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tis House," now used as a carriage factory; that it should be built on the northerly side of the present Mill-dam road, and should follow the shore of Charles River to a point a little beyond the Cambridge and Brookline bridge. This part of the route furnishes an opportunity for laying out a splendid foot promenade on the water side of the road. This promenade should be bordered with grass and shaded by trees, it should be furnished liberally with seats, on which those who walked might rest and refresh themselves with the breezes from the river, and there should be at intervals steps leading down to the water, to enable those who might desire a sail or a row to reach the boats which would be kept there on hire for those purposes. Horse cars running down Marlborough street to a point on a line with the beginning of the proposed road, and thence over the present Mill-dam road and over the branch of that road which leads towards Brighton would furnish to all easy access to every part of the proposed promenade.
On the northerly side of the branch of the Mill-dam road which leads toward Brighton there is, just beyond the crossing of the Boston and Albany Railroad, an estate of some sixty acres, which belongs, I believe, to the heirs of the late Eben Francis. This estate extends from the road to the river, and terminates near the river's edge in a high bluff, from which a charming view of the river and of the cities of Cambridge and Boston can be obtained. The whole of this estate, which at present is unimproved, I propose should be taken and laid out as ornamental grounds in connection with the proposed road, which would pass through it. This estate is one of the finest unimproved sites in the immediate vicinity of Boston, as any person can readily see who will take the trouble to walk upon it to a little distance from the road, and is close to a station of the Boston and Albany Railroad.
The proposed driveway, after leaving the parcel of land just
described, should cross the portion of the road to Brighton known as the "Mile Ground," about an eighth of a mile beyond the street recently laid out, called "Babcock street," at a point where the land on the southerly side of the Brighton road is unimproved. From this point the proposed road would immediately enter upon a very wild, woody, and uneven piece of land, which at very little expense could be converted into one of the most picturesque spots imaginable. Leaving this, the road would pass up over the northern slope of Corey's Hill, and thence on in a nearly direct course through a high country, mostly covered with woods, to the new gateway at the entrance to the road around the Chestnut Hill reservoir. In some parts of this route the land taken need not exceed one or two hundred feet in width; in other parts, where the nature of the land rendered it desirable, a much greater width, to the extent of a quarter or even half a mile, should be taken.
From the point where the proposed road crosses the ridge of Corey's Hill a branch road should be built to and around the summit of that hill. The ascent of the hill on its northern side is very easy, the proposed branch would not encroach upon any improved land, and it would open to the public an easy means of access to the finest view of Boston and the neighboring cities and towns, of the harbor, and of the country for miles around, that is to be obtained in this vicinity, a view upon the beauties of which it is useless to enlarge, but which must be seen to be appreciated.
Another branch of the main road might, if deemed desirable, cross Charles River just east of the Cambridge and Brookline bridge, and follow the opposite shore of the river in an easterly direction as far as Main street, affording an access to the main park for the people of Cambridge and of the cities and towns beyond, furnishing a promenade on that side of the river, and
securing a portion of that shore also from the encroachments of trade, from unsightly factories and lumber and coal wharves.
A continuation of the park might also be laid out from Chestnut Hill through a wild and unimproved country to the Bussey Farm, or even still further in the direction of Dorchester, thus giving to the inhabitants of that portion of the city a direct communication with the main portion of the park, and something more desirable than an isolated park in their own vicinity, accessible to them, but not likely to be much resorted to by other people.
A bridle path for equestrians should accompany the main road, sometimes running closely at its side, at other times straying from it and winding among the trees and the hills, where the nature of the ground and the greater width of the land taken permitted it.
It is evident that the proposed park differs greatly from all hitherto suggested. The attempt hitherto has been to find some compact piece of territory in which, as in the Central Park of New York, a drive of considerable length might be made to wind so ingeniously that those who passed over it should not be made unpleasantly aware of the fact that they were riding round and round within narrow and confined limits. The drive in the park now proposed for Boston would lead from a point only a mile and a half from City Hall directly out into the country; and the ornamental grounds of the park would be strung along on both sides of this driveway, adapting themselves to the neighboring country, and being of greater or less width, according to the nature of the ground, its cheapness, or its fitness for ornamental purposes. Any compact piece of land in the immediate vicinity of Boston must necessarily include within its limits many valuable private estates. The park now proposed would, by its winding course, avoid all such estates, and would take scarcely anything but wild and unimproved lands.
So much for the general character of the plan which I wish to propose. Let me now draw attention to some of the points in which I claim that this plan is superior to all hitherto offered.
1st. This driveway and promenade would be centrally situated with reference to the whole thickly populated area of which the old city of Boston is the nucleus. A park at Dorchester would be at one extreme of this area, one at Spot Pond would be at another extreme. A glance at the map will show the one here proposed to be in fact central. It would not indeed lie within the present limits of the city of Boston, but this seems not to be a serious objection. The expense of the proposed driveway, etc., should not be borne by Boston alone. The work should be done under commissioners appointed by the State, and the expense apportioned fairly, according to the benefit received, among the neighboring cities and towus, Boston, of course, contributing the principal share. Perhaps a portion of the expense might be met by a betterment assessed upon the lands in the immediate vicinity of the park.
2d. This plan utilizes three things already existing, each of which is peculiarly adapted to form a valuable element in a public park, namely, Corey's Hill, the Chestnut Hill reservoir and driveway, and the portion of Charles River known as the “Back Bay." Corey's Hill, as most persons know, affords one of the finest and most extensive views in this part of the country. The proposed road would open to the general public this view, which they cannot now enjoy except by trespassing upon private grounds. The Chestnut Hill reservoir and driveway has already become a favorite place of resort, and its natural and artificial beauties would certainly add greatly to the charms of any park of which it should become a part. In the Back Bay we have, furnished by nature without cost, a body of water large enough to cool the breezes that blow across it, and affording plenty of room for those who would row or sail. If the plan
here proposed were carried out, the shores of this body of water improved, and facilities furnished to the public for rowing and sailing, I believe the whole bay on a pleasant afternoon would be dotted all over with boats of every kind, thus adding greatly to its beauty and to the attractiveness of the driveway and promenade upon its margin. And in this connection it may be suggested that it might be possible, by building across the river, say at Craigie's bridge, a dam to a height of two or three feet above low water mark, to prevent the water from running out of the Back Bay to the extent to which it now does, to keep the flats continually covered. Such a dam should be provided with gates at the channel, to be kept open for the passage of vessels when the water should be higher than the top of the dam; at low water vessels do not attempt to pass up and down the river, and the gates might then be closed without injury to any
3d. This plan meets the wants of both the rich and the poor, of those who ride, and of those who walk. And it is very important that any public pleasure ground should satisfy the wants of both these classes. To say nothing of other reasons, it adds to the pleasure of those who ride, to be surrounded by wandering crowds of pleasure-seekers on foot. It increases the enjoyment of those who walk, to watch the elegant equipages of those who ride.
4th. This plan could at the present time be carried out at a comparatively small expense. The country through which it is proposed that the road shall be carried is almost wholly unimproved. One can hardly believe, unless he has actually gone over it in person, as I have done within a few days, that so unimproved and yet so picturesque and desirable a route for a new road could be found so near to Boston. All that need be done at first is, that the requisite land should be taken and paid for, that about four miles of road should be built, and the