Inventing the Charles River by Karl Haglund

By Karl Haglund

The Charles River Basin, extending 9 miles upstream from the harbor, has been referred to as Boston's "Central Park." but few notice that this it seems that normal panorama is a wholly fabricated public area. 2 hundred years in the past the Charles used to be a tidal river, edged via 1000s of acres of salt marshes and mudflats. Inventing the Charles River describes how, earlier than the construction of the basin might start, the river first needed to be imagined as a unmarried public area. the recent esplanades alongside the river replaced the best way Bostonians perceived their urban; and the basin, with its expansive perspectives of Boston and Cambridge, grew to become an iconic snapshot of the metropolis.

The e-book makes a speciality of the precarious stability among transportation making plans and stewardship of the general public realm. lengthy ahead of the esplanades have been discovered, nice swaths of the river got over to commercial firms and transportation -- millponds, bridges, landfills, and a fancy community of street and railway bridges. In 1929, Boston's first significant road controversy erupted whilst a four-lane highway used to be proposed as a part of a brand new esplanade. At twenty-year periods, 3 riverfront highway disputes undefined, successively extra advanced and disputatious, culminating within the complaints over "Scheme Z," the massive Dig's plan for eighteen lanes of street ramps and bridges over the river. greater than 400 pictures, maps, and drawings illustrate prior and destiny visions for the Charles and record the river's position in Boston's history.

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The bridge corporation responded by raising the draw and closing the bridge. Four years later, in 1841, the legislature approved a bill offering a $25,000 settlement to the proprietors. The act also reinstated the tolls for no more than two years, to repair the bridge and to compensate the stockholders. 30 compensation for the loss of the college’s annuity during years when the state had ownership of the bridge. The legislature then had authorized the West Boston Bridge with no hint that the extension of the Charles River charter for an additional thirty years was compensation.

Port of delivery, and the Cambridge and Concord Turnpike (now Broadway) and the Middlesex Turnpike (now Hampshire Street) were authorized. A year later the population of the Port was estimated at a thousand people. S. Secretary of the Treasury as “the greatest work of the kind” in the entire country. The canal linked Boston to the Merrimack River valley and to the growing cities further north and west. 15 Like Boston, Charlestown was connected to the mainland by a narrow neck of land that separated the Mystic River (upper left) from the Charles.

From there boats continued to the mill pond at North Cove (lower right) and to the canal (now Canal Street) that emptied into Boston Harbor. S. Arsenal at the Charlestown Navy Yard was moved seven miles up the Charles to Watertown from its exposed location on Boston Harbor. One consequence was that the war department demanded that all new bridges on the river from the harbor to the arsenal be built with draws. This would become a major issue eighty years later when the West Boston Bridge was replaced.

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