Boston's Metropolitan Past: Baxter & Eliot's 1893 Plan






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find out what happened





What Happened

By all accounts, the plan was extremely successful, resulting in quick action by the state legislature to purchase the lands recommended by Eliot. Newton provides a brief summary of the action taken in just two years, "By the end of 1894 land had been acquired by the Commission for the Middlesex Fells, Blue Hills, Stony Brook, and Beaver Brook Reservations. During 1895 Revere Beach, the Hemlock Gorge on the Charles, and other portions of the Charles River and Mystic River Reservations were secured, and the boundaries of the Middlesex Fells and the Blue Hills were modified positively." (331)

Revere Beach is regarded today as the first public beach in the nation, a new commitment to public access and active recreation that would be repeated across the country.

Additionally, the plan gained state-wide and national attention, "...exerting enormous influence during the Progressive Era." (Peterson, 53) Further research is required to better understand how the Boston metropolitan plan may have influenced park and open space planning in other areas of the United States.

The success of the plan raises many new questions: What factors led to the plan's quick adoption? How did state legislators view the plan? What was the opposition, if any? Who benefited from the plan? How did the plan relate to the changing land use patterns and rapid suburbanization of this era?