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In Board of Aldermen, Dec. 20, 1869. THE Joint Special Committee appointed to consider what action should be taken by the city government to purchase and lay out a Public Park beg leave to submit the following


In order to obtain a definite and unmistakable expression of the popular feeling upon such an important subject, the committee, immediately upon their appointment, invited all persons interested, either for or against the project, to appear and state their views. Two public hearings were given, which were attended by a large number of prominent gentlemen; and a full opportunity was afforded to every individual who had anything to offer upon the subject. Naturally there were many differences of opinion in regard to location and the quantity of land required; but it was clearly shown by the views expressed before the committee, and the communications and comments in the daily press, that the people were in favor of some action on the part of the city government looking to the establishment, at an early day, of one large park, or several small parks in Boston or the immediate vicinity. Much information, and many valuable suggestions were furnished to the committee, which are presented herewith, with the recommendation that they be printed

for the future use of the government. It seems to be admitted by all, that, as the population of the city increases, the necessity of affording some additional means for healthy recreation will increase with it, and finally make it imperative. If that is the case, the duty of the government at the present time is clear. Authority should be obtained from the legislature, without delay, to take land for the purpose, and, as soon as a suitable location-one sufficiently accessible to be enjoyed by all classes of our citizens—can be fixed upon, the land should be secured. The work of laying out and improving the grounds may properly be delayed to suit the convenience of the government, or for a better condition of the finances of the city; but there can hardly be a question that the land should be secured as soon as practicable.

The committee would, therefore, recommend the passage of the accompanying order, requesting the Mayor to petition the legislature for authority to take land for the purpose of laying out one park, or several parks, in Boston or vicinity.



Ordered, That His Honor the Mayor be requested to petition the General Court, at its next session, for the passage of an act authorizing the City Council of Boston to purchase, or otherwise take, lands in Boston or vicinity, for the purpose of laying out one large park, or several small parks, for the benefit of the people.

Ordered, That one thousand copies of the report of the Committee on a Public Park, with the accompanying statements and communications, be printed for the use of the City Council, the expense to be charged to the appropriation for printing.

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Before the Committee of the City Council, in relation to a

Public Park, Friday, November 5th.

The committee met at four o'clock. The chairman, Alderman James, read the petition for the purchase of a Public Park, and the published notice of the hearing.

Hon. MARSHALL P. WILDER addressed the committee as follows:

Mr. Chairman: I have not come here prepared to make an elaborate argument, but solely to express myself in favor of one or more public parks. Having signed the petition, I felt that I was bound to come here and appear before you. I have supposed, sir, that Boston was entitled to a park, if any other city in the world was. The experience of European cities, and of our own, which already have parks, or are now engaged in laying out parks, I thought, had settled the question in relation to the necessity of a park. There are gentlemen here, I know, who have made this subject a study, and who have with them documents and statements which they will be prepared to submit, and who can give you more information than I can. It appears to me, sir, that it is only a question of time when Boston shall have a park of a size suitable to her population; and, sir, I am impressed with the opinion, the conviction, that now is the time to make that movement. I beg to say here, lest it might be thought that I am in favor of a very large park, and of a very large expenditure, that I am not. My object, sir, at this time, is to secure the lands while they may be bought at a few cents per foot, or a very low price per acre, in the room of waiting for posterity to demand a park which must and will be had at a very largely increased expense over what it can be obtained for now. I think we have evidence of that fact, or that statement, in the expense of the altering, extending, and widening of our streets. All honor to Boston for what she has done within

the past few years. It is a measure which was demanded, and it has been complied with, and I hope it may be continued. It will redound to the honor of the city, and to the welfare of its inhabitants.

Now the expense of altering, widening, and enlarging these streets is enormous; and the reason is, because the streets were not properly laid out in the first instance; and I would apply that to the remark I made, that we should now purchase these lands, which may be procured in some regions (I care not where it is gentlemen here will bear me witness that I have not a foot of land to sell in the world, and never shall sell one, and, therefore, I look upon this project with an unprejudiced eye-- I care not where it is, in Dorchester, or wherever else, although I think it should be within the limits of the city), as I have already said, at a very moderate price. The advance of art, science, and high civilization requires, as I think any gentleman who has taken cognizance of the progress of the last forty years will say, that Boston should have a park. Not only she should have a park, but she should have had the first park in our country. From Boston has emanated that wonderful interest which has spread throughout our whole country, in ornamental cultivation. My friend Mr. Emerson, who has been one of the foremost leaders in this enterprise, knows that forty years ago there were very few embellishments, very few villas, in the vicinity of Boston. That was only forty years ago, since the Horticultural Society was established, and while there were but few pleasant residences in the vicinity of Boston. Now, our whole suburbs are filled with ornamental villas, beautiful lawns and landscapes, and adorned with all the trees and plants he [Mr. Emerson] has brought to notice, which will thrive in our climate. This is the progress of the age, and it demands just what we call for now, a public park, planted with the proper trees, and set apart for re-creation; that is the proper term, and signifies the object and purpose of a park, set apart for the re

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