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The Park for Detroit

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Pages: 48

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Frederick Law Olmsted

Excerpt from book: Necessity to Economy of Concentrating Early Outlays on a Few Popular Measures, to /Success in which, at Moderate Cost, the Conditions of the Site are Specially Favorable. In determining the character and settling the primary plans for a park for Detroit, it is much less necessary to ask what the city can afford to pay as the first cost of the improvements proposed than what it can and will be willing to pay in the way of subsequent constant housekeeping expenses, and for annual repairs. At the rate per acre of the cost of maintenance of the Buffalo park (independently of outlays for construction raised by loans), the annual tax for keeping up a park of the size of Belle Isle would be twenty thousand dollars a year: at the rate for the New-York park, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year: at the rate for the Common and Public Garden of Boston, five hundred thousand dollars. It is significant, that, where the expenditure is largest, there is plainly the least success in what is attempted. Great complaint has been made through the press of Boston, this last summer, of the dilapidated, shabby, ill-kept, and misused condition of the Common : and the superintendent has published long statements to show that the means allowed him are quite inadequate to supply what is called for. It has been much the same in New York. It is evident in both cases, as it is in many others, that a character of park is attempted to be assumed that the tax-payers will not allow to be creditably maintained. Economical management is constantly baffled between the cross currents of popular demand. The result is too much of shabby gentility. If now, any still suppose that Detroit has but to follow a well-marked trail, only at a slower pace than has been customary with those who have gone be...  

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