Page:Olmsted report on Portland, Oregon parks, 1903.djvu/4

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16
REPORT OF THE PARK BOARD

formal work of the gardener and the architect and has often much provision for games and amusements. Drives are often inadvisedly introduced into such parks. Unless there is some fine outlook to which it is desirable to lead people in carriages, as in the case of The Front, in Buffalo, or some bluff or river bank or lake or other landscape feature which cannot be viewed from carriages in adjoining streets, or unless there is a concert grove at which it is desired to provide for visitors in carriages, or unless the local park be part of a continuous chain of parks and parkways, or unless there is some other good reason, a drive is an undesirable intrusion in a local park. Such a park is worth far more for visitors on foot especially children of the neighborhood than it is for visitors in carriages who may be presumed to be better able to visit the larger suburban parks. Local parks since they are more conveniently and daily accessible by large numbers of people, must have adequately wide and numerous walks and these walks must especially provide for short-cutting since local parks are usually directly in the way of many pedestrians.

Rural or Suburban Parks. These parks are intended to afford to visitors that sort of mental refreshment and enjoyment which can only be derived from the quiet contemplation of natural scenery. There is absolutely no other recreation or amusement customarily provided for in parks which could not be satisfactorily accomplished and usually with far greater convenience to the majority of citizens in a series of small, well distributed and properly located neighborhood parks and incidentally with far greater benefits to adjoining real estate. Yet of such vital importance are large rural parks in the minds of those leading citizens who have studied the needs of municipal development of a comprehensive system of parks that we find most large cities have expended trillions of dollars to acquire them even in advance of an adequate provision of ornamental squares, health developing play grounds and neighborhood parks. To secure the extent and character of landscape adapted to adequately refresh visitors in such large numbers as must be expected to resort upon occasions to a rural park, requires with ordinary conditions of topography and situation, several hundred acres of land, necessitating the interruption of ordinary commercial traffic often to a very inconvenient degree. The fundamental purposes of a rural park requires the shutting off from the interior of the park as completely as possible, all city sights and sounds, and the resolute exclusion of museums and of many exceedingly popular means of amusement from the main landscapes of the park; it usually requires fencing and limiting the number of entrances; it requires the relegation of drives and walks and public shelters to places where they will not too seriously injure the park landscapes even at serious sacrifice of