historians describe the Baxter-Eliot plan as an antecedent to city
planning, important for its future influence and representative of
pre-city planning trends and ideas. Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. once commented
that the birth of city planning, an event that he was both a participant
in and a witness to, can be traced to “three streams of
thought:” public health and sanitation, landscape, and civic art
In this way,
several authors consider the plan to take place before modern city planning began.
Another concern of planning historians is the influence the Baxter-Eliot
plan may have had on future plans, such as Chicago’s “outer park
system” (Peterson 2003). A potentially fruitful analytical
approach sets the Baxter-Eliot plan in the context of other metropolitan
initiatives introduced to the Massachusetts
state legislature during this period (Scott 1969).
planning historiography includes but does not adequately address the planning
and implementation of the 1893 Boston
Metropolitan Park plan.