Expert Views Park Work

by Laurel | August 28th, 2009

August 28, 1908
Well Pleased With Progress.
Park Commissioners Are Planning To Develop Jones Tract at Once — Other Park Projects.

Frederick L. Olmstead, Jr.

Frederick L. Olmstead, Jr.

Frederick L. Olmstead, Jr., the landscape architect, visited Holyoke yesterday as a guest of the park commissioners and was taken to view the work already accomplished on the various city parks. Elmwood park was first visited where may improvements had been made since the last visit of Mr. Olmstead, and he was pleased with the appearance of the work accomplished. Riverside park was next visited and Mr. Olmstead made several suggestions regarding improvements to be brought into effect. In the afternoon the newly-acquired land at Jones’s point was seen and sketches were taken and later Mr. Olmstead will forward plans for permanent improvements at this point. The expert was pleased with the progress of the work and in the acquiring of the property at Joes point he was especially pleased, believing that the section from Prospect park along the river which will undoubtedly be eventually acquired by the city from the Holyoke waterpower company and the Boston and Maine railroad to be an ideal place for the laying out of playgrounds and a beautiful park.

The park commissioners will probably this fall remove the underbrush from the Jones tract and may lay out a ball field, and it is planned later to provide a place for swimming and boating on the river. At the Elmwood park this fall the ravine will be planed. Mr. Olmstead ordering the plants required will come to the city and supervise the work. The park commissioners are taking the right method in the work being done and the supervision of Mr. Olmstead is worth far more to the city than the price paid. By doing the work planned themselves, the board is saving a large amount of money and when the work is carried to a certain point the suggestions of the expert become invaluable. While the work on the several parks progresses slowly, yet in this was the expense comparatively small and eventually Holyoke will have one of the finest park systems in Western Massachusetts. At Riverside park the work has progressed and the park is being largely used this year. Elmwood park is perhaps the most beautiful park which the city owns and even now a trip to that point will repay the visitor. Mr. Olmstead returned to Boston late yesterday afternoon and will forward other plans and suggestions soon.

From The Springfield Republican.

[Note: Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. (July 24, 1870 – December 25, 1957) was the son of Frederick Law Olmstead, the father of American landscape design. Olmstead senior was the designer of Central Park in New York City and Prospect Park in Brooklyn — (I formerly lived within a five minute walk of both Central and Prospect Parks and enjoyed may hours of wonderful Park time over the years). In 1908, the date of this article, Olmstead would have been about 38 years old, his father having died just five years earlier in August, 1903. Personally, I am both fascinated and impressed that Olmstead had such a well-recognized important role as adviser to the early development of Holyoke’s parks.]

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