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A. Guesthose daily readers, oftene about
aber of pet amtal-school or to me to
for the sake of revenue, but that I might, who comes here always finds the children in straightforward editorials, let the public in the halls, on the stairs, everywhere -know just what we were doing and what getting all the joy that life offers them. our ideals were. The best writers in town I know the institutions through and contributed to our pages. Mr. Edgar through, and I know at what a sacrifice of A. Guest, the poet of the Detroit Free children's happiness the great shining Press, whose daily column is a favorite halls and formal, undisturbed order of the with thousands of readers, often writes rooms are achieved. I remember with a for the magazine a bit of verse about shudder seeing the toys taken from a very children. Now the magazine has a cir- sick child because visitors were expected culation of more than 5,000 and is a finan- and the battered playthings looked mussy cial help directly and indirectly. My on the spotless bed. Nor did they bother “Story of the Children's Ward,” largely to return the toys when the fastidious visiautobiographical, also helped out, for it tors were gone. And it doesn't soften was published in book form and sold pretty the ugliness of this picture to remember well. But, although I worked joyously that the child died a few days afterward. and eagerly for my great cause, I am a That was an institution famed and praised cripple and weak, and the strain was for the perfect clockwork system by which terrible. But it was a joy to me to see it was run. But red tape and system are that the hospital-school was becoming a a monster into whose maw many a little sort of pet among those who knew most child's happiness is fed. about it. Especially the younger people I have been criticised because I will enjoyed helping me. The members of the not investigate the circumstances under Delta Alpha Delta sorority of the most which children come to me. I never will. fashionable girls' school in town started I don't believe in it. What do I care if a the practice of doing something “extra” child has a father who drinks or gambles? for the children every week.
A mother who is shiftless or worthless? One young woman who is wonderfully All the more reason that I should help skilful with her needle is teaching Zella him; all the more reason that I should not to use her magic fingers to make exquisite keep him waiting in an environment that embroideries. Zella will never be able is destructive to him while I waste preto leave her rolling chair — but she is cious time and precious money in investino longer wretched about that, because gation which leads nowhere. Why need she knows the dignity and happiness of I know more when I know that the child being really useful.
needs help and a chance? Another girl is teaching music to little My one thought, my one aim, my one Tootsie, who has a plaintive voice and a hope, is that children shall be given a talent for mimicry. I truly believe that chance for happiness, for usefulness, for in a few years' time she will be able to self-expression. For centuries the world support herself as an entertainer, after has looked upon cripples as deadwood. the manner of Kitty Cheatham.
It has regarded them as essentially useOne of the things upon which we spend less, a burden on society. That is wrong, most time and thought is trying to dis- untrue. Cripples are often full of lofty cover the least inkling of a talent or a ambitions for service, and not only are particular liking for some special kind of they ambitious but variously gifted in work in our little cripples. It all works ways that lie outside the beaten paths. out with a success that I cannot describe Cultivate their gifts, give their ambitions or explain. I have been criticised be- to be useful a spur, and you have, instead cause I repudiate routine. Well, I admit of wretched idleness, joyous productivefrankly that I loathe with all my heart and ness. This is the beginning and the end soul the red tape and institutionalism of my ideal for cripples. I believe that which cramp the individual and nip the if once I could make the world understand child's exuberant happiness in the bud. what I know, there would no longer be a I have been criticised because the visitor problem to solve.
THE COMING CITY
THE REMARKABLE WORK OF MR. JOHN NOLEN TO MAKE MORE THAN TWENTY
SERVE AND PLEASE THEIR CITIZENS
JOHN S. GREGORY N SPITE of our bewailing it, the " Nolen, a landscape architect, with a social growth of the cities goes on. You conscience and — vision. A patient man. preach the advantages of country A positive man — but modest, so modest life, but the people of the country that thousands who have learned his
continue flocking to town. Isn't it thoughts have never heard of him — as clear that, babble o' green fields as we yet. A man who has once or twice demonwill, we have got to admit that men strated that one can very deliberately are going to live in town? Isn't it pos- make his own life what he will, and is sible that we are mistaken about it – now demonstrating in a score of states mistaken in thinking that city life is . that a city can deliberately make itself necessarily noisy and crowded and bereft what it will. of green freshness — mistaken in thinking Twelve years ago Mr. Nolen was the that we must flee to the country really to secretary of what called itself the American live? Isn't it, really, a faint-hearted, Society for the Extension of University cowardly act to abandon the city, shirk Teaching, an organization of seriousits problems, and yield it over to the dingy, minded people of Philadelphia, with a jostling, jangling conditions that prevail high purpose, which never quite realized there — that our own neglect has per- itself. Mr. Nolen was living comfortably mitted to prevail there?
on his moderate salary; he had married “Besides, what right have we to come him a wife, built him a house, and begotten to the city to make money and then hurry a son. It may have been in sticking in to the country to spend it? Many are shrubbery about his house, or somehow obliged to live in town. They cannot or other, that he saw the possibility of a desert the dreary scene. Isn't it ignoble career in landscape gardening. He sold of any of us to do so?”
the house, carried his wife and baby to The speaker (let us follow the excellent Cambridge, the three of them covenanting fashion of the old-fashioned novel) — the to live as economically as possible till the speaker was Mr. John Nolen.
head of the family, with his last penny The “City Beautiful” idea is not a new spent, should have learned all that Fredone, even in America. It had a delightful erick Law Olmsted could teach him about vogue a dozen years ago. But it has been landscape gardening. scarcely half that long since that there T he covenant was kept so faithfully, came the very practical realization that the proceeds of the sale of the house were convenience, comfort, and economy in husbanded so carefully, that after the city life — the life that men and women landscape course there was a year in apparently prefer and resolve to live — Germany, partly at the University of is worth planning for. And while that Munich, partly on travels afoot in many more substantial idea has spread fast and German cities. far and won many disciples, it has had Mr. Nolen prospered as a landscape one chief apostle - Mr. John Nolen; John artist. He "did" his share of estates
and suburban land enterprises, and he the country cannot have: theatres, public got out a delightful book, founded on music, museums, well-supplied markets, Repton. But there was an idea working noble parks, perfect pavements and roads, in his head all the while, an idea that no swift and easy and inexpensive transit. doubt had begun to germinate in Germany. The Germans have done no one thing It was that of the possibility of pleasant for which humanity ought to be more cities instead of dreadful ones. Little grateful than this: they have demonby little he worked up a practice among strated that the city is not necessarily park commissioners and such-like city ugly. “Ah!” is a rejoinder sometimes clients. And wherever Mr. Nolen was made, “German cities are old; in America engaged to advise a commission about a our cities have grown so fast." The park or a school-ground, that commission truth is, German cities have grown as found itself with a full-grown scheme for a fast as ours. Berlin is as new as Chicago. transformed city on its hands. You see, the Take Düsseldorf: in 1870 it had 70,000 park called for approaches, and that meant people; to-day it has 300,000. It has extension of streets — why not new streets, grown as fast as Pittsburgh, and it is, and why not, while we are about it, industrially, the Pittsburgh of Europe. rationalize the city's whole street plan? Physically, it is one of the loveliest towns
I hope I suggest nothing that would in which men and women have ever offend the ethics of the landscape archi- gathered to live. Though without the tects' profession, for Mr. Nolen is the splendid and natural scenery that Pittssoul of conscience, with a soberness and burgh has so sadly misused, built on a dread of exaggeration as notable as that flat plain with a yellow river flowing past of the worthy John Woolman himself, it, Düsseldorf, while it was gathering to and I am sure he took the utmost pains itself furnaces, foundries, boiler-works, never to transcend his instructions or and machine factories, managed at the powers — in so far as his sense of what same time to create a city of leaf and would be good for the city in question fountain, with noble houses and ample allowed him. But the facts stand out spaces for play, and every a pleasing that to-day this editor of Repton and prospect. Look at the photographs shown graduate in landscape describes himself on pages 96 and 97—views taken almost on his stationery as John Nolen, City at random, and faithfully representing the Planner, and that he has worked out general atmosphere of the whole city of specifications for the remaking of a Düsseldorf, and ask yourself why Pittsscore or more American cities.
burgh is not like that. In no other country, except perhaps in The answer is, Mr. Nolen would tell England, do people look upon cities as you, because American cities are not places to escape from as soon as possible. planned. The founders of a town draw They don't do that in Germany, nor in a checkerboard on the soil — totally irreother countries of Continental Europe, spective of the natural features of the nor in South America. When one visits place, and the real estate gentlemen who Germany, no matter what the season, he lay out successive “additions” draw more doesn't visit the country; he visits the checkerboards, and presently a city finds cities. For the Germans have learned itself sprawling along a characterless how to make the cities beautiful, com extension of blocks; with a few streets fortable, and pleasurable, as well as highly crowded by impossible traffic and a great successful centres for trade and commerce. many more empty except for an occasional They have built cities in which they have cart; with no parks or playgrounds and abolished crowding and noise and discom no longer a possibility of them except at fort, retained the freshness of trees and gigantic expense; the river banks in the flowing waters, made outdoor life possible, hands of the railroads which, like as not, while at the same time they have multi- have a right of way through the heart of plied the particular exclusive advantages of the city; the railroad stations badly the city - the social institutions which placed, the public buildings scattered –
that to him. But the city ine of what
vard saufor neighbori
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 trifling 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 trifling 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.
inclines withouts up and down all sorts ng
e places? Would it he six feet
john hat is the know Hearly
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? 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 Wren 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