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all ugliness and discomfort, endured be- tions of every visitor to the seat of our cause better is not known - nothing to oldest university. Only now has the arouse or express city pride.
consciousness of the neighborhood realized A city naturally tends to deteriorate. the necessity for neighborhood action. Do you remember your home town? A Harvard Square Business Men's AssoWhen you last visited it, were you not ciation, making Mr. Nolen its chairman oppressed by the sad changes that made and calling in the aid of the University it so unlike the pleasant place of your and the coöperation of other civic bodies, boyhood days?
has provided a plan for the redemption The explanation of the deterioration of the Square. The sketch reproduced is not hard to find. It does not lie merely on page 88, giving Prof. E. J. A. Duquesne's negatively in the thoughtless extinction idea of the reconstructed square, does not, of natural beauty as trees are cut down one may hope, show what the result will and empty spaces built up. It lies in the look like architecturally; it cannot seripositively selfish acts of hundreds of in- ously be expected that Cambridge will dividuals moved by no sense of community. turn its back on its noble “Colonial” It is cheap to crowd. The slum pays. tradition for this rhapsody of the BouleIt costs to widen streets; to plant trees vard Raispail. But Mr. Duquesne's plan, as old ones die. The railroad almost if not his architectural treatment of it, invariably captures the river bank or the does give Cambridge a centre which in lake-front. The gas company, the electric proportions, uniformity, and relatedness, power company, and the trolley company is worthy of the town and the university. are all enemies of the streets. Every In Cambridge, a fine thing like this can rival real estate dealer struggles to get still be done. The population is not more the new courthouse or the Federal building than 100,000. The like can be done in for his particular section. And there are hundreds of our cities, some of them scores of worthy citizens so eager, some for destined to grow into great centres of this particular “improvement,” some for population. New York, Boston, Philathat, that the city is always at the end of delphia, Chicago, have passed the point its debt limit, and has no money with where radical improvement is possible. which to buy land — the first necessity It is too late to rectify the criminal neglect of a largely planned city. (“If you write and ignorance that forever forbid that our an article on city-planning,” said Mr. largest cities should ever be convenient, Nolen, “don't forget to put on every page economical, or beautiful. an exhortation to American cities to buy Suppose a trisling amount of thought land — buy land when they are young, and had been given to a plan for New York buy land every chance they get. They City. Should we find to-day hundreds of can't go wrong. Tell them to buy land.”) cross streets, almost unused, and only a
The city, unawakened to its own needs dozen crowded up-and-down avenues? and possibilities, is the prey of a thousand A trisling amount of thought would have selfish interests, who are perfectly awake. shown that the long blocks should have It is only by united action and by "plan- run north and south instead of east and ning ahead” that the people of a city west, so that the great streams of travel can successfully oppose the forces of dete- and not the occasional vehicles should rioration or provide for that fuller life have had the many channels through which growth ought to mean.
which to flow. The merest touch of On pages 88 and 89 are shown three reflection on the matter would have placed pictures of Harvard Square, Cambridge, Central Park on one river bank or half as it was, is, and is to be. Fifty years of it on either river, and not where it ago the place was one of quiet beauty. would, as to-day it does, divide the city But as the town of Cambridge grew into into two separated sections, to immense a city, the village green degenerated into inconvenience and enormous expense and the wretched square that to-day affronts the confusion of the whole transit problem. with such peculiar insolence the expecta- Suppose Boston had been planned.
Would the roadway of its main thorough- sible grades and pursue their unyielding fare be only forty feet wide at its most “straight” lines up and down all sorts of important section or only twenty-six feet inclines without a thought of how traffic wide in some places? Would it be possible would naturally want to travel? It is to calculate to-day that every vehicle tra- usually much more sensible from the veling about Boston still loses two or three standpoint either of economy or of beauty hours a day? Turn that into money and to carry a road around a hill than over see what the loss is; then reflect that it. Would any intelligent plan have left Boston has spent $40,000,000 connecting the vast territory of Philadelphia without and widening her streets, with little important diagonals, without short-cuts appreciable results, and compute by how across those endless arrays of squares? many hundred millions more Boston would Had there been any notion of planning the be the richer to-day had her streets been places where we assemble to live, would traced by intelligent city-planners and not the broad surface of the United States be by the cows.
covered to-day with commonplace towns, There is a strictly financial side to all all alike in their dreariness, because all this which it is astonishing we have not laid out by the brilliant method of giving appreciated. Consider, merely as an ex- an office-boy a sheet of paper and a ruler, ample easily understood, what a mis- and named by equally clever resort to the placed fire-engine house may cost a com- alphabet and the arithmetic. “No people munity! Every inconvenience, every on earth except ourselves would any more uneconomical arrangement, making nec- dream of numbering their streets than of essary loss of time and expenditure of numbering their babies!” exclaims Mr. energy, is costly waste. When the effi- John Nolen. ciency expert takes up the case of the What is the matter with the checkeraverage American city, the crudeness, board plan — known abroad as “the extravagances, errors, neglects, with their American plan?" Nearly everything is financial consequences, roll into sums the matter with it. It isn't a plan at all; absolutely appalling.
it is the lazy neglect of a plan. How can More appalling still, purely on the that be described as a plan which considers financial side, is the waste of the wealth of nothing, observes nothing, reflects on human life and energy due to bad living nothing, takes nothing into account, aims conditions. What is the power of Niagara at nothing
nothing? There is no possible town that we should conserve it, while we let site that does not possess some natural the energy of men and women waste? characteristics or distant views to be made Boston is to-day a rich and an intelligent the most of; most have elevations and city, yet more than half of her population, depressions, not only invaluable for scenic living in the congested sections, sleep effect, but practically determinative of the every night under conditions below the location of the various quarters of the irreducible minimum agreed upon by the city and of the paths of natural travel. humane world for the most unfortun- Given a certain landscape, no matter how ate (an allowance of 400 cubic feet per little broken, an intelligent student of the person). Boston is thus crowded because subject can anticipate pretty accurately it was not planned.
in what direction the population will Suppose the city plan Sir Christopher spread, and what will be the character of W'ren made for the rebuilding of London the various sections of the resulting city. after the great fire had been followed. Here the factories would naturally locate Would the British capital have had to themselves; here naturally would the spend (as it has just done) 125 millions operatives live; this section is adapted to open two streets which give unap- to residences of the better class; here is preciable relief to its congestion?
a little stream which suggests a park strip; Would any city-planner have put a travel will be up and down this and this gridiron on San Francisco's hills, leaving general line; retail shops would be likely empty “streets" to struggle up impos- to find this point the best. The public buildings would be most conveniently Milwaukee, Madison, St. Paul, Savanplaced in this central spot
and so on. nah, Roanoke, Va., Wilmington, Del., A few such points as this determined, Montclair, N. J., Schenectady, Keokuk, the city composes itself. Streets, forming la., and San Diego. its skeleton, become natural, not artificial, Mr. Nolen's plans for most of these lines streets of different classes: some, cities extend to a complete remodelling, chief arteries of travel; some, business with special attention to the rectification, streets; some, spacious boulevards; some, so far as possible, of the street scheme; streets for residence; some, for service, the opening, widening, and connecting etc. streets following the land's con- of thoroughfares; the deflecting of streettours, or its natural features, the main car lines where advisable; the rescue of thoroughfares passing from centre to cen- streets and water-fronts from railroad or tre, residence streets retiring into quiet other invasion; the establishment of a
; sections deliberately protected from gen- civic centre; the creation of a park system; eral traffic. Thanks to the flexible course the destruction of slums and the opening of the streets, there is great variety in the of playgrounds; and the laying out in a size, shape, and position of plots of ground; scientific manner of territory on to which on this one might stand a schoolhouse; the city is expanding. on this a church; this should be dedicated It is not pretended that all or perhaps to a park, a playground, a fountain, a any of these cities will carry out all that monument. There are none of the long, Mr. Nolen plans for them; but in a numstraight, endless vistas of the rectangular ber of them his designs have been adopted
, town; in every direction the eye meets as the official plans toward which all imsomething of interest. The community, provement must proceed, and in some while it has provided for its own greatest large appropriations have been made and convenience and comfort, has also com- work begun. posed itself into a picture and saved money.
In other cities, like Chattanooga, La The rectangular town is inevitably Crosse, Sacramento, Charlotte, N. C., and inconvenient and uneconomical. It calls New London, Mr. Nolen's commission for uniform streets, whereas every street limited him specifically to parks. Other is a thing that demands a special character places for which he has made complete suited to its particular use. It wastes plans are such small communities as land, shockingly, and so, of course, in- Wayland, Stoneham, and Cohasset, Mass., creases the price of the lots from which Glen Ridge, N. J., and High Shoals, N. C. it unnecessarily steals.
It carries every
- and the opportunity of catching a town traveler the long way round. It is inex- young particularly delighted this designer pressibly dreary. It affords no interesting of cities. Results in Glen Ridge were views. It provides no sites for particular especially satisfactory; an illustration on purposes; there is no reason why any page 93, for instance, shows the neat building should be anywhere in particular. building erected by the community to The checker-board plan is, of course,
establish the village centre at the proper more a negative than a positive defect. point and to prevent the growing up of the It is a pity, though, at the best, and it has shanty-town that had already begun. At furnished the foundation for many of our Montclair, hard by, Mr. Nolen's recommost vicious city errors.
mendations not yet having been adopted,
we see the squalid stores that Glen Ridge A new spirit is abroad among the cities. has got rid of. The swiftest mention of the communities One of Mr. Nolen's most interesting to which Mr. Nolen has been called to studies has been the Wisconsin capital, survey and advise will probably surprise Madison. The natural possibilities of the those not informed of the rapidity with place were--and still remain-very great, which the
the idea of city planning has but they have been totally neglected. The recently spread. These points include city lies on and between pleasant hills Scranton, Reading, Erie, Lock Haven, and is surrounded by a chain of really
beautiful lakes. In laying out the city, hill will stand the University, its one hill-top was rightly appropriated for buildings brought into somewhat greater the State Capitol and another for the uniformity, and provided with a large University. But that was as far as fore- park stretching far along the shores on thought went. The city's best street another lake, with its botanical garden, connects the two eminences, but it is its forest, its aquarium and water-garden, contemptible in width — 66 feet - and
and arboretum, and summer engineering camp. treatment. The Capitol is put down on a Here, too, might be placed the museums lot altogether inadequate, and its surround- that a capital ought to possess for the ings are not protected, the building of a instruction of the people — a museum splendid new State House that cost art, of natural history, of ethnology, of $6,000,000 accentuating the failure to traffic, of agriculture, of commerce, of inprovide a proper setting. The lake-fronts vention; why not also a great theatre? have been surrendered to private owner- Between Capitol and University Hills ship. Within a few hundred yards of the stretches the Pennsylvania Avenue of this Capitol lie low banks as marshy as they western Washington, the present State were when Indians hunted in the reeds Street, widened and tree-bordered and - except that now they are the dumping- broken by occasional squares or circuses, ground of insanitary and unsightly refuse. giving opportunity for monuments to
But the possibility of a new Madison celebrate the great men and great moments
has sprung like a vision into the minds of Wisconsin's history. And throughout the of its citizens and of many lovers of fitness city, all that informed and skilful planning and beauty throughout the state of which can do to aid the increase of comfortable it is the capital. Nowhere else has the and architecturally pleasing homes on wellimagination of the city-planner been so shaded streets will be but another function fired as here on the hill-tops amidst the of the creators of this model city. four clear-watered lakes. Mr. Nolen has They have done one great deed at Madidrawn a city dedicated first to its function son, which makes it seem not at all imas a seat of statehood, second to its oppor- probable that they will do another. They tunities as a seat of learning, and third have created there one of the most imto the needs of a place of residence. He portant universities in the world, a unihas conceived a city of ample propor- versity with a new conception of the tions with the dome of the Capitol as its relation of learning to the state and to the focus of attention, grouped about with life of the people. They claim to have other buildings of state, approached from created a new breed of barley that has every side by liberal avenues, but par- paid the cost of that university many ticularly composed to impress the beholder times over. Mr. Nolen conceives that the who comes up a Mall, 400 feet wide, lead- university can serve the people just as truly ing from the lake-front. On the other by improving its city life as by improving its agriculture. He argues that there is it took, but it cannot be made here. The as much necessity that a state should city — it numbers 80,000 now — has establish a model city as a model farm. awakened to a social consciousness, and
You may amplify that sentence elo- it has undertaken, among other things, quently, but you cannot increase its force. to make itself over physically. It has
The citizens of Madison have risen called in Mr. Nolen and listened in delight splendidly in response to the ideal pre- as he has shown it what could be done. sented them; they have done what they By ordinance the city has created a Plan
; could to advance it, but, of course, full ning Board; a man worth a story by himrealization depends upon the legislature, self, Mr. Charles P. Steinmetz, is its chairfrom which great things are hoped. man. In coöperation with the state offi
A sharply contrasting instance of the cials, who are spending 100 million dollars community in quest of better civic life on a barge canal, constructing at Schenecis afforded by Schenectady, a town of tady one of its great terminals, far-reaching
, altogether another type, with an alto- steps for the redemption of the neglected
HARVARD SQUARE AS IT MIGHT BE PROF. E. J. A. DUQUESNE'S IDEALIZATION OF THE HISTORIC BUSINESS SECTION OF CAMBRIDGE, MASS., SHOWING WHAT CAN BE DONE BY A UNIFIED SCHEME OF ARCHITECTURAL TREATMENT TO IMPROVE AN UGLY TOWN CENTRE
gether different vision - in its case the areas near the water have been taken, and simple dream of a shabby, overgrown town the plans for the opening of needed streets, to make itself into a minor city in which the development of a park and playground life, especially for workers of small means, system, of school grounds, and the general shall be worth the living. Schenectady integration of the community are being was once quaint, in a crowded Dutch prepared by Mr. Nolen. way, on its canal and its river; now it is A first step was the reclamation of one merely uncomfortable and distressing, of the ravines, a place of natural beauty in parts squalid, the result of its swift and degenerated into a slum. Eight hundred unplanned growth as a centre of industry. thousand dollars were needed to reclaim A study of its life and its interesting Cotton Factory Hollow, and a two-thirds population would well pay for the space vote of the City Council was necessary to