Secretary to the
Baxter was a Malden
journalist who became an expert on urban planning, and public recreation.
Born a West Yarmouth in 1850 in a family
with Mayflower antecedents, he joined the staff of the Boston Advertiser
in 1871. Four years later, his paper sent him to Europe
as its foreign correspondent and upon his return in 1880, he wrote for
the Boston Herald. An intimagte friend of the
landscape architect Charles Eliot, a consultant to the Board of
Metropolitan Park Commissioners in 1892-93, Baxter became its secretary,
and held the same post for the Metropolitan Improvement Commission in
1907-09. Around 1891, Baxter settled in Malden, where he acquired the Malden
News, and edited and published Outing Magazine. Among his works were
articles on European city planning, several travel books on New England,
and a lavishly illustrated history of Spanish Colonial architecture in Mexico.
He died in 1927, at San Juan, Puerto Rico." (Merino, 196)
Consultant to the
Eliot was born in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, where he
also received his education. He was a landscape architect in private
practice from 1887 until his death from spinal meningitis ten years
later. He also distinguished himself as a landscape historian, as an
advocate for regional planning, and as a pioneer in landscape
conservation. His reputation rests on two key accomplishments. First, he
was the leading force in the 1891 establishment of the Massachusetts'
Trustees of Public Reservations, the first statewide, private-sector
organization for the conservation of natural areas and the preservation
of historic sites, which became a model for subsequent efforts such as
the National Trust in Great Britain and, ultimately, the National Trust
in the United States. Second, Eliot was a central figure in the creation
of the Boston Metropolitan Park
system, the first regional landscape authority in the United States."
(Morgan, 107 in Birnbaum and Karson)