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Although St. Louis has quite a number of small parks distributed throughout her corporate limits, which are highly prized by her citizens, it is well known that she has no GREAT PARK, such as is required for her present and futuro growth. Nor is it possible for hor citizens to remain much longer indifferent toward this important matter. At this eventful period of her history the subject of parks is paramount, and, whether many or fow, the enlightened sentiment of her people will soon demand that theso important improvements be made commensurate with the magnitudo and character of the city itself.
If this is to be an imperial city—the imperial city of the nation and of the world — its foundations should be laid deep and broad in government, in commerce, in industry, in art, in culture, and in such improvements for beauty, for health, and for pleasure, as its future grandeur and greatness will domand. No people build wisely who do not build for the future. It is tho sensuous, the slothful, and the ignorant who livo in the ever-present time. It is those who have grown from sensation to consciousness—those who realizo a material growth in usefulness on this side of the grave—that reach beyond the life of : man, even to remote generations, in their conceptions and works of improvemont. It is such that make their earthly homes beautiful, that adorn cities with parks and gardens.
It is a gratifying thought that St. Louis is favored with such men. Mr. Shaw has already proved himself to be a man of more than ordinary refinoment and public spirit in the founding and improving of his beautiful Botanical Garden, for which the good people of St. Louis will over bear him in grateful remem. brance, and testify of him as a benefactor. As returning springs causo the flowers to bloom, will his memory como afresh in the minds of this people, and their hearts will be made glad for the work he leaves behind him.
Not only has he improved the finest garden in America, but also, through his foresight and liberality, contributed to the city, ground adjoining his garden for a fine park, which is now under way of being improved, and before many months will be opened to the citizens of St. Louis -- a beautiful park, much finer and larger than any the city now has. Although this park is well situated, and will be as a flowery mead in a fairy land, it cannot supply the future wants of the city.
LEFFINGWELL'S PROPOSED PARK.
Kindred to Mr. Shaw in his conception of suitable parks for St. Louis is Mr. Leflingwell, whose correct views and comprehension of the required park improvements are entitled to the highest consideration by this people. In fact, Mr. Leslingwell's proposal for a great park is a bold conception, which grasps the subject fully and truly in its connection with the present and future of St. Louis. The project is only equaled in its magnitude by the possible greatness of the city which it is designed to adorn. It is well that St. Louis should have the greatest and finest park on the continent, destined as she is to be the greatest city.
Mr. Leffingwell's proposed park is situated about four miles from the Court House, and immediately west from the central portion of the city. It will contain 3,000 acres, is three miles long, east and west, and about one mile and a half wide. It will be bisected just east of its center by a new and magnificent avenue, which is also proposed by Mr. Le lingwell, and is designed to be 300 feet wido, and encircle the entire city, touching the river above and below, and to be improved in the most tasteful manner and supplied with steam transportation.
The park embraces a district of country most admirably adapted for beauty and variety. In fact, nothing can surpass it. It can easily be supplied, in any part, with good water; the River Des Peres meanders through it for a distance of four or five miles, giving a picturesque and varied view. Original timber, consisting of all our varictios of oak, elm, maple, ash, hickory, black and white walnut, hackberry, and other kinds common to this region of country, is still in its native condition growing on many parts of this proposed park.
Our country has at no previous time presented so grand a scheme for a park as this under consideration, and it is a gratifying thought to know that the project meets the hearty approval of the people of St. Louis. How could they decide otherwise, when the park is wanted and it can be had at a small expense ? Let the city secure it at the earliest moment, and thus will be added another trophy to her future honor and greatness; and millions in after times, who will yet walk these strects in more perfect life, will bloss tho memory of the man who conceived this great project, and praises will be given to those whoso generous efforts mould it into being and fashion it well. It will be holy ground, where the true-hearted, and those that love their fellows, will delight to tread. It will be enchanted ground, where genius can draw fresh truths from the mysterious realms of inspiration.
It will be classic ground, where palatial edifices of royal structure will invite the sage, the poet, and the orator to higher fields of intellectual beauty and culture.
It will be a park whose magnificenco and munificence will be free to all, and alike to all; the poor will find it alike their field of pleasure as well as tho rich. There will they find God equally bountiful to them, as do those of wealth and position.
To St. Louis it will be more famed than were the classic groves of Orontes, the forests of the Druidical oaks, or the beautiful valley of Rasselas. Then in view of the want and the great character of such a park, let the determination of our people be as that of one earnest man to secure it for the future great city of the world.
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