Page:Olmsted report on Portland, Oregon parks, 1903.djvu/7

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19
REPORT OF THE PARK BOARD

and slim and only partially screening out surrounding houses. Only of late years has a bicycle track and speedway been introduced into one, a bathing establishment and an athletic ground in another. In New York and Boston and Rochester, and many cities largely, perhaps, owing to the topographical differences the parks are strongly individualized.

8—Parks Should Be Connected and Approached by Boulevards and Parkways.

A connected system of parks and parkways is manifestly far more complete and useful than a series of isolated parks. Delaware Park, in Buffalo, is an example of a park with handsome boulevards forming approaches from the city and connecting it with Humboldt Park in one direction, Gates Circle in another, and Delaware Avenue and The Front in another. Washington Park, Chicago, also has its two imposing approaches in Drexel Boulevard and Grand Boulevard and its boulevard connection with Jackson Park and the West Side Parks. The broad avenues of Washington are admirable examples of boulevards because the houses are kept back from the sidewalks by turf strips upon which houses cannot he built, although porches, bay windows, and other projections are very properly permitted, and also because they have ornamental circles and squares at turning points and often begin or end at important public buildings.

9—Parks and Parkways Should Be Located and Improved to Take Advantage of Beautiful Natural Scenery and to Secure Sanitary Conditions.

Only recently has it begun to be realized what enormous advantages are gained by locating parks and parkways so as to take advantage of beautiful natural scenery. The most expensive large parks, Central Park and Prospect Park, were located without taking advantage of the magnificent natural landscapes of the rivers and bays which distinguish New York and Brooklyn. There are many similar cases. Formerly people built with the backs of their houses upon the rivers and lakes, thus not only excluding the public from continuous access to them but ruining their beauty. Where land along the banks of rivers or along the shores of a lake can, in a city, be fairly well spared from commercial uses, public squares, parks and parkways should be located upon them. Extremely steep and rough hills and bluffs have been occupied for dwellings and other buildings as at Pittsburg, San Francisco, and many other cities, that should have been taken for picturesque recreation grounds, with drives above, commanding magnificent views, as at Riverside and Morningside Parks in New York.