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“God made the country, but man made the spirit, com pels them to abide in the narrow courts town," and in the making of the town, by the and alleys and hovels of a large city in the midst imperfect ways of man, there are some who must of the summer, have a greater yearning for the suffer, and always those who can least help them air and the blue sky, because of its necessity perselves. In the making of cities by the usual haps, than those more fortunate ones whose larger methods, a proper share of God's heritage—the share of earthly things gives them the privilege earth-is denied to some unfortunates, who must of seeing God's green earth at its fairest, and be contented if they will, and if not contented enjoying the fruits thereof in due season without then chafed in body and soul by the meagre taking thought of them. allowance of room and the sordid surroundings In the development of the water-fronts of the allowed them by those who order the things of cities of this country, little if any thought has this world for their own personal ends; and how been given to making these water-fronts beautiever unwise these ends may be, yet those whose ful or even in any way attractive or useful to lack of opportunity or foresight, or courage or “the people without special privileges," as a
THE ARCHITECTURAL ANNUAL
place to take the air or give their eyes a rest from concerts on the ocean piers at Atlantic City, and dull brick walls at short range.
the fondness of the masses of the people for good In the widening of Delaware Avenue, made music, as is evidenced by the attendance at the possible through a provision in the will of Stephen open-air concerts in public and private parks, Girard, an attempt has been made toward giving indicate the possibilities of the development of breathing spaces, in the summer. for those unfor. the outing-pier in ministering to some of the tunates who are compelled to live in the courts and higher needs of the people, whose lives are alleys throughout the year. The water-fronts of sordid and whose opportunity for enjoyment Chestnut and Race Streets on the Delaware River small. If music of good quality was provided were chosen for this experiment, and the utilita- every evening during the summer nights, the rian piers were provided with an upper deck, people who cannot attend the public and private part of which is under cover, for the use of the open-air concerts in the parks, on account of the people.
burden of carfare for the family, would look forIn the summer-time the decks of the piers are ward to these evenings, not only with a thought provided with benches, and on hot nights, nights of relief from physical discomfort, but with anticiwhen the air is dead, when the asphalt streets, pation of intellectual enjoyment. granite blocks, and brick walls give back the The opponents of Socialism need have nothing heat which a merciless sun had forced them to to fear from the employment of such means to absorb, these piers give mothers with restless lighten the burdens of the less fortunate class of babies stilling with the heat a chance to breathe the community-figuratively, the “hewers of and rest; and children, fretful with the crowded wood” and the “drawers of water," but rather life of the streets, a chance to forget the condi- something to be thankful for, that means can be tions that surround them, in watching the excur- found to divert their minds from the inequalities sion boats outlined with myriad lights rush by, of life and the arrogance of the privileged corpoand in trying to outline the shadowy forms of rations, who exact tribute from the rich and poor the boats at anchor near the opposite shore, alike, but which tribute falls more heavily upon with their red and green lights twinkling like the poor, because, like the "widow's mite,” it is stars from the motion of the water, and in listen- all they have. ing on certain nights to the music of the band Anything which tends to raise the standard of that inspires them momentarily or soothes their living tends toward better citizenship; therefore, souls to forgetfulness; so that when sleep finally no opportunity which can be legitimately emcomes to tired eyes it is sweeter because the eyes ployed to raise the standard of living of any have seen a larger world and the shackles of nar- part of the community should be neglected. row limitation have been temporarily shaken off. Such experiments as this, therefore, are not to be
In the design of these breathing places little regarded as favors thrown out to a certain class attempt has been made for architectural effect of people, but as a duty which the community and the utilitarian motives have dominated the owes itself, and which "enlightened selfishness," treatment. Possibly this was the wisest course as the statesmen call it, demands be fulfiled. If to pursue. The upper part of the pier being the the public school and education are proper only non-commercial feature of the structure, the functions of the community, which can be rightbusiness end of it determined the matter.
fully demanded, then facilities which increase In the Race Street Pier it was necessary to the value of living can be required with even provide for towers to dry the hose of the city greater right. fire-boats, and so even this feature of this pier is In time to come, the community will be found a purely utilitarian one.
capable of doing many more things than have The “Recreation Piers," as they are called, yet been attempted, and when this time finally have been a great success—and as a means of does come, the folly of selfishness will be so lightening the almost intolerable burdens of the apparent, that the wonder will be that any such poor in summer, due largely to the improper condition could have endured so long. design of our cities, they are worthy of great The practical altruism of Bellamy offers many praise.
suggestions for making the lives of the people The success which has attended the experi- happier and more valuable to their possessors, ment of providing these outing-piers for the and enlarging the spirit of independence upon people has been so complete that the sponsors of which the maintenance of
the maintenance of this American the suggestion should feel encouraged to extend Republic depends, which spirit is being rapidly the possibilities of the idea to still greater ends and crushed out by the encroachments of privileged provide still further opportunities for wholesome corporations whose rights exceed those of the enjoyment and relaxation. The popularity of the citizen.