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






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Environmental and Planning Concerns Facing the Boston Metropolitan Region in 1893

Social, economic, and political forces as diverse as immigration, industrialization, rapid transit, pollution, and the growth of municipal government re-shaped the Boston area at the end of the nineteenth century. Some of the key processes are summarized below:

* Increasing specialization and separation of places of work and home (Warner, 4).

* Immigration- by 1875 60,000 foreign born Irish live in the city, anti-Irish violence begins (Warner).

* Expansion of land area of the City of Boston through annexations- Roxbury 1867 West Roxbury 1873 Charlestown 1874.

* Despite the lack of city planning controls such as zoning, development tends to cluster in particular areas depending on economic conditions, transit access, and local land forms. Topography remains an important factor in development, with hillside sites highly desirable, lowlands marginal (due to flooding).

* Epidemics and fear of disease were common. Cholera killed thousands in American cities during this period. Malaria remained a major concern as the causes were still unknown.