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wood Scrubbs; to the west, Clapham, Wandsworth, Wimbledon, Putney, Barnes, Tooting; to the south, Mitcham, Streatham, Blackheath, Peckham, Bostall, and Plumstead, and at a greater distance, Chislehurst and the breezy downs of Epsom and Banstead. Altogether, without counting Epping Forest and the parks, Royal or other, we have, within twelve iniles of the centre of London, 60 commons, averaging 130 acres each, and 120 smaller open spaces, whether remnants of commons or quondam village greens, now swallowed up by the great city, averaging 10 acres each. To these open spaces, enjoyed freely by the public, there have been added of late years a great number of yet smaller spaces, disused burial grounds, now laid out as public gardens where people can sit and enjoy the air and sun, all the more valuable because they are generally situate in the more densely populated districts. There are also very numerous squares and gardens of a semi-private character, which are under such conditions of tenure that they can never be built over, but where the public have no right of access, and the enjoyment of which is limited to a privileged few. It is probable that we shall see before long most of these thrown open to the public, when a different opinion prevails as to the expediency of such selfish reservations for the few, for which there is no parallel in any other country.

Apart from these last, the open spaces are so numerous and of such an extent that few people can ever have seen all of them, and but for the fact that London in its wider sense, with a radius of twenty miles and a population of five millions, is a kingdom of itself, increasing yearly at a rate equal to a big city of one hundred and thirty thousand inhabitants, we should think it must be adequately supplied in this respect.

If, however, we had the laying-out afresh of London, we should certainly not be satisfied with these public parks and zones of commons in the suburbs, but we should insist upon many more small open spaces in the centres of population, and especially in the east of London, near to the homes of the poor, where the people might breathe fresh air, and which would act as lungs to the surrounding districts. It is, however, hopeless to expect that any land once built on can ever again be cleared of its buildings and made available to the public for recreation. The cost of such an operation precludes its possibility. The best that can be hoped for in these districts is that broad avenues and boulevards may be made through them which will have the effect of open spaces in the sense at least of bringing light and fresh air to the population. Nothing, it is certain, would do more to create a sense of the unity of Londoni, to bind its parts together, to ennoble and beautify it, and to add to its healthiness than to lay out a great scheme of a number of such broad boulevards, diverging from central London in all directions, leading direct into the country, and giving easy access to the commons already referred to, many of which are now difficult of access. The scheme should also provide for cross boulevards at certain distances, connecting different parts of London and joining together the main arteries leading outwards. If a great fire were to consume London, as was the case two centuries ago, affording the opportunity of laying it out with some unity of design, we should certainly not lose the chance, such as was then afforded, when Sir Christopher Wren suggested a number of broad streets, emanating from a central point: a scheme which, unfortunately, was then rejected by the authorities.

As it is, London has grown up in a kind of chaotic manner, without any unity of design, and at the chance discretion of any persons who were fortunate enough to own land, as it came into demand at successive periods for building operations. Sometimes a great landowner laid out a quarter in a manner to tempt a better class of residents by squares, gardens, or retired streets, often cut off from through traffic by gates and bars; but even in these cases London as a whole has not been thought of, and no main arteries have been provided for. In other and more frequent cases of small landowners the only design of builders has been to crowd upon the land as many streets and houses as possible, regardless of anything around them, and without open spaces or wide approaches. A careful examination of the map of London will show how absolutely wanting in any kind of plan has been its growth, and how little the convenience and wants of the whole population or other considerations of dignity and beauty have been consulted.

To rectify this, to connect London with its different parts, to drive through its densely populated districts great arterics, so as to give unity to the whole and at the same time to bring light and air and the charm and beauty of avenues of trees within the reach of all, would be a task worthy of the present generation, and, though difficult, not, I venture to think, impossible.

There are considerations which point to this being an easier task in London than in other great cities. In proportion to its population London covers a far larger area than any other city in Europe. Outside a limited area in its centre, the houses are generally low in height, and they have back yards or gardens of some extent. Many of them have also small strips of garden between them and the roadway. Everything also points to the probability that in the London of the future houses will be erected of much greater height, in order to economise space. By the use of lifts, houses of eight to ten, or even twelve, storeys are as convenient to their occupants, and have many advantages; for the higher the storey the better the air and the wider the view. These lofty houses, if erected with any regard to proportion, add much to the architectural features of the district. This may

be illustrated by two immense buildings recently erected, the one a pile of residential chambers at Albert Gate, facing Hyde Park, of eleven storeys in height; the other, Whitehall Chambers, facing the Thames Embankment, also of very great height. Both these buildings, from their general proportions, great size, and their picturesque and varied sky lines, are exceedingly effective, and are ornaments to the Metropolis.* There must be a great economy of ground space in buildings of this height. It will, however, be impossible to allow such buildings to be erected in streets of the average London width, and for the purpose of their erection it will be necessary that many of our streets should be greatly widened.

Something has been done of late years to open out new streets, as in the case of Shaftesbury Avenue and Queen Victoria Street, and, at a somewhat earlier date, Victoria Street, Westminster, and Cannon Street. But none of these are of sufficient width to enable the erection of very lofty houses or to justify their being treated as

*As a contrast to these there is the monstrous erection at Queen Anne's Gate, Westminster, of fourteen or fifteen storeys, of hideous proportion, and without a redeeming feature ; it is an intolerable eyesore to the whole district.

boulevards or planted with trees. Shaftesbury Avenue is especially disappointing, for, in proportion to the size of the houses erected there and to the traffic attracted to it, it seems already to be inconweniently narrow. What a pity that the opportunity was lost of making a really broad and handsome artery for London !

For an effective boulevard in the sense I refer to, the width between the houses should be not less than 12oft., and better still, 1 50ft. With a roadway of 5oft. there would be room for footways of from 35ft. to 5oft. on either side, where a double row of trees could be planted. The streets in London of this width are not more than two or three. Whitehall, for a short distance, from the Admiralty to Parliament Street, has a width of 140ft. to 16oft., and when Parliament Street is widened, by the removal of the block of houses between it and King Street, the approach from Charing Cross to the Houses of Parliament will be a truly noble one, all the more beautiful from its not being a straight linc. It might be planted in the manner referred to. The Thames Embankment is in many respects an admirable boulevard, but it gives the impression of narrowness and want of space. It was unduly contracted in deference to the private interests of the late Duke of Buccleuch and other private owners of houses along it, who claimed part of the land recovered from the river as gardens, a claim which was most unwisely conceded. Whitechapel Road is almost the only other street in London of sufficient width to be treated as a boulevard.

As regards possibilities in the future, attention has recently been directed to the case of the street which, under the different names of Cambridge Terrace, Marylebone Road, Euston Road, and the City Road, runs from Paddington to the City, a distance of nearly four miles. This road was laid out by a special Act of Parliament in the year 1756, across open fields, with the provision that no houses were to be erected within 5oft. of the highway on either side of it. The actual roadway and footways were no more than 50ft. in width, and between these and the houses there are long narrow strips of gardens or courts. Throughout the greater part of its length this road remains in the condition in which it was originally laid out, and it forms a lung of much importance to London, for the great distance between the houses enables the circulation of fresh air. When the Metro

politan Board of Works was constituted, and an endeavour made to introduce order and uniformity into the management of London, the rule laid down by the Act of 1756 was applied generally, and though the Local Act was repealed, it was in the power of the Board, under the 25th and 26th Vic., cap. 102, to prevent the alignment of the houses, brought forward from end to end of this road. Unfortunately, the late Metropolitan Board, with inexcusable negligence and disregard of the interest of the public, consented to the owners of the houses, at various points, bringing forward their frontages up to the road and building upon the strips of gardens, in some cases a lower storey only, in others to the full height of their houses.

This will certainly not be permitted in the future by the London Council, and, fortunately, by far the greater length of this. road has not been spoiled in this manner. It will be possible, therefore, by appropriating the strips of gardens on either side of the road, to lay out a splendid boulevard. A scheme to effect this has been worked out by a committee formed, at the suggestion of Mr. Robert Hunter, out of members of the Commons Preservation Society, the Kyrle Society, and the Metropolitan Playgrounds Society. The roadway, it is proposed, should consist of 6oft., and on either side of it and between the houses it is proposed that broad footways of 45ft. should be laid out with double rows of trees, the whole forming a splendid boulevard such as hardly exists in any city in Europe.

It believed that the lessees of the houses on either side will welcome this treatment and will cheerfully surrender their gardens for the purpose of making this boulevard, in consideration of the great increase to the value of their houses for business purposes, which will arise from bringing the public footway close up to them. The narrow strips of gardens are now quite useless for enjoyment, and are only the cause of expense. The freeholders will equally find it their advantage to assent to the scheme in consideration of the increased value of their reversionary interests. It is possible that there may be some few objectors; if so, it may become necessary to apply to Parliament for compulsory powers, and it will be contended, on the principle of betterment, that the compensation for the land taken for the scheme should be reduced to zero

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