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Charles Mulford Robinson.

The wellbeing of Waterloo : a report to the Civic Society of Waterloo, Iowa online

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University of California.



Class



THE WELLBEING OF
WATERLOO



A REPORT
TO THE CIVIC SOCIETY OF WATERLOO, IOWA



BY

CHARLES MULFORD ROBINSON



APRIL. 1910



MATT PARROTT & SONS CO.
WATERLOO, IOWA






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Contents



IXTKODXTCTION



SoiMK Shoktco.mincs 4-17

(Poles and wires, waste cans, light standards, curbs,
drinking bowls and alleys, street trees, building regula-



^ tions, side parkings, railroads, schoolyards and public

building grounds, Washington and Lincoln Squares.)



Crrv Hall Site IS

The Railroads 19

The Rivek 20

The Park System 25-34

(Cedar River Park and the river. Riverside drive, Pros-
pect Park, West Side circuit drive, Riverview drive. East
Side circuit drive. North End Park, Virden Creek, Play-
grounds, Cemeteries. )

Street Extension o5

(Some lost (ipporl luiil ics, liidcpciidciicc Axi'imc, Park
Avenue.

I'l r.r.K .MAHKi:r *...**... 3.S

. . . ^. ,.. ^., * \

Conclusion' 38



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Introduction



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In submitting this report on civic improvement possibilities
in Waterloo, I want at the very beginning to meet a criticism
which is certain to be made. It will be said that there are
recommended many things which Waterloo is nnable at this
time to do. That is perfectly true. It is a just criticism of any
city-plan report that looks ahead for a term of years, and the
report which did not do that would be of only a day's interest,
since it would fail to present a plan to work to. This does look
ahead. There is no proposal that the recommendations be, as a
whole, carried out this year or next year. Some of them must
wait a long time for realization. The officials and people will
decide what is most urgent, in Avhat undertaking delay is most
dangerous, and what the city can afford year by year to do, but
all the time there will 1k' a goal to work to.

The Report for AVaterloo looks ahead also to a greater ex-
tent than is necessary in most other places. For this there are
two reasons : The fact that the city is now developing with such
extreme rapidity ; and the fact that Waterloo is so exceptionally t i
well built. As a rule, the city planner, as he goes about a town,
making notes of the points that should be improved, is able to
jot down memoranda of a great many things that might be done I
at once. There are poor sidewalks, fences that should come out ;
there is old-fashioned curbing and a lack of street name signs —
little things, not difficult to correct, and making, by the frequency
of their recurrence, a deal of difference in the aspect of the city.
But in Waterloo one cannot make those particular criticisms.
In its residence sections Waterloo is one of the best built little
cities I have ever seen. There are almost no front fences ; the
sidewalks are almost uniformly good ; the parkings between
curb and walk are well proportioned and generally well cared for ;
admirable and modern work has been done by the city engineer's a

office, neat name signs are on the street corners, and, thanks to ^*
the Civic Society, even the billboard is less aggressive than usual.
It is a very exceptional and very pleasant experience to be able
to begin a report by paying such a tribute to a city.

But these very excellences involve obligations. In the first
place, they clear the way for other and more ambitious under-
takings, making failure to act the less excusable ; and in the
second place, they throw into the strong light of contrast the
shortcomings that do persist, making these incongruous, even
ridiculous, and inviting our scorn. i ,'

Let us take up first the shortcomings, and with them cleared {j

out of the way we shall have indeed a well built, attractive city | '

of which to make study for larger improvement plans.

X 237767 V,






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Some Shortcomings



Tlic poles for wires arc prol>al)ly tlie most conspicuous feat-
ure now detracting from the good appearance of the streets of

Waterloo. 1 append three photographs
Poles and Wires that speak pretty plainly for them-
selves. The first, which shows the street
thjit li;is l)ccii cleared of poles, is a view of AVest Fourth, the pic-
tun- Ix'ing taken from the corner of AVestern avenue.




()iK' ul llic Ilu WalLiloo stixets which has been cleared ut \iu\i





l.iKikiiitj (hnvn the left curb liere, one might well a~l
that (if a raihoad right-of-way.



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White poles that gleam against the dark background




Dark colored poles on the rear property line of an up-to-date subdivision.
I 'holograph from another city.



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Online LibraryCharles Mulford RobinsonThe wellbeing of Waterloo : a report to the Civic Society of Waterloo, Iowa → online text (page 1 of 4)