapted to curves of the natural surface, and if the trees 
and plants are of a natural character natui-ally disposed, the 
result will be congruous with the general natural rural scenery 
of the locality, its rural quality being, perhaps, enhanced by 
these unobtrusive artificial elements. But in such a situation 
it oftener than otherwise occurs that customs will be followed 
which had their origin in a desire to obtain results that should 
be pleasing, not through congruity with pleasing natural rural 
circumstances, but through incongruity with them. Wh}'-? 
Simply because those designing them had been oppressed 
by a monotony of rural scenery, and desired to find relief 
from it, and because also they desired to manifest the 
triumph of civilized forces over nature. And on account 
of the general association with rural scenery of things deter- 
mined by fashions originating in these desires, they are care- 
lessly thought of as rural things, and the pleasure to be de- 
rived from them is esteemed a part of the pleasure taken in 
rural scenery. 

It thus happens that things come to be regarded as elements 
of rural scenery which are simply cheap and fragmentary 
efforts to realize something of the pleasingness which the 
countryman finds in the artificiajlness of the city. This is why, 
to cite a few examples familiar to every one, wooden houses 


are fashioned in forms and with decorations copied from 
houses of masonry, and why the wood of them is not left of 
its natural color, or given a tint harmonious with natural 
objects, but for distinction's sake smeared over with glistening 
white lead. This is the reason why trees are transplanted 
from natural to unnatural situations about houses so treated, 
why they are formally disposed, why forms are preferred for 
them to be obtained only by artificial processes, as grafting, 
pruning, and shearing ; why shrubs are worked into fantastic 
shapes that cannot possibly be mistaken for natural growths ; 
why groups are made studiously formal, why the trunks of trees 
are sometimes whitewashed ; why rocks too heavy to be put 
out of sight are cleared of their natural beauty, and even some- 
times also whitewashed; why flowering plants are often ar- 
ranged as artificially as the stones of a mosaic pavement ; why 
pools are furnished with clean and rigid stone margins and jets 
of water thrown from them ; why specimens of rustic work and 
of rock work are displayed conspicuously that have been plainly 
designed to signalize, not to subordinate or soften, the artifi- 
cialness of artificial conveniences. 

Defining the purpose of the plan of Franklin Park to be 
that of placing within the easy reach of the people of the city 
the enjoyment of such a measure as is practicable of rural 
scenery, all such misunderstanding of the term as has thus been 
explained must be guarded against. 

That rural scenery has the effect alleged, of counteracting a 
certain oppression of town life, is too well established to need 
argument, but as the manner of its action will have a practical 
bearing on the purpose of the plan, the circumstance may be 
recalled that the evil to be met is most apt to appear in 
excessive nervous tension, over-anxiety, hasteful disposition, 
impatience, irritability, and that the grateful effect of a con- 
templation of pleasing rural scenery is proverbially regarded 
as the reverse of this. It is, for example, of the enjoyment of 
this pleasure, and not simply of air and exercise, that Emerson 
says, "It soothes and sympathizes," that Lowell says, "It pours 


oil and wine on the smarts of the mind," and which Ruskin 
describes as " absolute peace." 

It is not an easy matter, in the immediate outskirts of a great 
city, to make a provision of scenery which shall be so far rural 
in character and pleasing in effect as to have a high degree of 
the influence desired. 

Some wise men are accustomed to ridicule the earlier result of 
efforts to that end by comparing it with scenery remote from 
cities the rurality of which owes nothing to human care. But 
these higher examples not being available for the frequent use 
of the mass of the people of a city, it is only a question whether a 
result is to be gained under such conditions as are offered in 
the site of Franklin Park which shall be of so much value in 
this respect that it will be worth more than it will cost. And, 
in considering this question, it is to be borne in mind that the 
purpose requires no elements of scenery of a class that would 
induce sensational effects. It will be answered in a measure 

— it is a question whether it may not even be better answered 

— by scenery that may be comparatively characterized as tame 
and homely. It is almost certainly better that the aim in 
overcoming the difficulties of securing such scenery should be 
modest, provided a modest aim can be sustained, and the temp- 
tation to put it out of countenance by bits of irrelevant finery 

Given sufficient space, scenery of much simpler elements 
than are found in the site of Franklin Park may possess the 
soothing charm which lies in the qualities of breadth, distance, 
depth, intricacy, atm.ospheric perspective, and mystery. It may 
have picturesque passages (that is to say, more than picturesque 
objects or picturesque "bits "). It may have passages, indeed, 
of an aspect approaching grandeur and sublimity. 

It is to be feared that there are some who may be inclined to 
question if a considerable degree of refined culture, such as is 
common only to the more worldly fortunate, is not necessary to 
enable one to enjoy the charm of rural scenery sympathetically 


with Wordsworth, Emerson, Ruskin, and Lowell. To enjoy it 
intellectually, yes ; to be affected by it, made healthier, better, 
happier by it, no. The men who have done the most to draw 
the world to the poetic enjoyment of nature have, in large part, 
come from lowly homes, and been educated in inexpensive 
schools. Burns, the ploughboy, was one such, known to all. 
Millet, whose works are honored in the stateliest houses, was a 
peasant in habit, manner, and associations all his life long. 
Leon Bonvin, whose pathetic love of the most modest natural 
scenery was illustrated in Harper's Magazine of last December, 
was by vocation the bar-keeper of a wayside tavern. And in 
thinking of this question, especially with reference to a major- 
ity of the people of Boston, it is well to remember a phrase 
used by Dr. Shairp in his treatise on the Poetic Interpretation 
of Nature. Speaking of Wordsworth and his sister, he says 
that the woman was the greater poet of the two, " only not 
a literary poet." Poetic sensibility is one thing; inclination 
and capacity to give coherent form to poetic sentiment another. 
The following is an account by Mrs. Gaskell of the poorer 
sort of the humblest work-people of Manchester, England, and 
is drawn from life, as any one chancing to be in that town on a 
fine summer holiday may test. Abating something from the 
grandeur of the trees, similar scenes have been witnessed 
during the past summer in the new Brooklyn, Buffalo, and 
Philadelphia parks, and in the yet hardly begun Beardsley 
Park of Bridgeport. It is a question of time and of a whole- 
somely restrained ambition when they shall be seen, in Franklin 

" He was on the verge of a green area, shut in by magnificent 
trees in all the glory of their early foliage, before the summer 
heat had deepened their verdure into one rich monotonous tint. 
And hither came party after party — old men and maidens, 
young men and children. Whole families trooped along after 
the guiding fathers, who bore the youngest in their arms or 
astride upon their backs, while they turned round occasionally 
to the wives, with whom they shared some fond local remem- 
brance. For years has Dunham Park been the favorite resort 
of the Manchester work-people. Its scenery presents such a 


complete contrast to the whirl and turmoil of Manchester. . . . 
Depend upon it, this sylvan repose, this accessible quiet, this 
lapping the soul in green images of the country, forms the most 
complete contrast to a town's person, and consequently has 
over such the greatest power of charm. . . . Far away in the dis- 
tance, now sinking, now falling, now swelling and clear came a 
ringing peal of children's voices, blended together in one of 
those psalm tunes which we are all of us familiar with, and 
which bring to mind the old, old days when we, as wondering 
children, were first led to worship ' Our Father ' by those beloved 
ones who have since gone to the more perfect worship. 

"Holy was that distant choral praise, even to the most 
thoughtless; and when it, in fact, was ended, in the instant's 
pause during which the ear awaits the repetition of the air, they 
caught the noontide hum and buzz of the myriads of insects 
who danced away their lives in the glorious day ; they heard 
the swaying of the mighty woods in the soft but resistless 
breeze, and then again once more burst forth the merry jests 
and the shouts of childhood, and again the elder ones resumed 
their happy talk as they lay or sat ' under the greenwood tree.' 

"But the day drew to an end; the heat declined, the birds 
once more began their warblings, the fresh scents hung about 
plant and tree and grass, betokening the fragrant presence of 
the reviving dew. . . . As they trod the meadow path once 
more, they were joined by many a party they had encountered 
during the day, all abounding in happiness, all full of the day's 

"Long cherished quarrels had been forgotten, new friend- 
ships formed. Fresh tastes and higher delights had been im- 
parted that day. We have all of us our look now and then, 
called up by some noble or loving thought (our highest on 
earth) which will be our likeness in heaven. I can catch the 
glance on many a face, the glancino^ light of the cloud of glory 
from heaven, which is our home. That look was present on 
many a hard-worked, wrinkled countenance as they turned 
backwards to catch a longing, lingering look at Dunham Woods, 
fast deepening into blackness of night, but whose memory was 
to haunt in greenness and freshness many a loom and workshop 
and factory with images of peace and beauty." 




As to Local Names to he used in the following Review. — For 
convenience of reference, names have been given on the draw- 
ing to various localities. Some of these have been found in 
use, as Abbotswood, Glen Road, and Rock Hill, In most 
of the others, old homestead names of the neighborhood are 
recalled, a choice from among them having been made of such 
as would couple not too roughly with appropriate terminals. 
ScABBOEO Hill, Hagboene Hill, Waittv^ood, Rock Mor- 
ton, and Ellicottdale are examples. Some of this class 
were suggested by the late Francis D. Drake, author of a His- 
tory of Roxbury, shortly before his lamented death; others 
have been obtained from Colonial records of the park property, 
found at the Registrar's office of Norfolk County. Nazing- 
dale is from the birthplace of the first settlers. Long 
Cb-OUCH was the Colonial name of the road now known as 
Seaver Street, adjoining the woods to which it is given in the 
drawing. Old Tbail Road is nearly on the line of the Indian 
footpath used in the earlier communications between Boston 
and Plymouth. The name Resting Place marks a shady 
knoll upon which the first military company formed in the 
Colonies with the purpose of armed resistance to British author- 
ity rested on its march home after the fight at Lexington. 
The captain and lieutenant of the company were both of fami- 
lies that at one time had homes on the park lands, and from 
them the names Heathfield and Pierbepont Road are 

The region named The Wilderness is referred to in records 
of the early part of the last century as "the Rocky Wilderness 
Land." Playstead is an old designation of a rural play- 
ground, Steading of the offices of a rural estate. Greeting 
refers to the purpose of a promenade. Country Park is a 
term used to mark the intended distinction of character be- 
tween Franklin Park and other public grounds of the city in a 
report made by Alderman, now Mayor, O'Brien in 1877. 
Schoolmaster Hill is so named in allusion to the circum- 
stance that William Emerson and his brother, Ralph Waldo, 
while keeping school in Roxbury, lived in a house on the east 


side of this hill. Private letters of Emerson are preserved in 
which he refers fondly to the wildness and rurality of the 

As to the map. — The broad sheet that has been spoken of in 
the Introduction can be folded and carried in the pocket, and 
it is intended that copies of it shall be exhibited at different 
favorable points on the park site, with indices to the position 
on the ground of the more salient features of the plan. The 
drawing will best meet the intention with which it is prepared 
if it is examined on the ground with some exercise of the imag- 
ination, being considered as a map of what may be expected 
should the plan be carried out, the usual limitations of a map 
being had in mind. 

In the review of the plan by divisions presently to be made, 
the verbal observations upon the broad sheet will be repeated, 
but in a slightly extended form, Avitii a statement of some addi- 
tional particulars, and with special reference to readers intend- 
ing to look over the ground as just suggested. 

The " limitations of a map " advised to be had in mind will 
be understood if it is reflected that a map of Boston would give 
a stranger but little idea of what he would see if he were walk- 
ing the streets of the city; still less of that more important 
part that exists under its roofs. 

Seen from above, the trees of even a half-grown park would 
hide the outlines of the principal part of its roads, walks, and 
other surface constructions. Hence in a map designed to 
exhibit the general plan of a park, the woods, which will be 
the most important element of its scenery, can be but vaguely 
and incompletely represented; and bushes beneath trees, not 
at all. 

Again, if it were attempted to show by the ordinary method of 
map-makers those variations of the surface which, next to the 
woods, are the most important features of the design, the draw- 
ing would be too complicated to fairly exhibit the plan of the 
work to be done. To avoid the obscurity which would thu& 
occur, figures are given on the drawing, by which the relative 
elevation of the ground at various points may be determined. 
The more important swellings and depressions are also indicated 
by names ending in "hill" or "dale." 

If the drawing is taken on the ground where the existing 
hills and valleys can be seen, and if these and the principal 
existing masses of foliage are regarded as fixed features, the 


observer may with little personal trouble readily form a good 
general idea of what is projected. The conventional signs for 
foliage show, according as they are closely clustered, scattered, 
or wanting, the intended division into wooded, semi-wooded, 
and open turf -land ; the positions of the principal outcrops of 
rock are indicated ; the various routes for opening the scenery 
of the park to exhibition, in carriage, saddle, horse, and foot 
travel, are conspicuously lined out, and sites for the few struc- 
tures necessary to public convenience are plainly shown. 

It is to be considered in observing the position of these 
structures on the ground, that they are designed, as are all the 
artificial objects of the park, to be kept as low as will be con- 
sistent with their several purposes of utility, that their walls 
are to be of the stones of the locality, with weather stained and 
lichen mottled faces, and that they are to be so set in among 
rocks and foliage that, with a single not very marked exception, 
they will be seen only on near approach by those wishing to use 
them, and not at all by visitors following the walks, drives, and 
rides of the main circuit. The bolder ledges, on the other 
hand, will be rather more open to view than they now are. 
The woods, again, as they generally occupy the more elevated 
ground, will be relatively more prominent than they appear in 
the drawing. 

It has been considered necessary to public convenience that 
the park should be divided by a road crossing it from Blue 
Hill Avenue to Forest Hill Street, and that this should be open 
night and day for all ordinary street uses as the park roads will 
not be. Also that a considerable space of ground should be 
open for pleasure use after daylight ; that this space should be 
lightable in such a manner that no part of it will be in dark 
shadow, and to this end that it should be free from underwood, 
low-headed trees or other conditions offering facilities for con- 
cealment. (To keep all of the park open at night, making it a, 
safe and decorous place of resort, would greatly augment its. 
running expenses without securing an adequate return.) 

The only favorable line for the cross-road is one correspond- 
ing nearly with the present Glen Road. (The following dia- 
gram represents the outline of the park property. Glen Road,. 
passes from A to B.) Such a road will divide the park: 


into two parts, as Charles Street divides the Common from 
the Public Garden. The division on the side furthest from 
the compact part of the city 
will contain two-thirds of the 
ground, and this being en- 
closed by itself may be con- 
sidered as the main park. 

The ground on the other 
side is designed to answer pur- 
poses relatively to the main 
park analogous to those of 
a fore-court, portico, and recep- 
tion room, with minor apart- 
ments opening from them for 
various special uses, and to 

which it is desirable access should be had at all times with- 
out entering the main park. It may be called the ante-park. 
From the ante-park there are to be two general entrances to 
the main park and an additional entrance for foot visitors. 

For convenience in explaining the plan, the park must be con- 
sidered as further subdivided as indicated by the black lines of 
the diagram below, but it must not be imagined that these lines 
will be obvious in looking over the ground. They are in part 
imaginary, and where not so will have the effect of barring the 
view or creating disunity of scenery less than an ordinary coun- 
try road would do. Corresponding to letters on the diagram, 
names will be used to designate the several divisions as follows : 

^)/'^'i -^ The Country Park. 

'^'^ - '' B The Play stead. 

C The Greeting. 
D The Music Court. 
E The Little Folks' Fair. 
F The Peer Park. 
G Eefectory Hill. 
H Sargent's Field. 
I Long Crouch Woods. 
J The Steading. 
K The Nursery. 


The distinctive purpose to which each of these divisions is 
to be fitted will now be stated, the more comprehensive land- 
scape design which includes them all being afterwards de- 

A. The Country Park (before referred to as the main park) 
is designed to be prepared and taken care of exclusively with 
reference to the enjoyment of rural scenery, that is to say, if 
it is to be used for any other purpose, it is meant that its 
advantages for that other purpose shall have accrued at no 
appreciable sacrifice of advantages for this primary and domi- 
nating purpose. 

The division will be a mile long and three quarters of a mile 
wide. Natural scenery of much value for the purpose in view 
cannot be permanently secured in a tract of land of diversified 
surface of these limits with a great city growing about it, if 
the essential elements of such scenerj^ are to be divided, adul- 
terated, or put out of countenance by artificial objects, at all 
more than is necessary to its protection and to the reasonable 
convenience of those seeking the special benefits offered. The 
plan proposes, therefore, that in the Country Park nothing shall 
be built, nothing set up, nothing planted, as a decorative fea- 
ture ; nothing for the gratification of curiosity, nothing for the 
advancement or popularization of science. These objects are 
provided for suitably in the Public Garden, the Arboretum, and 
other grounds of the city. No other city in America has as 
good arrangements for them. 

To sustain the designed character of the Country Park, the 
urban elegance generally desired in a small public or private 
pleasure ground is to be methodically guarded against. Turf, 
for example, is to be in most parts preferred as kept short by 
sheep, rather than by lawn mowers ; well known and long tried 
trees and bushes to rare ones ; natives to exotics ; humble field 
flowers to high-bred marvels ; plain green leaves to the blotched, 
spotted and fretted leaves, for which, in decorative gardening, 
there is now a passing fashion. Above all, cheap, tawdry, cock- 
neyfied garden toys, such as are sometimes placed in parks 
incongruously with all their rural character, are to be eschewed. 


But a poor, shabby, worn, patchy, or in any way untidy rural- 
ity is equally to be avoided with fragments of urban and sub- 
urban finery. In this respect the park is designed to be an 
example of thoroughly nice, though modest and somewhat 
homespun housekeeping. 

The site of the Country Park is in most parts rugged, every- 
where undulating. Where there are no outcropping ledges, 
solid rock is often close under the surface, and where it is not, 
there is in many places almost a pavement of boulders. Com- 
pared with that of most public parks, the surface soil is poor^ 
while the subsoil is stony and hard. For these reasons, when 
the natural surface is much trampled and worn it becomes an 
inert dust, pernicious to vegetation. It cannot, therefore, be 
prepared to resist the wear of athletic sports without undue 

Under wise regulations and with considerate customs of use, 
for the establishment of which the good will of the people 
must be engaged, the site of the Country Park will be found 
happily adapted to its special distinctive purpose. But it can 
be wisely used for no recreations which would tend to the de- 
struction of its verdant elements ; for none not of the class of 
those in which women and children may not and do not cus- 
tomarily take part. The plan looks to its being maintained in 
quietness ; quietness both to the eye and the ear. A grateful 
serenity may be enjoyed in it by many thousand people at a 
time, if they are not drawn into throngs by spectacular attrac- 
tions, but allowed to distribute themselves as they are other- 
wise likely to do. 

As will soon be shown, the intention of the plan of the 
park, as a whole, is that from no part of this Country Park 
division of it shall anything in any other of its divisions be 
visible, or, at most, be noticeable, except rock, turf, and trees, 
and these only in harmonious composition with the natural 
scenery of the Country Park. A large part of the Country 
Park is to be wooded, and adapted to the use of picnic and 
basket parties, especially small family parties. Various con- 
veniences for these are to be prepared. Tennis courts, croquet 


grounds, archer j ranges, and small lawns for children's festivi- 
ties, are provided for in connection with suitable picnic grounds 
in the several districts which are named on the Commissioners' 
map — The Wilderness, Juniper Sill, Waittwood, Heatlifield^ 
Rock Milton, Rock Morton; on the western slopes of Scarhoro 
Mill and in Abhotswood. 

Near the picturesque declivity and hanging wood of School- 
master's Hill, several small level places are designed to be 
formed by rough terracing on the hillside. Each of these is 
to be covered by vines on trellises, and furnished with tables 
and seats. Most of the arbors so formed look, at considerable 
elevation and advantageously, upon the broadest and quietest 
purely pastoral scene that the park can offer. These arbors 
are intended especially for the use of family basket parties. A 
small house is placed among them, to contain an office for the 
superintendence of the district, a parcel room and closets, and 
at which hot water for making tea can be had without charge. 
The house is to be placed and the other conveniences are to 
be so sheltered by existing trees and vines to be grown upon 
the trellises that they will be invisible except to those seeking 

At a point central to all the picnic and basket party grounds 
that have been named, Abbotswood excepted, the map shows a 
space of unbroken turf, about eight acres in extent, named Elli- 
cottdale, with a winding margin, which is generally rocky and 
shady. This ground is now for the most part boggy, and its 
surface strewn with boulders. The design is to convert it into 
a meadow adapted to be used (in the manner of the Long 
Meadow of the Brooklyn Park) for lawn games, such as tennis 
and croquet. On the north side of it another small house is 
provided, at which parties wishing to play will obtain assign- 
ments of ground, and can leave outer garments and store or 
hire needed implements. The position of this house is in a 
recess of the margin, near a great knuckle of rock and a large 
oak tree on the east side.* 

* In Brooklyn nearly every religious organization of the city, Catholic and 
Protestant, has an annual picnic in the Paris. During the last year permits 


The district last described and the circumjacent picnic 
groves may be approached by a walk coming from William 
Street. The entrance at this point is arranged with a view to 
a terminus and turning place of a street railroad ; and to avoid 
compelling women and children to pass through a throng of 
carriages, the walk from it to EUicottdale passes the circuit 
drive of the Park by a subway. 

South of the Meadow last described a walk and a narrow 
branch of the main drive will be seen on the map winding up 
the steep and rocky woodside of Scarboro Hill to a resting- 
place upon the summit, where a temporary shelter for visitors 
now stands. Half-way up the hill, where a level shelf may be 
found under a steep ledge, buildings are shown marked 
"Datry." The Refectory, on the opposite side of the Park, 
being intended to supply more substantial refreshments, and 
to accommodate considerable numbers, the Dairy is designed, 
first, to provide the necessities of picnic parties in this part of 
the Park ; second, to supply to all a few simple refreshments, 
such as are to be recommended for children and invalids, more 
especially fresh dairy products of the best quality. Cows are 
to be kept in an apartment separated from the main room by a 

were given to seven hundred and fifty parties to occupy ground for the purpose. 
Of these parties, three hundred numbered above one hundred and fifty person:, 
each, and one twenty-five hundred persons. On the 24;th of May last, twelve 
thousand children paraded on the Meadow under the observation of forty thou- 
sand spectators. Seven hundred small parties of children applied for and 
obtained the use of swings under special superintendence. The Commissioners 
in their Annual Report say that the custom of taking children to a distance for 
picnics has been generally given up in Brooldyn, the use of the Park being 
found more convenient, cheaiDer, and safer. The Park keepers, diu-ing the last 
year, retm-ned to their parents fiity little children who had strayed away while 
playing in the Park. Permits were given to more than four hundred lawn 
tennis clubs, with an average membership of ten persons each, haK of whom 
were young women, to occupy courts on the Park, and to many others for 
archery and croquet. These items show to some extent what an excellent, 
popular, innocent, and wholesome use is made of the Park daring tbe hot 


glass partition, as in the famous exquisite dairies of Holland 
and Belgium ; and those who desire it are to be furnished with 
milk warm from the cow, as in St. James's Park, London. 
Fowls are also to be kept and new-laid eggs supplied. Imme- 
diately east of the grove in which this house will stand lies the 
principal expanse of turf of the Country Park. This is in- 
tended to be cropped with sheep, and a court with sheds south 
of the dairy and connecting with its cow-house is for the 
foldingc of the flock at nis^ht. The district of which this estab- 
lishment is the centre slopes toward the prevailing summer 
breeze; is sheltered on the north; is already agreeably wooded, 
and will be a place at which invalids and mothers with little 
children may be advised to pass the best part of the day. 

B. The Play stead. This is a field of turf, thirty acres in 
extent (the most nearly flat ground on the property, little 
broken by rock), designed to be used for the athletic recrea- 
tion and education of the city's schoolboys, for occasional civic 
ceremonies and exhibitions, and for any purpose likely to draw 
spectators in crowds. The ground about EUicottdale not being 
adapted to accommodate many spectators, for example, and a 
crowd being undesirable at any point in the Country Park, if a 
parade of school children, such as occurs in the Brooklyn Park 
every year, were to be made, this would be the place for it. " The 
Overlook," on its left, is an elevated platform for spectators. It 
is eight hundred feet long, covering a barren ledge which would 
otherwise be disagreeably prominent. It is built of boulders 
obtained in clearing the Playstead, which are to be mainly over- 
grown with vegetation befitting the form and material of the 
structure, adapted to harmonize it with the natural scenery, and 
make it unobtrusive. The Overlook will be in the shade of 
existing trees during the afternoon, and spectators will look 
away from the sun. Among these trees, in a depression of the 
rocks, a rectangular block appears on the map. This stands 
for a structure which will supply a platform, to be covered by a 
roof, to serve as a retreat for visitors during summer showers, 
and in the basement a station for park keepers, with a lock-up, 
a woman's retiring-room, a coat-room, lavatory for players, and 


closets. An arched passage through the wall of the Overlook 
gives admission to it from the Play stead. 

C. The Greeting. This division is to be wholly occupied by 
a series of parallel and contiguous drives, rides and walks, a 
double length of each, under rows of trees forming a Prome- 
nade, or Meeting Ground, of the Alameda type, half a mile in 
length. Monumental, architectural, and various decorative ad- 
juncts are here admissible, but not essential. There are suita- 
ble positions for statues, water-jets, "baskets" of flowers, 
bird-cages, etc. The Playstead and the Greeting are to be 
without underwood, and adapted with electric lighting for 
night as well as day use. Together they will form an unen- 
closed ground, reaching across the Park, nearly a mile in 

D. The Music Court. A sylvan ampitheatre adapted to 

E. The Little Folks' Fair. A division for childish entertain- 
ments, to be furnished with Swings, Scups, See-saws, Sand Courts, 
Flying Horses, Toy Booths, Marionettes, Goat Carriages, Don- 
key Courses, Bear Pits, and other amusing exercises and ex- 
hibitions, mostly to be provided by lessees and purveyors, to be 
licensed for the purpose. 

F. The Deer Park. This will supply a range for a small 
herd to be seen from the Greeting. Most of the ground, owing 
to the thinness of the soil over a flattish ledge, cannot be adapted 
to occupation by the public, or to be planted, except at exces- 
sive expense. 

G. Refectory Sill. A place for refreshments, to be princi- 
pally served from the house shown, out of doors, under a large 
pergola, or vine-clad trellis, upon a terrace formed in the man- 
ner of the Playstead Overlook. From this terrace extensive 
sylvan prospects open, one of which will be later referred to. 
In the rear of the Refectory building, across a carriage-court, 
there is a circular range of horse-sheds for the use of visitors. 

H. Sargent's Field. This ground being comparatively free 
from rock, and to be easily brought to a nearly level surface 
of good turf, tennis courts and a small ball ground may be pro- 


vided in it ; the object being to save players coming from the 
east from walking further to reach a playing ground, and to 
provide a place for players in general to go to, when on holidays 
the Playstead shall be reserved for other uses. Until found to 
be needed, it may with advantage be made a part of the Deer 

I. Long Crouch Woods. A rambling ground, with sheltered 
southwestern slopes, to be held subject to lease to a suitable 
organization for a Zoological Garden. 

J. The Steading. A rocky, sterile knoll, reserved for the 
Commissioners' offices, within a screen of woods. 

K. The Nursery. Depressed ground, to be used, when ade- 
quate drainage outlets for this part of the city shall have been 
provided, for a service garden. 

Border Ground. The streets by which the property taken 
for the park is bounded, are generally laid down on this plan as 
if moderately enlarged from the present thoroughfares (which 
at various points are but narrow lanes) and with a sidewalk on 
the park side, at such varying distances from the wheelway as 
may be necessary to avoid, in forming them, the destruction of 
fine trees and. the cost of excessive grading. This arrangement 
is made practicable by setting back park fences and other 
obstructions fifty to eighty feet from the wheelways. In this 
way, also, a much larger widening of the wheelways than is 
suggested by the drawing can be made whenever public conve- 
nience will be served by it, without inordinate cost. In a few 
cases, for short distances, streets are shown as they may be 
improved by a slight taking of private land. This is to avoid 
heavy outlay for grading and the destruction of fine natural 
features on the park side of the present roads — as where, for 
example, rocky eminences of the park have their bases in the 
street. It is suggested that Canterbury Street should be 
widened ten feet opposite the park in order to avoid injury to 
the fine trees now growing in the park close to the street. 

It is suggested on the drawing, also, that at the Williams Street 
entrance to the park the course of Forest Hills Street should 
be made more direct, and the grade improved by throwing it 


entirely into the park; and that some other variations from the 
present arrangements should be effected with a view to greater 
public convenience. To avoid interruption of pleasure travel 
bv funeral processions, and to improve passage around the park, 
a short cross-road is planned opposite Forest Hills Cemetery, 
passing the park drive by a subway (LL in the index map). 
A short new street in extension of Sigourney Street is suggested 
to facilitate passage around the park. A small piece of land is 
proposed to be taken into the park at the corner of Sigourney 
Street to avoid awkward complications. The land proposed to 
be thrown out of the park property for all these purposes of 
street improvement is much larger than that to be taken in. 

A direct apjproach to the park from Boylston Station of the 
Providence Railroad, is suggested by an extension of the pres- 
ent Boylston Street to the Playstead entrance. By this route 
a thousand men could, in half an hour, be transferred in a body 
from the Common to the Playstead. 



Suitable provision has not commonly been made in the first 
laying out of a large city park for the puposes of the Greeting 
and the Music Court. Wherever it has not, ground that 
could only be poorly adapted to these purposes, and this at 
heavy cost, has generally come, in after years, to be used for 
them. It is best to avoid this danger. The best arrangements 
will be of a formal character, and these can be best provided 
on the site of Franklin Park, in the locality indicated, near the 
east corner. This not only has topographical advantages for 
the ends in view, but it is at such a distance from, and stands 
tjo related to, the Country Park, that great throngs upon it will 
in no wise disturb the desired serenity of the latter. The 
formal arrangement of trees within this division, and the small 
structures that will be required in the adjoining Little Folks' 


Fair Ground, will not be observable except upon close 
approach, the rows of trees being so flanked by the outer, 
naturally disposed trees that, seen at a short distance in con- 
nection with the latter, they will have the effect of a forest 

Setting aside these two features, which stand to the rest of 
the park somewhat in the relation of the dwelling-house to a 
private park, except that care is taken to place them in land- 
scape obscurity, the landscape design may be understood by 
considering that the intention is to make no change in any of 
the present leading features of the ground except with the pur 
pose of giving a fuller development, aggrandizement, and 
emphasis to what are regarded as the more interesting and 
effective existing elements of their scenery, and of taking out 
or subordinating elements that neutralize or conflict with 
those chosen to be made more of. This first, and second, the 
sequestration, as far as possible, of the scenery of the park so 
that the outer scenery, to be formed by the gradual growing of 
the city about it, and which will necessaril}' be conflicting in 
expression, sentiment, and association with it, may be kept out 
of sight. 

The latter purpose accounts more particularly for the woods 
which, it will be seen, are intended to be formed where no 
woods now are, along the borders of the Country Park ; and 
the further to promote seclusion, these and other border trees 
are to be imagined as furnished with underwood. 

The woods of the Wilderness, after having been much thinned 
and trimmed v/ith a view to the growth of the best of them in 
sturdier and more umbrageous forms, and to some degree of 
grouping and more harmonious companionship, are also to be 
interspersed with scattered, irregular thickets of low, sturdy 
bushes, not only for picturesqueness, but to keep the ground, 
in the more arid parts, better shaded and moister, hide its 
barrenness, check rushing movements of visitors, and prevent 
the trampling of the drier ground to dust. * 

Trees in the Greeting and Playstead are to be all of large 
growth, and high stemmed (like those now growing spontane- 


ously upon the Playstead), leaving room for light and vision to 
range under their branches. 

The slope west of Glen Lane where, near the entrance to the 
Country Park, drives, rides, and walks come together, is de- 
signed to be closely planted with low bushes (shown on the 
Commissioners' map, but not on the reduced reproductions), 
the object being to obscure the artificial features without mak- 
ing a screen between the natural features of the Playstead and 
Nazingdale. Looking in this direction from nearly all of the 
Playstead quarter there will be an open prospect extending to 
the Blue Hills of Milton, five miles away, the first mile within 
the park. The proposed plantation along the line of Canter- 
bury Street will hide ordinary buildings that may hereafter be 
erected between the Park and the Blue Hills, leaving this per- 
manently a broad, extended, purely rural prospect. The out- 
look westwardly from the hillside ending at the Refectory 
terrace will also extend permanently to a distant wooded 
horizon formed in part by the tree tops of Forest Hills Ceme- 
tery and in part by those of the Arboretum, two miles away, 
both these properties, though out of the Park, being preserved 
from building by legal enactments, and the objects to which 
they are devoted requiring that they should be always over- 
grown with trees. 

The centre lines of the two broad fields of extended vision 
that have been pointed out, cross nearly at right angles, the 
point of their crossing being where the Ellicott and Nazing 
dales run together, nearly midway between the two hanging 
woods of Schoolmaster Hill and Abbotswood crags. This 
locality, being at the centre of the property, may be con- 
sidered the pivot of the general landscape design. Looking in 
the general direction of the lines that have been defined as 
crossing it from either of four quarters of the Park, a moder- 
ately broad, open view will be had between simple bodies of 
forest, the foliage growing upon ground higher than that on 
and nea]^ the centre lines. From wherever these larger pros- 
pects open, the middle distances will be quiet, slightly hollowed 
surfaces of turf or buskets, bracken, sweet-fern, or mosses, the 


backgrounds formed by woodsides of a soft, e-^en, subdued 
tone, with long, graceful, undulating sky lines, which, accord- 
ing to the point of view of the observer on the Park, will be 
from one to five miles away. Causeways, trees, rocks, and 
knolls interrupting or disturbing the unity, breadth, quiet, 
and harmony of these broader open passages of the Park 
scenery are to come away. There are none of importance that 
are not of artificial origin and easily removable. Trees want- 
ing to the results proposed are to be planted and suitably 
developed by timely thinning. 

A contrast to the fair open part of the Park which has been 
thus described will be found in following the circuit road 
where it is carried between Scarboro Hill and Rock Morton, 
Rock Milton, Waittwood, and Juniper Hill, through a part of 
the Wilderness, and between Hagborne and Schoolmaster Hill, 
all of the localities named being rugged, rockj^, and designed 
to be for the most part somewhat closely planted. A narrow 
road is thrown out from and brought back to the circuit drive, 
passing by winding courses among the rocks of the upper part 
of the Wilderness, by which a higher degree of this character 
of scenery (serving as a foil to that of the open dales) may be 
enjoyed than it would be practicable to offer in a broad and 
much used thoroughfare. The branch drive to the summit 
of Scarboro Hill, before described, will serve a similar episodi- 
cal purpose. 

Comparatively speaking, this western region is picturesque 
and romantic ; and the design is to remove what is inconsistent 
with this character, and to add, develop, and expose elements 
favorable to it. 

Drives and Walks. — The roads and walks of the park have 
been designed less with a purpose of bringing the visitor to 
points of view at which he will enjoy set scenes or landscapes 
than to provide for a constant mild enjoyment of simply pleas- 
ing rural scenery while in easy movement, and this by curves 
and grades avoiding unnecessary violence to nature. There is 
not a curve in the roads introduced simply for the sake of 
gracefulness. Every turn is suggested by natural circum- 


stances. Notwithstanding the rugged surface of tlie larger part 
of the site, the circuit drive is at no point steeper than Brom- 
field Street between Washington and Tremont, its heaviest 
grade being one in twenty-five ; nor are the branch drives at 
any point steeper than Brattle Street near Court, the steepest 
pitch being one in sixteen. The Greeting is an inclined plane 
with a fall from south to north of four feet in half a mile, which 
is about the same with that of State Street, or essentially level. 
These grades are obtained without much disturbance of natural 
features ; the heaviest cutting is in continuance of an excavation 
already made for the quarrying of building stone, the heaviest 
filling through an adjoining rocky depression. As a general rule, 
the surface of the roads is to coincide closely vv^ith the natural 
surface, where the natural surface has been hitherto undisturbed. 
As far as practicable, it is designed to be slightly below it, so 
that the road may be less observable from a distance. 

Riding Pad. — From Boylston Bridge, Back Bay Basin, there 
will be a shaded pad extending to the Park and through it 
from Forest Hills to the main entrance from the Playstead. It 
will be six miles long and from twenty-four to thirty feet wide. 
There is a double riding course in the Greetings one division in 
the central alley, adjoining the carriage promenade, forty feet 
wide ; the other in a side alley thirty feet wide. 

Enclosures. — The Countr}^ Park is designed to be enclosed 
with a wall formed of the field stone drawn from its surface, 
the wall to be four feet high and similar to that first built for 
the New York Central Park. It is to be draped with vines, 
and, though not costly, will be perfectly suitable for a rural 
park. If, as the city is built about the park, a wall of more 
urban elegance is thought to be required, the stone of the 
original wall will be used for its foundation. The present 
enclosing wall of the Central Park, which is but a neat, unob- 
trusive piece of masonry four feet high on the street side, has 
probably cost half a million dollars, and is yet incomplete. 

Entrances. — Much pressure is generally brought to bear on 
those controlling a park to establish entrances with a view to 
neighborhood convenience and favorably to local real estate 


speculations. Every entrance is costly in various ways, and 
there should be none that can be avoided without incommoding 
the general public. The plan provides ten carriage and foot 
entrances and eight additional special foot entrances to the park 
as a whole, and five carriage entrances and two special foot en- 
trances to the Country Park, all at points offering natural facil- 
ities of entrance and on easy grades. The average space between 
entrances is a little more than in the New York park, a little 
less than in most other large parks. 

The drives within the park will be about 6 miles in length; bridle-roads, 
2 miles; walks, 13 miles. 

The Country Park will contain about 334 acres; Playstead, 40 (of playing 
ground about 30); Greeting, 19; Music Court, 3; Little Folks' Fair, 14; Deer 
Park, 18; Sargent's Field, 8; Long Crouch Woods, 20. (Boston Common is 48 
acres in area; the Pubhc Garden, 22. The "Green" of the New York Cen- 
tral Park is 16 acres in area ; the "Ball Ground," 10; the "North Meadows," 
19. The Central Park Mall is half the length of the Greeting. ) 

The area prepared for public recreation of Franklin Park will be 500 acres ; 
(of the Central Park, 680; Brooklyn Park, 540. The drives of Central Park 
are 9 mUes in length; riding pads, 5; walks, 28). 

Part Third, 




Tece project of a rural park for Boston has been more than 
twenty years under consideration. It has been advanced 
always deliberately and cautiously. The earlier leaders of the 
movement in its favor, most of whom have now retired from 
active interest in local public affairs, and many passed away, 
were, as a rule, no more anxious to press argument for a rural 
park than to press the importance of proceeding toward it by 
slow, frugal, and conservative methods. And this disposition 
has not only been constant, but has been growing in the com- 
munity. There has hardly been a public utterance on the sub- 
ject for several years past in which it has not been manifest. 
To carry out the scheme that was most prominently before the 
public fifteen years ago, would have cost more than double as 
much as to carry out that now in view. There is no party, 
faction, division, or class of citizens pressing the matter. There 
are no strong private interests engaged to force it. 

The reasons why Boston should proceed in such an undertak- 
ing with exceptional caution are fully realized ; yet, under the 
circumstances that have been stated, there can be little danger 
in pointing out the possibilities of an extravagant holding back. 

Twenty years ago — even ten years ago — Boston was not 
conspicuously behind other cities in providing for the rural 
recreation of her citizens, but there was an apprehension that, 
she might come to be, and a livelier conviction than at present. 


that it would be a calamity. In 1869, Mr. Wilder, addressing 
a meeting called by the City Council, pointed out that Boston 
to sustain her reputation must not only have a park, but the 
first park in the country ; and seven years later Mr. Collins, at 
a meeting in Fanueil Hall, called to discuss the park question, 
asked, " Can Boston afford to be less comfortable to dwell in, 
less attractive, less healthy than her sister cities ? " 

If such a question was then at all timely, it is now a great deal 
more so. There were then but two well advanced rural parks 
in America. There are now more than twenty. Every city 
that was then at a parallel stage in the discussion of a park 
project with Boston, now has that project in a large degree 
realized, and is enjoying the profits of it. There is not one city 
of America or of Northern Europe distantly approaching to 
rank with Boston in population, wealth, and reputation for 
refinement which, before unprovided with a park, has not gone 
further and moved more positively than Boston to make good 
the deficiency. London and Paris, Brussels and Liverpool 
have each within a generation twice doubled the area of their 
rural recreation grounds. All the cities of the British Islands 
thirty years ago possessed but four parks adapted to rural rec- 
reation ; they now hold thirty, as large, on an average, as 
Franklin Park is intended to be. 

There is an impression with some that the civilized world has 
been swept by a ruinous rage for parks. Not an instance is 
known of a park adapted to provide rural recreation that is 
not regarded by those who are paying for it as well worth all it 
has cost. No city possessed of a rural park regrets its purchase. 
During the last year New York City, which has had the largest 
and costliest experience of park-making of any in the world, 
has been purchasing land for six additional parks averaging six 
hundred acres each in area. This after long and heated debate 
as to questions of extent and location, but upon the undisputed 
ground, so far as known, that the city's outlay for parks hitherto 
has had the effect of reducing rather than increasing taxation- 
Philadelphia has a park nearly six times as large as Franklin 
Park will be. Chicago has six rural parks, in each of wliich 


large works of construction have been completed, and are found 
valuable beyond expectation. Even smaller cities than Boston 
{as New Haven, Bridgeport, Albany, Buffalo, Montreal) have 
provided themselves with rural parks. 

It cannot be questioned that a rural park is rapidly coming 
to be ranked among the necessities of satisfactory city life, or 
that a city that offers simply promises or prospects in this 
respect stands at a certain commercial and financial disadvan- 
tage — a more decided disadvantage to-day, very much, than it 
did when Mr. Wilder or even when Mr. Collins advised atten- 
tion to the danger. 

At the present stage of the Franklin Park undertaking an- 
other consideration enforcing a like caution presents itself. 

Land having been acquired, a plan for forming a park upon 
it adopted, operations of construction begun, and considerable 
resort being had to the ground, the affair is bound to grow in 
some fashion. And if the work is to be pursued in a desultory, 
intermittent, and unimpressive way, that fashion will not be 
altogether the fashion of a desirable rural park. The ground 
will be much disordered. by the work, it will be streaked and 
scarred, dusty and muddy. There will be an increasing public 
use of it; the process of determining the customs of its use 
and the manner in which it is to be regarded by the people will 
be continuous, and every year something will be done toward 
an irretrievable settlement of its character. 

In their examination of parks last summer, the Commis- 
sioners were struck with the different standard of keeping and 
of manners that had evidently become established on different 
parks. The keeping in one case was of a sort which in house- 
keeping might be described as squalid, and the manners largely 
loaferish. In another the keeping was comparatively neat and 
efficient, the manners decorous and civil. No matter what may 
be ultimately expended for a park, its value cannot fail to be 
largely determined by the expectations and usage of it into 
which the public is led in the early years of their resort to it. 

Boston should continue to practice conservatism with respect 
to the park, but there cannot be a greater mistake than to sup- 


pose that conservatism will be concerned only to keep down 
the current cost of the work, and to this end will be engaged 
to impose checks on its progress at every opportunity. Con- 
servatism cannot be concerned to have a state of things under 
which the leading aim of those in direction of the work is 
forced to be that of enlisting public support from year to year, 
by producing results from year to year that shall be immedi- 
ately pleasing to superficial observation. It cannot fail to be 
concerned that the work shall be directed with a wise regard 
to what experience may have taught as to conditions of lasting, 
growing, and substantial value in works elsewhere of the same 
leading purpose. 

The cardinal requirement of economy in obtaining such 
conditions has never yet been realized by the public in the 
early stages of a park work, but it is perfectly plain to any one 
who has so closely followed the history of a number of parks 
as to be able to compare marked differences in methods of 
management and the respective results obtained. It would 
take too much space to present an extended comparative state- 
ment of this kind, but the lesson it would present may be indi- 
cated by reference to a few typical facts. 

To realize the full bearing of those that will be cited, it must 
be kept freshly in mind, first, that the only justification of the 
cost of a large park near a growing city is the necessity of 
spaciousness to the production of rural scenery. 

Second, it must be remembered that the choicest rural park 
scenery is that which, other things being equal, has been long- 
est growing, and which has the least of the rawness and smart- 
ness of new constructions, and the weak puerilities of new 

Third, it is to be kept in mind that the oldest part of the 
oldest rural park in the country is not yet half grown, and the 
primary construction of some of its parts is not even yet 

Take, then, this oldest park and see by what courses it 
has come to be what it is, and has been made to cost what 
it has. 


Its site was determined almost by accident ; no one, when it 
was first defined in the bill which became the act establishing 
it, giving the least thought to the question whether it was well 
adapted to the purpose of a large park ; no one concerned hav- 
ing any clear notion what that purpose might be. In fact the 
idea in mind was simply this : " The great cities of the old 
world have large areas called parks, and they are popular. Let 
us have a great area to be called a park. To neutralize con- 
flicting local jealousies let us have it as nearly as possible in 
the centre of the city's territory." That was thought to be 
the common sense of the matter. Not the slightest inquiry 
was made as to what sort of land there might be at this central 
point, and so thoughtlessly were the boundaries determined 
that upwards of a million dollars were judiciously spent after a 
few years, to secure an economical modification of them. 
Even since this modification a great sum has been expended in 
retaining walls and other adjustments between the park and its 
bounding streets. A few pages further on, official statistics will 
be quoted, further illustrating the costliness of this common 
sense proceeding, about which it may be as well to mention 
that there was nothing peculiarly American or democratic. 
The Emperor of France began the Bois de Boulogne in the 
same spirit, trusting to common sense in a matter which was 
not one for common sense but for careful study and foresighted 
regulation ; fell into blunderings even more humiliating than 
those of New York, and was obliged to make an abrupt change 
of plan after his work had been put well under way. 

There is no important general public purpose now served, or 
likely to be served in the future, by the New York Park, for 
which if ground had been well selected, and if every step in the 
subsequent operations had been well devised with reference to 
it, and pursued without unnecessary complexity or confusion, 
provisions of equal value might not have been made at half the 
cost of those now possessed by the city. 

The degree of public unpreparedness at the outset to sustain 
such a course, however, may be inferred from the fact that one 
of the leading newspapers at that time treated the undertaking 


as an affair for the benefit of rich, men — an affair of fashiona- 
ble luxury — while another thought that any park in New 
York would be so entirely taken possession of by the low, 
rowdy, and ruffianly element of the population, that respectable 
people would avoid it, and that a woman would not be able to 
enter it without compromising her reputation. Each of these 
views turns out to have been as wrong as possible. There is 
not a church in the city in which rich and poor come together 
as satisfactorily to both. And for years after it came into use 
there was not a public street of the city in which a woman or 
a girl was as secure from rudeness. 

The next most instructive circumstance in its history, as far 
as it concerns Boston at this time, is the gradual advance of 
public opinion toward a correct understanding of the conditions 
of the park's value. Such an understanding has not yet, after 
twenty-nine years, been universally attained. The papers of 
the city are at this moment denouncing a proposition, made in 
good faith and urged with elaborate arguments, for introducing 
an important new feature into the plan of the park. An inter- 
view is publicly reported (in the Sun^ January 15) with a 
prominent citizen, who urges in counter-argument not the 
waste that would be involved in the value of the park as a 
place prepared at great expense for the ready enjoyment of 
rural scenery, but what is assumed to be the more practical 
objection of the contraction of areas available for games, a use 
of the park in which with the present area available for it when 
the park is in largest use, but one in several hundred of its 
visitors takes part.* 

* The New York Tribune, in a leading article of the 10th January, com- 
menting on the ijroposition, classes it with a thousand others that one after 
another have been urged upon the Park Commissioners, some of which it recalls 
as follows: "Persons of quality who delight in steeple-chasing, and those who 
pursue the fleet anise-seed bag to its lair, have had an eye upon the rolling 
meadows and dense coppices of the Park as an inviting field for manly sport. 
Commissioners have been petitioned to throw open the Park as a parade ground 
for our citizen soldiery, and space has been asked for tents and enclosures for 
popular exhibitions, circuses, shooting-matches, and trials of strength and skill. 
Eminent educators have urged that the Park should be planned on the model of 
a map of our native land, with miniature states, lakes, and rivers, with every 


Twice in the history of this park, after enormous expendi- 
tures had been made upon it with the stated purpose of exclud- 
ing urban and securing rural scenery, this purpose has been 
distinctly and publicly repudiated ; in one case, the Superinten- 
dent for the time being, explaining to a reporter of the press 
that his leading object was a display of architectural and urban 
elegance, and that he had removed certain trees because they 
prevented visitors passing through the park from seeing the 
stately buildings growing up outside of it. 

But although these incidents may seem to argue otherwise, 
no one can have long been a reader of New York newspapers 
without knowing that the public opinion of the city has of late 
years been often aroused to prevent various proceedings upon 
the park, running counter to the purpose of rural recreation, 
that earlier would have been permitted to pass without objec- 
tion. For example, when the trees of the park were yet sap- 
lings, and its designed rural scenery wholly undeveloped, the 
suggestion that the most central and important position upon 
it should be given to a public building was received with no 
apparent disfavor, and one of the Commissioners of the park 
declared that any ground the promoters of the undertaking 

physical and geological feature complete, so that the children of the public 
schools could be turned loose thereon to study geography in its most attractive 
form. It has been proposed that each religious sect should be invited to build 
places of worship there; that one section should be set apart for a World's Fair, 
and another section as a den for wild beasts, and again that a vast building 
should be erected there as a sample-room and advertisement for all the wares the 
merchants of the city have to sell ; that the lakes shoiild be enlarged so as to 
float a full-rigged ship where the great maritime city of the continent could 
train sailors for our merchant marine; that it shoiild be transmuted into a 
burial-place for the country's distinguished dead, an experimental farm in the 
interest of scientific agriculture, and a permanent Metropolitan Fair Ground. 

" Now, if the Park is only a big scope of miimproved ground, it is natural that 
people of different tastes should desire to pre-empt a quarter section here and 
there for the particular business or pleasure in which they are chiefly interested. 
For this reason, the people who drive their own carriages, or are able to hire 
one occasionally, have clamored for widening the wheelways, to give them ample 
space to roll around and be seen. Other citizens, in less fortunate circumstances 
have asked that a street railroad be rim up throtigh the centre of the Park, so 
that they might view it from the economical and democratic horse-car." 


might desire would be gladly assigned to it. Fortunately, 
because of hard times, the schems fell through. Ten years 
later, a monumental building was actually given a site upon the 
park, but it was one in which the structure would not interfere 
with any extended view, or be seen from a distance, and even 
this concession did not pass without much remonstrance. 
When the next scheme of the class was disclosed, though 
coupled with many most attractive incidental propositions, skil- 
fully presented, and supported by eminent citizens, so much 
popular indignation was soon manifested that in response to 
petitions a bill was rapidly advanced in the legislature to make 
it illegal for the Commissioners to entertain the proposition, 
and would have passed had not the head of the movement 
publicly and apologetically announced the abandonment of the 
idea. At the present time, a proposition similar to that once 
accepted in the case of the Museum of Art, no matter how 
highly its objects were valued, and no matter how worthy a 
body of public-spirited citizens were backing it, would be less 
agreeable to the public opinion of New York than would a 
proposition to build a public hospital in the middle of the Com- 
mon to that of Boston. 

In the early days of one American park a proposed ordinance 
to establish a Small-Pox Hospital in its midst was gravely 
debated in the City Council, being advocated on the ground 
that there was plenty of unoccupied room there, that no private 
interest would suffer from it, and that nobody wanted it any- 
where else. Many occurrences showing similar public indiffer- 
ence, in the early work of a park, to the essential conditions of 
its ultimate value, might be cited. At least four times in the 
history of one park obstructive disturbances of natural scenery 
have been established, and afterwards, in respect to a rising 
public sentiment, have been removed. Twice these have been 
works of alleged art presented to the city and received and set 
up with acclamation. 

Is Boston quite safe from falling into similar costly courses? 
Has she been so in the past ? Let the history of the little but 
important ground called the Public Garden be considered. 


The design first made public for this ground, prepared by an 
eminent and popular architect, had in view a highly decorative 
garden, with many beds of flowers and ornamental foliage, 
architectural basins of water, jets, fountains, and other richly 
artificial embellishments. The weight of influence in the 
matter, however, tended toward a parklet in the natural style, 
simple, quiet, and in a degree sequestered. The plan at length 
adopted was devised mainly with reference to such a ground, 
with a slight compromise manifested in a few scattered fea- 
tures which would have been more congruous with a decorative 
garden. But the work had not gone far before objections were 
urged to its more important naturalistic features, and several of 
these, one after another, were modified or radically changed. 
Large mounds of earth at first formed in accordance with the 
design were afterwards removed. What was intended to be a 
rural lakelet with natural borders was changed to a basin with 
formally curving outlines and a rigid edging of stone. After 
many years and large outlays made with a plan thus fluctuating 
in the spirit of its details, the purpose, originally rejected, of a 
splendid urban garden, with all practicable display of art, was 
fully revived, and has been gradually carried out as far as it 
could be without a complete structural transformation of the 
site, but necessarily under great disadvantages from the neces- 
sity of working upon the timbers of a wreck originally modelled 
with a wholly different ideal. It cannot be doubted that, had 
all the work from the beginning been undeviatingly directed 
with reference to the essence of the present leading motives in 
the management of the ground, more valuable results would 
have been attained, at much less cost. 

Whatever the difficulties may be of avoiding another experi- 
ence of the same kind, but on a much larger scale, it is best to 
look them fairly in the face. It is best to beat them, and beat 
them now, at the start. That it is practicable to do so, and at 
moderate cost, may be established, if a single instance can be 
shown in which a city has been able to secure a steady, straight- 
forward, business-like pursuit of the proper purpose of such a 


Testimony of sucli an instance that cannot be gainsaid has 
been furnished the Commissioners from Buffalo, a city that has 
not earned a reputation for honesty and efficiency of adminis- 
tration exceeding that of Boston. 

It is believed that the difficulties of securing a sound public 
opinion were at the outset much greater in Buffalo than they 
are in Boston, There was a more general and a more heated 
apprehension among the tax-payers that the undertaking of a 
" big park " would be excessively costly. More ignorance and 
confusion of mind prevailed as to its proper purposes. The 
history of what has since occurred is summarized in the state- 
ment below. Of the gentlemen signing this statement, five 
have been Mayors of Buffalo during the period in which the 
park work has been in progress, three Judges of its Courts, 
three presidents of the Board of Aldermen, five members of 
Congress, several members of the State Legislature, Commis- 
sioners of the Park, leading editors, bankers, and merchants, 
and heads of the working organization of each party, and of 
each faction of party of any importance in local politics, a fact 
in itself evincing the remarkable popularity earned by the 
management to be described. 


" There were at the outset many grounds of objection to the 
site selected for the main Park of Buffalo. Parts of it were 
rocky and bare of vegetation ; other parts swampy and most 
unattractive. It was at the opposite end of the city from its 
populous quarter, and more than three miles from its centre. 
Hence the project had to encounter a strong sectional jealousy, 
and for this and other reasons met with determined opposition, 
which succeeded in reducing the area originally intended to be 
taken — a misfortune since deeply regretted even by those to 
whom it was due. After the work of construction was entered 
upon, repeated efforts were made to arrest it ; to alter the phius ; 
to introduce new features, and to compel the adoption of dif- 
ferent methods of operation. 

" In full view of the acknowledged objections to the site, it 


■was selected as, on the whole, the best that could be found for 
the purpose exclusively had in view. This was to provide 
recreation for the people of the city through the enjoyment of 
simple, rural, park-like scenery. The ground was laid out upon 
a plan that made everything subordinate to this purpose, 

"The work was organized with exclusive reference to the 
steady and methodical carrying out of the plan. The heads of 
the organization were drawn from a similar work in another 
city, and were at once familiar with their duties, disciplined 
and co-operative, No change in the staff of the superinten- 
dence has since been made, except as the work has advanced to 
points where permanent reduction could be afforded. The 
present General Superintendent has been Superintendent from 
the start. In the city reform movement that first brought 
Grover Cleveland as mayor of the city prominently before the 
public, no occasion for reform or improvement was found in 
the park work. No change of men or methods was made or 
suggested to be desirable. The work has been pursued steadily 
and without the slightest deviation from the plan upon which 
it was started. As it advanced and the intentions of the plan 
approached realization, the park grew in favor. Opposition to 
it gradually died out. It is now universally popular, and with 
no class more so than the frugal, small house owning tax- 
payers, who constitute an unusual proportion of the population 
of the city. 

"The cost of the work has been much less than was pre- 
dicted by the opponents of the undertaldng, and even less than 
its promoters expected it to be. It is regarded as moderate 
relatively to the return already realized. It is believed that 
through the increased attractiveness of the city as a place of 
residence, the rise in the value of property adjacent to the park 
and its approaches, and the additional taxable capital invested 
in land and buildings in the vicinity of these improvements, 
the outlay for the park has lightened the burden of the tax- 
payers. The city has recently obtained an act of the legisla- 
ture authorizing a portion of the land originally thrown out to 
be purchased and added to the park. Its market value is now 
estimated to be from four to five times as much as when 
thrown out. Broad avenues from different directions have 
been opened, and a street railroad constructed expressly for 
the use of visitors to the park. Its value is largely increasing 
every year. The city is now proud of it and grateful for it. 

" But its promoters had ultimate results in view, which can- 
not be fully realized during the lifetime of the present genera- 


tion or of the next. As the growth of its plantations develops, 
as the city extends to its borders and becomes densely settled 
at the centre, the attractions, the accessibility, and the benefits 
to the community to be derived from the park, Avill correspond- 
ingly increase. Its chief value lies in its ever-growing capa- 
bilities of usefulness in the future, as the city grows in wealth 
and population. 

"Pascal P. Pratt. S. S. Jewett. 

Solomon ScEmw. Edward Benistett. 

J. Mothajs" Scovillb. John M. Farquhar. 

Jas. Sheldon. Edgar B. Jewett. 

W. S. BissELL. Francis H. Root. 

Alex. Brush. Gibson I. Williams. 

Jajmes D. Warren. R. R. PIefford. 

Henry A. Richmond. Chas. Beckwith. 

Sherinian S. Rogers. Wm. F. Rogers. 

Philip Becker. John B. Sacehltt. 

Daniel N. Lockwood. L. P. Dayton. 

Jajmes M. Smith. James Mooney. 

Jno. B. Weber. Wm. Franklin." * 

The estimate to be presented of the cost of preparing Frank- 
lin Park for public use, will be so much less than has been 
generally anticipated by those familiar with the cost of parks 
elsewhere, that it will be received with incredulity. Some- 
thing, therefore, should be said in explanation of it. 

First, it may be observed that more than two-thirds of the 
cost is calculated to be for the construction of roads, walks, 

* Since the above paper was signed, a cliange has occurred in the city govern- 
ment of Buffalo, and the new Mayor, addressing the new Council, has said: "We 
have a park system of which we may be justly proud, and tliere will be very 
little complaint of the cost so long as the parks are kept in order and made 
accessible." In a later document, signed by the Mayor and the Park Commis- 
sioners, the following congratulatory statement appears: " In looking back over 
the period since the establishment of the park scheme, the retrospect cannot 
fail to be exceedingly gratifying. The cost of the parks has been in a large 
measure compensated by taxes receivable from increased valuation of adjacent 
property, to say nothing of the health-giving recreation and i^leasure the pai'ks 
afford to thousands who visit them during the summer months. With the 
rapid increase of our city in wealth and in density of population, have grown up 
both the need for such recreation and the taste to enjoy it." 


concourses and other structures, for the estimates of which the 
City Engineer is responsible, and that the entire estimate is 
made in the same manner as that, of about the same amount, 
prepared for the Department with respect to the work of the 
Back Bay Basins, which work after a progress of seven years 
is likely to be completed within the estimate. 

That it is possible to meet Mr, Wilder's demand that the 
Boston park should be the first park in the country, meaning 
the first in respect to adaptation to provide city people with 
rural recreation, is largely to be accounted for by the fact that 
the site was selected discriminatingly for that purpose. 

The advantage gained by this circumstance has already been 
partly suggested in the statement that the cost of piecing out 
the New York park has been considerably more than a million 
dollars. It may be added that the annexations to the primary 
scheme in the case of the Brooklyn and the Philadelphia parks, 
made in each case with a view to rural advantages, have been 
much larger though less costly. In Brooklyn the original 
site was greatly modified by a process of exchange. 

But a more important part of Boston's economical advantage 
may be inferred from the statement made in the Third Annual 
Report of the New York Department of Parks that the modi- 
fications of the surface of the site of the Central Park had 
involved the lifting and re-adjustment of its entire surface to 
an average depth of nearly four feet, and of the material moved 
that nearly half a million cubic yards had been originally in 
the form of solid ledge rock, twenty thousand barrels of gun- 
powder having been used for breaking it out. More than two 
hundred thousand cubic yards of first-class solid mason work 
have been laid on the Central Park, a large part under ground 
and most of it in retaining walls that would have been unnec- 
essary to the proper purposes of a park in a situation as well 
adapted to those purposes as is that of Franklin Park. 

A considerable part of the outlay for most parks has been 
made for materials which the site for Franklin Park supplies. 
The stone and gravel of the Chicago parks, for example, is 
brought to them from distant quarries and pits, and the cost of 


transportation is not a small matter. Tlie same is tlie case at 
Detroit. The gravel used in the New York and Brooklyn 
parks has cost twice as much per yard as that to be used in 
Franklin Park. (It must be said that it is a better sort of 
gravel.) In Franklin Park there are no difficulties of drain- 
age to be overcome by costly expedients (there are thirty- 
three miles of sewers in the Central Park). No costly works 
of damming and puddling or concreting will be required as 
has been the case elsewhere. And as an illustration of the 
advantages of its site in these particulars (the plan being 
adjusted to it) it may be said that the conditions in question of 
the five hundred acres of Franklin Park are directly the reverse 
of those which the city has for seven years past been gradually 
and slowly and at great cost overcoming in the one hundred 
acres of the Back Bay Basin. 

The work required to carry out the plan of Franklin Park 
can nearly all be done, after practicable training, by a force re- 
cruited from the class of working-men who command but the 
lowest wages, and who are most liable to fall into a condition 
requiring charitable assistance from the city. More than nine- 
tenths of the needed outlay would be in wages to citizens. 
The few manufactured articles necessary would nearly all be 
manufactured in the city. Not one per cent, of the entire 
expenditure contemplated would be required for what are com- 
monly called park and garden decorations. The larger part 
would be for substantial matters, to endure, and generally to 
gain, in value, for centuries. 

Estimates of cost, to have any value, must be based on some 
definite understanding as to the manner in which the work is 
to be conducted, the adequacy and what in military operations 
is called the solidity of the organization, the thoroughness of 
the discipline, the time within which the work is to be com- 
pleted, and, above all, the degree in which steady, orderly prog- 
ress, smoothly interlocking in all parts, can be calculated on. 

The work will proceed much more economically with a mod- 
erately large force, if kept " well in hand," than with a small 
one. The reason can easily be seen. It is to be mainly a 


transfer of material, — stone, sand, gravel, earth, soil, peat. To 
proceed with the work at one point certain materials are to be 
sent away that are wanted for the work at another point, and 
certain materials are required that are to be taken out at yet 
another. Unless a force large enough to keep a considerable 
system of exchanges in operation is employed, the same mate- 
rials will need to be rehandled, perhaps repeatedly. 

It is to be assumed that the work of construction will be 
completed within a period of six years ; that it will be carried 
on with as large a force as may be best ; that advantage may be 
taken of favorable seasons and favorable markets, and that it 
will be placed and maintained from the start in all respects 
upon a soundly economical basis. 

The work to be done during the period stated is not to 
include the public roads and their borders outside the park, as 
this would extend it beyond the territory under the Commis- 
sioners' control. It does not include fountains, sculptural or 
other purely decorative works that may be thought desirable 
later, upon the Greeting, or in connection with the gateways, 
nor does it include movable furniture. But it includes all that 
is necessary to the making of the park in substantial accordance 
with its general plan as it has been set forth. 

As thus proposed, the work may be expected to cost not 
exceeding fifteen hundred thousand dollars.* 

Maintenance Cost. — The question of the economy of what is 
proposed in the plan for a park is less a question of what the 
work of construction will cost than of what ever afterwards will 
be required for reconstructions, repairs, and for pursuing a sys- 
tem of maintenance adapted to secure its intended qualities of 

* The following is a comparative approximate statement of the cost of pre- 
paring several large public groimds : — 

Central Park per acre, $14,000 

Brooklyn Park " " 9,000 

Buffalo Park " " 1,400 

Back Bay Basin and Promenade, as estimated, 

and in large part realized . . . . " " 14,000 
Franklin Park, estimated . . . . " " 2,900 


beauty, and keep it in suitable order for its intended uses. An 
explanation of the character .of the plan in this respect will 
therefore be offered. 

Rural parks may be excessively costly of maintenance, either 
by setting the standard so low that visitors gain but little rural 
refreshment from them, or by setting it so high that it cannot 
be lived up to, and they become forlorn through shabby gen- 
tility. In some parks both errors are illustrated, high keeping 
being apparently attempted at some points as a compensation 
for general gracelessness and dowdiness, with a result like that 
from putting a few bits of bravery upon a meanly dressed and 
dirty person. Nearly all American Park Commissioners apolo- 
gize for the condition of some parts of their work, stating that 
they are not allowed funds enough to keep them in good order 

In a considerable part of one park examined by the Boston 
Commissioners last summer, they found roads in very rough 
condition and dusty gravel walks in such bad repair that they 
had actually gone out of use, and visitors were trying to walk 
in lines parallel with them, some making a crooked way among 
trees and bushes, or over what had once been turfed ground, 
some turning out upon the wheel way. A family party was seen 
moving along the ruts of the dusty road, the father dragging a 
baby wagon, the mother in trepidation lest they should be run 
over, and the entire party evincing anything but the quieting 
and restful pleasure that they would have had in a park suit- 
ably fitted and kept. Elsewhere they saw lawns from whiclr' 
the turf had wholly disappeared, dry brooks and fountains, 
green stagnant waters, dilapidated and rotting rustic structures, 
trees with dead branches, flower-beds gray with dust, set in 
coarse seedy grass half trodden out, opposite a sign, " Keep off 
the Grass." They saw a large and substantially fine house, of 
which the details and furniture were so out df repair that the 
public had been for some time excluded from it, and its windows 
appeared to be targets for ambushed boys. The explanation in 
every case was that the city was unwilling to suitably carry out 
and sustain what had been undertaken. 


It is difficult to make comparative statements of the cost of 
maintenance of different classes of public grounds. In most 
cases it is found to vary widely from year to year, and this 
capriciously, accordingly as successive city councils are dis- 
posed. The appropriation for one year has in several cases 
been but half that for others. Accounts are kept upon different 

But omitting police, museum and menagerie expenses it may 
be roughly reckoned that the annual running expenses of a 
park of the extent of Franklin Park, if laid out, stocked, and 
maintained in the manner of the Public Garden of Boston, or 
of any much decorated, garden-like ground, would be about 
1500,000 ; of the Central Park, New York, $160,000 ; Brooklyn 
Park, $80,000 ; Buffalo Park, $40,000. 

The plan adopted by the Commissioners for Franklin Park 
is one that, when the designed plantings have been well estab- 
lished, will require comparatively little fine garden work, no 
exotic or fine decorative gardening, no glass, no structures of 
an unsubstantial class, and few of any kind subject to fall into 
serious disrepair, except roads and walks. All walls and roofs 
are to be of stone, tile, or slate ; all guard rails and seat sup- 
ports of stone or wrought iron. The economy of substantial 
work in all such matters may be seen in the fact that of 
upwards of forty arches and bridges on the Central Park built 
more than twenty years ago, all but three were structures of 
stone, brick, or iron. As a matter of alleged economy, three 
were built with timber superstructures. Each one of these 
three has been at times closed for use because of disrepair, each 
has been entirely rebuilt, and one twice rebuilt; each has 
already cost more than a substantial structure would have cost, 
and no one of them is now in a satisfactory condition. The 
others remain perfectly sound, and with but one important 
exception have been in continuous service. The exception is an 
iron bridge with a wood flooring. This has been several times 
closed for painting and the relaying of the wood-work. A 
similar story could be told of other structures ; and the moral 
could be enforced by reference to every class of work done on the 


park. Its entire history is an indication of the economy of 
using as sterling masonry and thorough, exacting professional 
superintendence in park work, as in water-works, sewers, and 
monumental buildings. If the Commissioners could have taken 
a different view of their duty, which for the moment would 
possibly be a more popular view, the estimate they have pre- 
sented might have been reduced. 

To restate briefly the lesson in conservatism most important 
for Boston to learn from the experience of other cities in park- 
making, it is this : — 

That those in charge of a park work may proceed economi- 
cally and with profit they must be able to proceed with confi- 
dence, method and system, steadily, step after step, to carry to 
completion a well-matured design. Until the point of comple- 
tion is reached the work of each year must be the carrying out 
of work prepared for in the previous year, and the preparation 
of work to be done the following year. Plans laid with an 
economical purpose in this respect must not be held subject at 
any moment to be nullified, or hastily and radically modified, 
even under worthy impulses of economy. 

Part Foukth. 




The difficulties in question are difficulties of securing a 
sound controlling public opinion and of avoiding a costly 
accommodation to demands based on mistaken or inadequate 
impressions of what is desirable in the business of a rural 

As the notes to follow will be somewhat discursive, and the 
facts to be stated will have bearings other than those indicated 
by the headings under which they will be arranged, several 
master difficulties may be here mentioned to which it is believed 
that all will relate. 

First, the difficulty of realizing the importance of a park 
work, from which follows the danger that details of serious 
consequence to the community may be settled too lightly. 

Second, the difficulty of understanding the essential econo- 
mies of so intangible a commodity as that of rural scenery. 

Third, the difficulty of realizing how largely the interest of 
the community as a whole lies in parts and elements of a park 
that are of little direct personal interest to those who make the 
largest figure in it, and who have the most direct influence 
upon the conduct of the work. 

Fourth, the difficulty, no matter how important the results 
of the work to be soon obtained may be, of realizing how im- 
measurably more important are those to come later. 

Fifth, the difficulty to most men of realizing how greatly the 
cost of suitably preparing a park is to be increased by frequent 
shifts of responsibility, unsteady courses, breaks of system and 
of routine methods. 





It is contrary to habitual modes of thought to take due 

account of the comparative economico-political importance of 
what is at stake in a large park undertaking — to recognize 
how costly a park may be, otherwise than through the taxation 
which it directly calls for ; how useful it may be in wholly 
different ways from those most readily and customarily thought 
about. How it has come to be so will be partly explained 
later. The purpose of what is immediately to follow is to give 
a single reason for soliciting a more thorough consideration of 
various aspects of the subject than the occasion will be gener- 
ally thought to require. 

It is to be considered, to begin with, how much less likely 
than we are apt to suppose, the larger fortune of a city is, in 
these days, to turn controllingly and lastingly upon the local 
legislation that from year to year is led up to and brought 
about through an activity of local public opinion favorable to 
its object : how much more the historic course of the city is 
commonly determined by a discovery or an invention, for 
example, made by some one having no personal interest or direct 
part in it, as of a cotton-gin, a steel process, or of gold in a 

When currents of such exterior sources have once been 
established, the local defects of a city, with reference to them, 
are apt sooner or later, at more or less cost, to be remedied. 
The methods by which needed means for this purpose shall 
ultimately be reached, may vary radically, as, with reference to 
the currents of modern oceanic commerce, in the landing and 
loading facilities of the ports, respectively, of Liverpool, New 
York, and New Orleans. But the tendency to come nearer to 
a common standard of utility in essential results is so strong 
that if at one time a mistake of dealing inadequately with a 


problem is made, while the blunder will be costly, it is but a 
question of time when a sufficiently courageous and well-con- 
sidered effort is to follow and sweep it away and build anew on 
firmer ground. 

It may be considered, also, how much more cities gain on an 
average in all that makes them converging points of the growth 
of nations in population, wealth, and refinement, from general 
currents of scientific progress by which all the world benefits, 
than from political proceedings of local origin and special local 

It is, for instance, through falling into such a current that 
the ancient city of Cairo has come to be so relieved from its 
former annual devastations by the Plague, that the life of its 
people has come to be twice as long as it was in the first half 
of the century, and the value of life in it has been more than 
doubled through avoidance of pain, anxiety, and sadness, and 
the steadier profits of all industry. It is by falling into such a 
current that most of our southern cities have come to keep at 
home and in active employment during the entke summer a 
large part of the population, that would otherwise go out from 
them at the cost of a general suspension of many profitable 
branches of their trade, and nearly all important productive 

Through the tendency thus illustrated, to work up to stand- 
ards mainly provided by agencies acting on public opin- 
ion from without, and established no one quite knows how, it 
occurs, notwithstanding the great differences of origin and 
historical development, of early social circumstances, of climate, 
of back-country conditions, and of resources of wealth and 
products to be dealt with, that schools, churches, hospitals, 
courts, police, jails, methods of fire protection, methods in 
politics, in benevolence and almsgiving, in journalism, in bank- 
ing and exchange, are rapidly growing to be closely alike in 
San Francisco and in Boston. 

The change by which this similitude comes about, goes on 
about as rapidly in the older as in the younger city. In many 
small ways Boston is taking up customs originating on the 


Pacific. In dealing with its sewerage problem, Boston availed 
itself of Mr. Chesbrough's experience in Chicago, as well as 
of Mr. Bazalgette's in London ; and the Boston Police Commis- 
sioners are this winter seeking to engraft on their system, 
which is of direct descent from Peel's system for London, a 
scion grown in Chicago. In Europe there is quite as evident a 
gravitation to American methods as in America to European 
methods. Paris is just now looking to gain something from 
observation of the Boston Fire Department, and something 
from the experience of Memphis in sewerage. One European 
government has within five years sent expeditions of experts 
in three different branches of science applicable to the adminis- 
tration of cities, to see by what, in the recent experience of 
Boston, its people might profit. At least two other European 
governments have sent skilled agencies here for the same 

Looking for important advantages which one city may possess 
permanently over another in respect to the constant value of 
life of those who are to dwell in it, in scarcely anything, per- 
haps in nothing, will the estate of cities, as it may be affected 
by local wisdom, effort, and timely legislation, be found to vary 
more dnd more lastingly than in the matter of public grounds. 
In scarcely anything is the general drift of civilized progress to 
be less depended on to set right the results of crude and short- 
sighted measures. In scarcely anything, therefore, to be deter- 
mined by local public opinion acting influentially upon local 
legislation and administration, is a city as likely to be so much 
made or marred for all its future as in proceedings in prose- 
cution of a park project. 

To many who have not been closely following the history of 
park enterprises, and tracing cause and effect in connection 
with them, this will seem to be the assertion of a man with a 
hobby. But let what has been occurring at the port of New 
York, in a large degree under the direct observation of thou- 
sands of the more active-minded business men of Boston, be 
thoroughly reviewed, and it will not be found unreasonable. 

First, let it be reflected how little of permanent consequence 


in the history of New York has come about through the spon- 
taneous movements of local public opinion as reflected in legis- 
lation during the last thirty years, of which the broad, essential 
results were not almost a matter of course. It has been little 
more than a question of time, for instance, when and how the port 
should be provided with docks, basins, elevators, and better gen- 
eral water-side facilities for commerce ; when certain streets 
should be widened ; when rapid transit for long, and street cars 
for short, transportation, a civilized cab system, telegraphs, 
telephones, and electric lights should be introduced, better con- 
veyances across the rivers gained, better accommodations for 
courts provided, the aqueduct enlarged, public schools multi- 
plied, graded, and made more educational, industrial and night 
schools started, public museums of art and natural history 
founded, the militia made more serviceable, the volunteer fire 
department superseded, and a strong police force organized. 

There is nothing of general and permanent consequence in 
all that has been gained in these particulars that could have 
been more than delayed and made foolishly costly by careless, 
capricious, or perverse local public opinion and corresponding 
legislation. The same general currents of civilization that have 
brought what has been gained to New York in these respects 
have brought results answering the same general purposes to 
Philadelphia and to Boston, to Cincinnati and to Montreal. 
Or, if not fully so in each case, every live man in those cities 
looks to see like results reached in a few years, — makes his 
business plans, builds his house, orders his investments, educates 
his children, with reference to them. The general plan of the 
combined city of New York harbor, the position severally, for 
example, of its domestic, its manufacturing, and its trade quar- 
ters, has been very little determined as the result of local 
legislation or of a settled purpose of public opinion. Such 
changes of domestic and social habits as have occurred are much 
less to be attributed to any of these improvements than to cir- 
cumstances governing the general increase and distribution of 
wealth throughout the world, to the general advances of 
science, and to fashions originating in Europe. 


But now let it be considered liow it has been with regard to 
what has occurred through the park enterprises. Each of the 
two large parks that during the same period have been set 
a-growing through local agitation and the careless legislation it 
has obtained, has had more such effect than all the other meas- 
ures of that class together. The Central Park blocks fifty 
streets that, had it not been formed, would now be direct chan- 
nels of commerce and of domestic movement from river to 
river. It takes out of the heart of the city two square miles 
of building-space, as completely and as permanently as a gulf 
formed by an earthquake could do, and for several square miles 
about this place it determines an occupation of land and a use 
of real estate very different from what would have been other- 
wise possible. Its effect on social customs may be illustrated by 
the statement that to enjoy the use of the park, within a few 
years after it became available, the dinner hour of thousands of 
families was permanently changed, the number of private car- 
riages kept in the city was increased tenfold, the number of 
saddle horses a hundredfold, the business of livery stables 
more than doubled, the investment of many millions of private 
capital in public conveyances made profitable. 

It is often asked. How could New York have got on without 
the park ? Twelve million visits are made to it every year. 
The poor and the rich come together in it in larger numbers 
than anywhere else, and enjoy what they find in it in more 
complete sympathy than they enjoy anything else together. 
The movement to and from it is enormous. If there were no 
park, with what different results in habit and fashions, customs 
and manners, would the time spent in it be occupied. It is 
often said that the park has made New York a different city. 
If it has not done so already, it surely will soon have made New 
York a city differing more from what it would have been but 
for the park than Boston differs either from San Francisco or 
from Liverpool. 

And the park of Brooklyn, while it has not as yet equally 
changed the destiny of this branch of the town, is sure, as the 
city grows, to be a matter of the most important moulding 


consequence, — more so than the great bridge ; more so than 
any single affair with which the local government has had to do 
in the entire history of the city. 

Similar results may be seen, or surely foreseen, from the new 
parks in each case of Philadelphia, of Chicago, of Buffalo, of 
St. Louis, of San Francisco. 

Not less significant illustrations of the general fact may be 
found abroad, in Paris and in Liverpool, for instance, and in 
Melbourne, Australia. 

But, it may be asked, if the Central Park had not been 
formed as it was, would not another park have been formed 
before this time ? No doubt ; but if so, the results of a differ- 
ent park would have been more importantly different from 
those that have followed the Central Park than the results of 
any determination of the city's fortune equally open to be made 
thirty years ago, through the action of its local government, in 
any matter of architecture, of engineering, of jurisprudence, or 
of popular education. 

But before the comparative importance of what is to be 
determined by a park work in the history of a city can be at all 
realized, a very different view must be taken from that which 
is common of the irretrievableness of any blundering in its 



It needs to be emphatically urged (for a reverse impression 
is often apparent) that the plans of no other class of the public 
works of a city are to be rightly devised with reference to as 
prolonged and unchanging methods of usefulness as those of 

That the fact of the matter in this respect may be under- 
stood, let it be first reflected that the value of a large park does 
not lie, as is apt to be thoughtlessly taken for granted, in those 


elements whicli cost and manifest the most labor and tlie larg- 
est absorption of taxes; that is to say, in the roads, walks, 
bridges, buildings, and other obviously constructed features. 
These have value as conveniences for making the larger ele- 
ments of a park available for the enjoyment of the public. If 
these larger elements are destroyed, the value of the artificial 
elements is lost. In the degree that they are ill-treated the 
value of the artificial elements depreciates. A park road is 
pleasant by reason of that which adjoins it, or is open to con- 
templation from it, not because it favors speed. Mainly the 
value of a park depends on the disposition and the quality of 
its woods, and the relation of its woods to other natural fea- 
tures ; ledges, boulders, declivities, swells, dimples, and to quali- 
ties of surface, as verdure and tuftiness. Under good manage- 
ment these things do not, like roads and walks, wear out or in 
any way lose value with age. Individual trees must from time 
to time be removed to avoid crowding, or because of decay; 
but, as a rule, the older the wood, and the less of newness and 
rawness there is to be seen in all the elements of a park, the 
better it serves its purpose. This rule holds for centuries — 
without limit. 

It is very different with nearly every other material thing — 
material in distinction from moral or educational — to which a 
city may direct outlay from its treasury. The highest value, 
for example, of civic buildings, of pavements, aqueducts, 
sewers, bridges, is realized while they are yet new; afterwards' 
a continual deterioration must be expected. As to a park, 
when the principal outlay has been made, the result may, and 
under good management must, for many years afterwards, be 
increasing in value at a constantly advancing rate of increase, and 
never cease to increase as long as the city endures. 

This (with an explanation presently to be made in a foot- 
note) will be obviously true as to the principal element of a 
park — its plantations. But whatever value a park may reach 
simply through the age of its well ordered plantations, some- 
thing of that value will be lost wherever repairs, additions, or 
restorations are made by which the dignity of age in its gen- 


eral aspect (or wliat the ancients called the local genius) is 
impaired. Looking at the artificial elements of parks in Europe 
— the seats, bridges, terraces, staircases, or any substantial fur- 
niture of them, supposing that they are not ruinous — it cannot 
be questioned that they are pleasing in the degree that they are 
old and bear evidence of long action of natural influences upon 
them — the most pleasing being those which nature seems to 
have adopted for her own, so that only by critical inspection 
is human workmanship to be recognized. Hence, not only 
should park things be built for permanence, but ingeniously 
with a view to a ready adoption and adornment of them by 
nature, so that they may come rapidly and without weakness 
to gain the charm characteristic of old things. For every thou- 
sand dollars judiciously invested in a park the dividends to the 
second generation of the citizens possessing it will be much 
larger than to the first ; the dividends to the third generation 
much larger than to the second. 

The better to bring this class of considerations home, it may 
be suggested that had five hundred acres of land been set apart 
as a park for Boston, and trees planted, natural plantations 
thinned, opened, preserved, renewed, and other natural features 
protected and judiciously treated for two centuries past, instead 
of deteriorating as most other public works would have done, 
the park would have been all the time advancing with a con- 
stantly accelerating rate of advance in value. But had the 
artificial features been originally made in adaptation solely 
to the wants of the people of the day or their immediate 
successors, an enlargement and re-adjustment of them suitably 
to a convenient use of the park by the present population of 
Boston could only be effected by much destruction of the natu- 
ral features ; by the rooting out of great and venerable trees, 
the blasting of ledges rich in picturesque, time-worn crannies 
and weather stains, the breaking up of graceful slopes, and the 
interpolation of much that would be comparatively crude, raw, 
incongruous, and forlorn. Rather than make radical changes 
with these results, much inconvenience would long be endured. 
For two hundred years, conditions of public inconvenience and 


of peril and of uncouthness, have rightly been submitted to, for 
this reason, in Hyde Park, which would not be endured for a 
year in any new work. 

In no other public work of a city, then, is it of as much 
importance as in a park to determine courses to be pursued 
with regard to growing results, and in a great degree distant 
ends rather than ends close at hand and soon to be fully real- 

* It is the consideration that the value of a rural park grows with its age, and 
that the value of the immediate result of principal expenditures for construction 
must be slight compared with those to accrue in after years, added to the consid- 
eration that it is a political impracticability to steadily pursue any fixed, definite 
and limited piurposes in park work while those conducting it are dependent for 
the means of cariying it on upon their ability to immediately satisfy tax-payers 
of the value of what they are doing, that has elsewhere than in Boston been 
generally thought to require that the cost of the primary work of a park should 
be provided for by long loans, even exceptionally to a general administrative 
policy. Where this course has not been taken, the results have been such as to- 
establish beyond question the extreme importance — the vital necessity to any- 
thing like economy — of secm-ing a sound and controlling public opinion at the 
outset. The park of Detroit (seven hundred acres in extent) is a case of this. 
kind. During all of last summer, work upon it was wholly suspended because 
a majority of the City Council, and a majority of the Park Commissioners whom 
a previous City Council had appointed, were not quite of one mind on a question 
of police regulations, which might have been decided either way without the 
slightest effect upon any permanent interest of the city in the park. The Coun- 
cil refused to make any appropriation without a pledge from the Commissioners 
that they would take action contraiy to the judgment of a majority of their Board. 
Consequently the plant of the work lies idle for an entire year, the organization 
and discipline of the force is lost, the constructions that were in progress are wast- 
ing, and the ground is used by the public in a way sure to breed customs and expec- 
tations much to be regretted. That a similar catastrophe is not impossible in 
Boston is fairly to be inferred from an occurrence of the last summer. The 
Park Commissioners prepared a dramng and numerous cross-sections showing 
the necessity before any other work could be proceeded with at all economically 
upon the site for Wood Island Park, of building a bridge by which it would be 
made accessible, and of doing a large amount of rough grading. Por this pre- 
liminary work they advised that an outlay should be authorized, to be made 
during the present fiscal year, of $25,000. The result was an appropriation of 
$5,000, with the condition that it should all be applied to planting. As no 
planting was practicable without an abandonment of the plan, the appropriation 
was tmavailable. 

A liability to such occurrences is oppressively costly in its effects on the man- 
agement of the work, even when it does not actually result, as it sometimes does^ 




There are two ways of estimating the earnings of a park. 
There is no doubt that the sixteen millions of dollars wliich 
Central Park has cost New York have been returned throus^h 
the profit that has accrued from the attractiveness of the city 
as a place of residence for men of means. All classes of the 
people benefit b}'- the wealth thus brought to and held in the 
city, and it is generally considered by its financiers that simply 
through the increased value of real estate which has thus oc- 
curred, taxes are lighter than they would have been but for the 

This is one way in which the value of the park is seen. 
The other is that which has been already indicated in point- 
ing out the use of it that the leading capitalists of the city have 
been taught by experience to make, as a means of preserving 

in compelling purposes to be adopted of weak, narrow, trivial, sliort-siglited, 
and time-serving character for those of more important lasting consequence. 

F. L. O. 

As the value of everything else to be contemplated in the plan of a park must 
be forever dependent on the condition of its trees, and as, while every tree of a 
park may go on improving for a certain period, it must also in time fall into 
-decay and eventually disappear, it may be questioned if a limit is not thus fixed 
to the alleged advancing value of a well-directed park work. 

The answer is that the trees of a park must be expected to decay and disap- 
pear one by one, and never, under decently economical management, in such 
numbers at any time as to materially affect the general aspect of the park, a 
main condition of good management being that it shall secure the little care 
necessary to provide a sufficient succession of nurslings (generally through a 
selection of those self-sown) and thinnings for the purpose. The plan of many 
parks in Europe, originally private, has remained unchanged for centuries, and 
they have never hitherto been more finely timbered, never as useful as they are 
now. F. L. o. 


their faculties id high working condition, — the value in health,, 
vigor, and earning capacity, and in capacity to enjoy results of 
earnings, which is gained through the use of it. This value is 
not traceable in such form that it can be entered on the ledger 
and totalled up in annual statements. In estimating it, every 
man is, almost irresistibly, overmuch affected by his personal 
experiences. In ordinary social conference about what is de- 
sirable in a park, such a personal point of view sometimes 
becomes ludicrously apparent. 

A gentleman much before the public, and who had taken an 
active part in urging publicly and privately certain measures 
of alleged improvement in a park, but who probably had never 
entered it on foot or seen any part of it not visible from the 
drives and rides, once asked in passing through it, " What is 
this pleasant odor ? " " It is from the bloom of the locust ; we 
are passing between two groups of it." "I see. Beautiful 
bloom ! beautiful foliage ! Why should not that tree be 
planted more? Why not everywhere? Why should not the 
park roads be lined with it ? Then this delightful scent would 
be constant, and the beauty also. Why not have the best 
everywhere ? " The answer was, " The tree is not long in bloom, 
and after midsummer droughts we have few trees less beauti- 
ful ; where its foliage predominates, as in some parts of New 
Jersey, it makes the landscape really sad." " That's of no con- 
sequence," was the rejoinder, " for nobody wants to see the 
park in midsummer." 

This, while said thoughtlessly, manifested an habitual mode 
of thought. The man was neither thoughtless nor heartless. 
Yet the truth is, that the most important purpose of a park, and 
that through its adaptation to which its largest earnings should 
be expected, is at the season of the year when the fewest visi- 
tors come to it in carriages, when all citizens who can, have 
gone to the country, and that it lies in conditions, qualities, 
appliances, and modes of superintendence of which many citi- 
zens and most strangers know hardly anything. 

To understand this, let the imagination be gradually brought 
from the consideration of the general, mixed body of park 


visitors to tlie particular point of view of a distinct type. For 
this purpose let that part of the people be thought of, first, who 
are able to save enough from daily wages to be distinctly re. 
moved from penury, but whose accumulation is too small to 
relieve them from an anxious and narrowly dogged habit of 
mind and a strong incitement to persistent toilsome industry. 
Let it be considered that, setting aside the more floating and 
transient, and the useless and harmful sections, men of this 
class, and those who are dependent upon them, form much the 
larger part in numbers of a city's population. For every 
storekeeper or head of a shop there are several clerks and 
workmen. Let it be considered also that those who shortly in 
the future are to lead in the affairs of the city, are to-day of 
this class, and are acquiring the aptitudes which are chiefly to 
determine the strength and character of the city in the early 
future. Then let it be further considered that more than half 
the battle for the city's future prosperity lies, in fact, with the 
matronly element — the housekeeping women — of this class. 
Let the plan of the park then be regarded, for a moment, from 
the point of view of this subdivision of those who are to be its 

As a rule such women are compelled to live closely, in con- 
fined spaces, with a more monotonous round of occupations 
and more subject to an unpleasant clatter than is wholesome 
for them or for those whom they are bringing into the world 
and training. Many are constrained to give themselves up so 
to live even more confinedly than is necessary, from having a 
morbid sense of housekeeping necessities, bred by their confined 
life. In the nervous fatigue that comes upon them, it is easier 
to go with the current of habit than to make the exertion 
necessary to find and secure opportunities of relief and refresh- 
ment. The misfortune of the housekeeper in this respect, tells 
day by day, as long as she lives, upon every member of the 
family, from the master to the infant ; its most important result 
being, perhaps, that of a disliberal educative tendency, a narrow 
ing, stinting, materialistic, and over-prosaic educative tendency, 
afiecting so many of the city's heirs as may be subject to it. 


Suppose that women of this condition could be largely induced 
to so far break out of their confining habits as, during the 
season when the schools are closed, to frequently spend part of 
a da}^ with their children in a place secluded from all the 
ordinary conditions of the town ; a place of simple, tranquilliz- 
ing, rural scenery, taking their needle-work, and the principal 
means of a simple out-of-doors repast. Suppose that after 
work-hours the master of the family and the older daughters, 
who have been all day in a shop, should join the party, and all 
should have their supper in the open air, under a canopy of 
foliage. Suppose that once a week, during the hot weather, a 
half -holiday should be taken, to provide for which in the regu- 
lation of shops is a rapidly growing custom ; that parties of 
friends should be made up to visit and picnic together in the 
park ; what is likely to be the value in the long run of pro- 
visions adapted to encourage such practices ? The possibility 
of a general custom of this sort, and the value of it, is a ques- 
tion of how the park is laid out, how it is nursed to grow, and 
of how it is superintended, and by suitable service made con- 
venient and attractive to such use. The character and 
habits, then, of these women may with profit be a little further 

Not uncommonly those the confinement and monotony and 
clatter and petty detailed worry of whose lives it would be 
most profitable for the city to have somewhat broken up are 
modest, retiring, often shy, of timid disposition, and of nervous 
temperament, a little thing leading them to painful and wear- 
ing excitement and loss of presence of mind. 

The idea which many would thoughtlessly be satisfied to see 
realized in a public park would make it a place to which, 
coming by street-cars with a number of children, some of them 
marriageable girls, the mother's day would be one of greater 
toil, anxiety, irritation, and worry than she would have had at 

It is an important test of the value of a park that it should 
be found of such a character, so finished and provided with 
such service, that a woman under these circumstances would 


alwa}.^ find a visit to it economical, restful, tranquillizing, and 
refreshing for herself and her household. 

Such a preparation and management of a park as will make 
it tolerably satisfactory with reference to this standard will 
only make it more than tolerably satisfactory to the more 
robust and less burdened part of the population. 

But even a little greater refinement than is thus called for 
may profitably be aimed at, as will now be shown. 



A HIGHLY important part of the business of a park is that of 
arresting the progress of disease, hastening recovery, and con- 
servating the strength of the weak and the infirm of a city. 

It is a common practice with physicians to order patients 
to be sent to the country. The necessity for doing so is com- 
monly called a necessity for change of air and scene. The 
importance of the practice is indicated by the fact that the 
Massachusetts General Hospital Corporation maintains an 
establishment in the midst of rural scenery, near the Waverly 
Oaks, expressly for the purpose of hastening and confirming 
the convalescence of patients first cared for at its general city 
establishment. It is economical to do so. But it is impractica- 
ble to send the vast majority of those who in private practice 
come under the care of physicians, to be domiciled out of town ; 
nor, in the majority of cases, were it practicable, would it be 
best to remove them wholly from the comforts of home and the 
attentions of friends. 

There are two conditions on which a visit under favorable 
circumstances to a suitably equipped park may be very useful. 
One is where it is a question whether a person is going to be 
able to throw off a little depression, or must let it be the begin- 
ning of a serious illness ; the other, at a stage of convalescence 
when a brief change from the air and scene of a sick-room, a 
little easy exercise and a little variation from home diet may 


greatly hasten a return to a healthy working condition. To 
make such use of the park as is desirable in either of these 
cases, a visit to it should not be costly or troublesome or 
attended with needless worry or apprehension of rude encoun- 
ters. In several cities what is thus desirable is now in a good 
degree realized. A weary woman, broken down by watching 
and anxiety, with a weakly child recovering from the debilita- 
tion of summer complaint, may be put by friends on a street- 
car in a distant part of the city, and be taken to the gate of the 
park for five cents ; may then be assisted by a person appointed 
for the duty into a low-hung, topped carriage and be driven 
two or three miles through rural scenery at a cost of ten cents ; 
may be set down to rest and saunter at a pleasant rambling 
place with seats and drinking fountains scattered along its 
walks ; may find, near by, a house with a woman whose business 
it is to meet the common necessities of an invalid, without 
charge, and at which a glass of milk, a cup of tea, or of hot 
beef broth, or a boiled egg may be had at a cost of five cents, 
tiie wholesome quality of these things being assured. She may 
then return by the carriage and street-car, at a further cost of 
fifteen cents. The entire outlay of the day thirty-five cents. 
The city supplies the buildings and the roads and walks and 
rural scenery, and bargains with contractors for the rest, the 
contractors finding a profit on the whole transaction. 

Let not this statement pass for a romantic fancy. Just that 
thing has been done many thousand times, and year after year, 
and in several cities. Charitable societies make contracts under 
which carriages take poor invalids from and return them to their 
own doors without charge, but this is another matter. What has 
been described is no more a matter of charity than the bringing 
of water and the carrying away of garbage by the city for the 
same people. Every man whose wife or mother or daughter 
benefits by it, has the satisfaction of knowing that he is one of 
the owners of the park, and that he pays from his earnings the 
full commercial value for the service of the street-car, the car- 
riage, the gardener, the keeper, and the purveyor. 

A park on a suitable site, discreetly prepared, and arranged 


with reference to the class of considerations that have been 
suggested, will, simply through the increased savings and 
increased earning capacity of the industrial masses of a city, 
make a profitable return for its cost. Yet, in the progress of 
every large park undertaking, much public discussion occurs 
with reference to it, in which this element of value and that of 
the domestic use of it by people of small means are entirely 



That a well prepared and arranged rural park adds greatly to 
the value of real estate in its neighborhood is well known. It 
may be questioned if the gain at one point is not balanced by 
loss at another. But in all growing towns which have a rural 
park evidence appears that, on the whole, it is not. With a 
good route of approach, such as was provided by the Champs 
Elysees and the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne in Paris, Unter den 
Linden in Berlin, the Parkways in Chicago, and such as will 
be supplied by Columbia Street, Humboldt Avenue, and the 
Biverdale Parkway from Back Bay, in Boston, people who ride 
or drive do not object to a lengthened passage between their 
residences and a park. As to others, the mass, even of habitual 
users, do not use a rural park daily, but at intervals, mostly on 
holidays and Saturdays, birthdays, and other special occasions. 
How much less than is apt to be considered, in the early stages 
of a park undertaking, such use of a park is affected by its 
being at the far side of a town, has been shown in Brooklyn. 

When the rural park of Brooklyn was determined on, the 
people of a part of that city, the most remote from the site 
taken, pleading their distance from it and the difSculties of 
communication with it, were able to obtain a special exemption 
from the taxation that it would enforce. They had local advan- 
tages for recreation, and would never, it was thought, want to 


cross the town to be better provided in that respect at its 
opposite side. Nevertheless, long before the plan of the park 
had been fully carried out, the people of this very district began 
to resort to it in such numbers that two lines of street cars 
were established, and on holidays these are now found insuffi- 
cient, to meet their demand. 

There is no doubt that the health, strength, and earning cap- 
acity of these people is increased by the park ; that the value of 
life in their quarter of the town is increased; that the intrinsic 
value, as well as the market rating, of its real estate is increased. 

The larger part of the people to whom the Brooklyn Park 
has thus proved unexpectedly helpful are the very best sort of 
frugal and thrifty working-men, their wives, and their children. 

Every successful park (for there are rural parks so badly 
managed that they cannot be called successful) draws visitors 
from a distance much greater than its projectors had supposed 
that it would. It is common for people living out of New 
York, anywhere within a hundred miles, to visit its park in 
pleasure parties on all manner of festive occasions. In Paris, 
the celebration of weddings by the excursion of an invited 
party to a park and an entertainment in it, is so common with 
people of moderate means that the writer has seen ten companies 
of marriage guests in the Bois de Boulogne in a single day. 



First, the chief end of a large park is an effect on the human 
organism by an action of what it presents to view, which action, 
like that of music, is of a kind that goes back of thought, and 
cannot be fully given the form of words.* 

* " It gives an appetite, a feeling, and a love that have no need of a remoter 
charm by thought supplied." — Wordsworth, with reference to rural scenery. 
" It would be difficult to conceive a scene less dependent on any other interest 
tlian that of its own secluded and serious beauty. . . . the first utterance 
of those mighty mountain symphonies.'^ — Kuskik. 


Excellence in the elaboration and carrying out of a plan of 
work of this kind will be largely dependent on the degree in 
which those having to do with it are impressed with the im- 
portance of the intangible end of providing the refreshment of 
rural scenery, believe in it, and are sympathetic with the spirit 
of the design for attaining it. Now, it has happened that 
Mayors, Members of City Councils, Commissioners, Superin- 
tendents, Gardeners, Architects, and Engineers, having to do 
with a park work, have not only been wanting in this respect, but 
have been known to imagine that it would be pleasing to the 
public that they should hold up to ridicule any purpose in a 
park work not of a class to be popularly defined as strictly and 
definitely utilitarian and "practical," and should seek to elimi- 
nate from it all refinement of motive as childish, unbusiness- 
like, pottering, and wasteful. In the history of the park of 
New York, three gentlemen of wealth, education, and of 
eminent political position, two of them Commissioners of the 
park, have used the word landscape to define that which they 
desired should be avoided and overcome on the park. One of 
them, and a man of good social position, a patron of landscape 
arts for the walls of private houses, said in a debate in regard 
to the removal of certain trees : " The park is no place for art, 
no place for landscape effects; it is a place in which to get 
exercise, and take the air. Trees are wanted to shade the 
roads and walks, and turf is wanted because without it the 
ground would be glaring and fatiguing to the eye; nothing 
more, nothing else." He believed that in saying this he was 
expressing the public opinion of the city, and at the time it 
was not as certain as it has since come to be that he was not. 

Second, spaciousness is of the essence of a park. Franklin 
Park is to take the best part of a mile square of land out of 
the space otherwise available for the further building of the 
city of Boston. There are countless things to be desired for 
the people of a city, an important element of the cost of pro- 
viding which is ground space. It is the consequent crowded 
condition of a city that makes the sight of merely uncrowded 
ground in a park the relief and refreshment to the mind that 


it is. The first condition of a good park, therefore, is that 
from the start a limited number of leading ends shall be fixed 
upon, to serve which as well as possible will compel oprtortunity 
for serving others on the space allotted to it to he excluded. The 
desirability of opportunity for using it for some of the ends thus 
set aside will be constant, and in a great city there will always 
be not only thousands in whose minds some one of them will be 
of more distinct and realizable importance than those that have 
been provided for in the plan of the ground, and who will be 
moved to undervalue, relatively to them, that which has been 
done and been reserved for the accepted purposes ; but many 
thousands more who will fail to see that the introduction of 
appliances for promoting new purposes is going to lessen the 
value of the ground for its primary purposes. Where a strong 
and definite personal interest is taken, even by a few persons, 
in any purpose that is indirectly and furtively at issue with a 
purpose of comparatively indefinite general interest to a com- 
munity, the only permanent security for the efficient sustenance 
of the larger purpose lies in a strong conviction of its impor- 
tance pervading the community. 

Such a conviction cannot be expected to develop intuitively 
or spontaneously, at an early period of a large park undertak- 
ing, because the work will as yet be supplying little of imme- 
diate and direct pleasing interest to the public. On the con- 
trary, the earlier work on a park site is apt to destroy, for the 
time being, much of whatever rural beauty it may possess. 
Such is the first result of operations in drainage, in road- 
grading, and in tillage, for example: — such the result of all 
operations for the improvement of woodlands. Even a new 
plantation, if well designed for future beauty, is apt at first to 
make an unpleasant impression ; and, while the heavy work of 
park construction is going on, with much blasting of rocks, 
loaded carts occupying the roads and crossing the ground in all 
directions, and squads of workmen ever^avhere, the experience 
of visitors can hardly fail to be adverse to a right understand- 
insf of the aims of the work. 

In the management of a large park it is then of the first 


importance that the people to whom its managers are responsi- 
ble should be asked and aided to acquaint themselves, otherwise 
than by observation on the ground, with the general plan upon 
which it is to be formed, to understand the leading ends and 
motives of this plan, the dependence of one part upon another, 
the subordination of the minor to the major motives, and to 
take an intelligent and liberal interest, and a well-grounded 
satisfaction, in its development through growth, as well as 
through the advance of constructive operations the results of 
which are to be of value only as they are fitted to serve as 
implements by which to obtain enjoyment of the results of 


" And this the more, because it is one of the appointed conditions of the 
labor of men, that, in proportion to the time between the seed-sowing and the 
harvest is the fullness of the fruit." 

"Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use alone; let it be 
such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us think . . , that 
a time is to come when . . . men will say ' -See / this our fathers did for 
us.'" — Seven Lasips. 

Part Fifth. 




There is yet one aspect of the scheme too important to be 
left wholly unconsidered in a review of the design. As a seat of 
learning and an " Academy," Boston is yet the most metropoli- 
tan of American cities. Others are gaining at many points with 
gratifying rapidity ; but, on the whole, Boston is moving in a 
more simply evolutional and democratic way, taking ground 
less by forced marches and at isolated points in advance of her 
main line, consequently with a firmer footing. Her advantage 
in this respect is a good form of civic wealth. Any sterling 
addition to it is worth more to the reputation and commercial 
" good- will " of the city than an addition of the same cost to 
its shops, banks, hotels, street railroads, or newspapers. The 
Arboretum, with the library, cabinets, laboratory, correspon- 
dence, and records, of which it will be the nucleus, will not 
simply bring a certain excellent accession to the population of 
Boston ; it will extend her fame, and will make in a measure 
tributary to her every man on the continent who wishes to» 
pursue certain lines of study, and lines rapidly coming to be- 
known as of great economic national importance. 

The Park, if designed, formed, and conducted discreetly to 
that end, will be an important addition to the advantages pos- 
sessed by the city in the Athenaeum, in the Museum of Art, in 
the examples of art presented in some recent structures and 



their embellisliments, and in the societies and clubs through 
which students are brought into community with men of 
knowledge, broad views, and sound sentiment in art. 

To see something of its value in this respect, imagine a 
ground as near the centre of exchange of the city as the Agassiz 
Museum or the Cambridge Observatory, in which, for years, 
care has been taken to cherish broad passages of scenery, 
formed by hills, dales, rocks, woods, and humbler growths 
natural to the circumstances, without effort to obtain effects in 
the least of a " brie-d-brae" " Jappy," or in any way exotic or 
highly seasoned quality. 

What would be the value of such a piece of property as an 
adjunct of a school of art? The words of a great literary 
artist may suggest the answer : — 

" You will nev^r love art till you love what she mirrors 

If we would cultivate art we must begin by cultivating a 
love of nature, and of nature not as seen in " collections " or 
in mantel-piece and flower-garden ornaments. 

As to the value that a park may have in this respect, the use 
may be recalled that is made by the art students of Paris, with 
the doors of the Louvre always open to them, of the out-of- 
door gallery of Fontainebleau, thirty miles away. There are no 
rocks at Fontainebleau more instructive than those to be had in 
Franklin Park. The woods of Fontainebleau that have been the 
models of a thousand painted landscapes, being mostly of arti- 
ficially planted trees, grown stiffly for the timber market, and not 
for natural beauty, are no more art-educative than woods that 
may be had on Franklin Park. And though the region to which 
the name Fontainebleau is applied is so much larger, it offers 
the student no better examples of landscape distance, intricacy, 
obscurity, and mystery than may be had in Franklin Park. 

But the art aspect of the scheme cannot be fairly seen from 
the point of view of the school of the artist. The value of an 
artist in the economy of a city, is as one of many agencies for 
the exchange of services. . The artist dies when the love of art 
and of what art mirrors is dead. 


Would you have an art-loving people ? Take them to nature, 
and to nature not as it is to be enjoyed in glass cabinets, or in 
rows of specimens, or in barbered and millinered displays, or 
as wrought into mosaics, embroideries and garden ribbons. 
Let them enjoy nature, rather, with as much of the atmosphere 
of scenery and on as large a scale as the walls of your school 
will allow. 

The main difficulty of gaining such an addition to the Bos- 
ton Academy is that which lies in the momentary impatient 
misunderstanding of the public, or of those who speak for the 
public, of a policy that does not propose to make a great show 
from year to year for the public money from year to year ex- 
pended, and that does not look to making a splendid show at 
any time. 

Such misunderstanding and such impatience is not likely to 
have a permanently and gravely disturbing effect on such a 
work as that of Back Bay, where the justifying end is to be 
reached wholly by engineering skill, and into which art enters 
only as a process of dressing, but it may easily be absolutely 
disastrous where this condition is reversed, as to any success in 
its justifying purpose it must be, in the undertaking of Frank- 
lin Park.