river and its broad estuary set in, out of which is fast coming the fulfillment of its destiny as the most beautiful water-park in America
The general discussion of Charles River
questions led to the creation of a special commission (1891) charged with inquiring into and reporting upon the proper treatment for the public weal of the historic stream.
This was followed by the recommendations of the Metropolitan Park Commission, a new body, created in 1892 to supplement the work of Boston
, and to provide open spaces for the larger Boston
, in favoring the appropriation of the shores of the river to park uses.
The new bridge, fittingly named from the college to which its connecting avenue leads, was finished in 1890, but, awaiting the settlement of a question of crossing the location of the Grand
Junction Railroad, was not opened to public use until 1891.
After the opening of the bridge and its avenue, renewed progress was made under this encouragement, with the extension of their sea-wall and the covering of their submerged lands by the Embankment Company
It remained for Cambridge
to take the final step in the work of furthering the consecration of the Charles
to adornment and recreation.
A strong popular agitation of the question of public parks (1892) led to the creation of a municipal park commission, with proper powers.
A fortunate selection of three citizens uniting strong practical wisdom with excellent taste and judgment, to carry out the wishes of the people, was made.
The work of this commission was as speedy as it was effective.
Within a few months after its appointment, besides inland reservations, it had set apart forever to the use of the people a ribbon of shore lands in East Cambridge, between Craigie and West Boston bridges, fourteen hundred and sixty feet in length, and the entire Cambridge
bank of the Charles
from the westerly terminal of the esplanade under construction by the Embankment Company
almost to the Watertown
line, a distance of over three miles.
The waste areas to the north of Main Street have also been slowly undergoing changes for the better.
Of the intricate system of canals devised for the creation of the port that was to rival Boston
, one after the other succumbed to the encroachment of trade.
To-day, only a suggestion of the mighty enterprise of the canal-builders is left in the Broad Canal
, which will itself disappear in turn.
West of the location of the railroad, numerous factories of importance, and, lately, of still larger