PART IV: Notes on Parks and Recreation Facilities|
Pittsburgh: Main Thoroughfares and The Down Town District
Frederick Law Olmsted report to The Pittsburgh Civic Commission, 1910
be justified only if it affords something which the small local parks are totally unable to give. To afford the maximum of pleasant contrast with urban conditions is its fundamental purpose and, if it fail in this, there is reasonable doubt if its return in public usefulness is worth its cost to the community. A considerable degree of seclusion from adjacent land with its city developments is practically essential, and the more complete the barrier, both as to sight and sound, the more perfectly will the park fulfill its purpose. A sense of spaciousness is very important, -- the expansive opposite of cramping city streets and walls. For this is needed the concentration of a large area in a single park. But of greater importance than mere size, especially in Pittsburgh, is the topographical situation. Hilltop lands though not in the least secluded frequently offer vantage points from which to look upon vast stretches of landscape, thus giving the greatest possible sense of spaciousness and lack of confinement. On the other hand, the valleys, with their wooded banks, are unrivaled in the natural opportunities they afford for almost complete seclusion from urban surroundings. Fortunately the Pittsburgh District is well endowed with available sites of both kinds, a few of which are noted below under "Special Park Opportunities."
SPECIAL PARK OPPORTUNITIES
The following are some notes, made in the course of the main thoroughfare investigations, regarding certain special opportunities for parks and parkways in and about Pittsburgh.
1. Moultrie Street Playground. -- The small playground at Moultrie Street, in the Soho District, should be enlarged; for it is in the midst of a section where the need for public recreation facilities is very great. Moultrie Street, running north from Fifth Avenue, can be abandoned beyond the south side of the playground, because the proposed street on the hillside to the west* will furnish the needed connection between Fifth Avenue and Centre Avenue. The playground can then be extended from side to side of the valley bottom and north to the foot of the dump, thus getting an area of some 3-1/2 acres. This dump, by the way, should not be extended any further down the valley.
* Part II, Section 12, page 62.