Page:Olmsted report on Portland, Oregon parks, 1903.djvu/37

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Rocky Butte is another landscape feature of considerable importance, which, if it can be obtained at a sufficiently low cost, will be profitable for the city to secure, rather with a view to its value to future generations than to people now living. It is so far from the center of population, and so comparatively inaccessible, at present, and its beauty has been so much injured by cutting and burning much of the woods upon it, that it has less value as a public recreation ground at present in comparison with the far more attractive Mount Tabor and the other sites for parks and parkways which have already been mentioned. Still, the far side is fairly well wooded and there is a romantic ravine just beyond it so that, if preserved, it will eventually make a valuable reservation of scenery.


If it can be accomplished at no distant date, with the cooperation of the land owners, it would certainly be exceedingly desirable to connect the parks and parkways east of the river by means of broad boulevards. There is so much open land between Sellwood and the Southern Pacific car shops, and from this district all the way to the south end of Mount Tabor, that there seems to he nothing to prevent the laying out of a broad and handsome boulevard on good grades connecting the proposed river bluff parkway with Mount Tabor. The value of this boulevard would depend largely upon the accomplishment of the river bluff parkway, to connect it with Grand avenue, and the bridge at Fulton would connect it with the proposed hillside parkway west of the river. Such a boulevard would be valuable, even if it were only 100 feet wide, but it would be far more valuable to adjoining land owners if it were made 200 feet or more in width, so that there might be some ornamental grounds through the center. Considering that both sides of the boulevard would offer most excellent house frontages, it is obvious that the whole cost of such a parkway ought not to be considered as a matter of luxury, so that even if it should prove a disappointment for many years to come in the way of increasing the value of land fronting upon it to a sufficient degree to equal or more than equal its excess of cost over that of an ordinary street, no serious loss would have been incurred. So far as the adjoining land owners are concerned, while their land remains vacant, the area assigned to boulevard would save them the expense of taxes upon the ground devoted to this purpose, while the cost of construction need not be incurred until it is obvious that it will be profitable to undertake it.