Page:Olmsted report on Portland, Oregon parks, 1903.djvu/41

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drained and filled and used for manufacturing and other commercial purposes. Such apparently waste lands have come to be used in this manner in other cities, and considering that there are plenty of other opportunities for parks, and that especially in the case of steep hillsides, it will be a positive gain to the wealth of the city to take them out of the market, whereas in this case there is at least a question as to the ultimate financial benefit of so doing, it seems inadvisable to press the matter at present. In case it should be determined that it would be essential for commercial occupation to fill the area to a height that would be safe from floods, and that this amount cannot be done with any chance of profit, it may become reasonable to take this area for a park. If suitable drains or ditches at a sufficient height above the floods could be provided, by which the storm water from the country southwest of the lake could be carried independently to the river and the lake and its margins thus protected from storm water other than the rain which would fall upon them, and assuming that the railroad is, or can easily be made to be a sufficient protective levee, it would be an easy matter to fit this area for park purposes. The lake could be held at a uniform height and where the shores are ugly, as on the side towards the sawmill, and along some portions of the railroad, some filling could be done with material dredged from shallow parts of the lake, and these banks could be planted. The neck could be connected with the mainland by a bridge, and would be a most enjoyable pleasure ground. Here and elsewhere there are areas which could be very readily adapted for use as play grounds. In this respect alone, aside from the natural beauties which the lake and its borders would have, the cost of fitting this area for public use would, no doubt, be amply justified at some future time, when the population should have become more dense in its vicinity.


North of Fulton, in the southern part of the city, between the railroad and the river, is a beautiful stretch of low but undulating grassy land, well furnished with broad-spreading deciduous trees, among them the oak (which is decidedly rare elsewhere in the city) which would be a most desirable site for a local park and play ground. Most of the land is subject to be flooded at rare intervals, and a good deal of it is flooded annually; hence it is entirely unsuitable to be occupied by dwellings, and it is so far from the center of the city that it seems unnecessary for the financial interests of the city to reserve it for manufacturing or commercial purposes. If it is not taken as a park and becomes occupied gradually by cheap dwellings and small commercial enterprises, it is probable that the city will be put to enormous