Of Grime and the River

From the Closet

The communication in regard to purchasing the lands along the banks of the Charles River and turning them into a system of public parks may appear at first a little out of the run of college affairs. And yet upon careful consideration, we realize that it is a subject which can well receive the thoughtful attention of the students of the University are in a way concerned. We shall not lose anything by indifference to the scheme; there is, however, a possibility that the plan, if carried out, would be a decided gain. A university placed in the heart of a city is always at a disadvantage. Though the college yard be ever so attractive, it is distinctly better if the surroundings are entirely in keeping with it. We can never hope for this; Harvard Square and Harvard Street must always be with us. But it would be a pleasure if along the banks of the Charles, where all our boating pleasure lie, we could enjoy the comforts and beauties of a series of partly artificial and partly natural parks. We should soon grow to associate more closely the river with the campus and yards; and college life might thus be increased by at least one pleasant association.

Nothing which we can do to bring this about will result in any immediate advantage to us, yet it would, we think, be an act of kindness not only to those who are to take our places, but to the University, to do our part to help along the plan of the Appalachian Club. A strong expression of feeling from the University might aid materially in preserving the Charles from being made a hideous spectacle of factories, wharfs, and tenement houses; as well as save them from the ravages of ruthless speculators. All we are asked to do is to sign the petitions which have been left in places of easy access--a slight effort in view of what it may accomplish.