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encourage a greater civic pride in the second, and adjoined by the library of care and improvement of public and the Historical Society. The total cost private property” (The Constitution of of the Athenaeum buildings, including the Society, Bulletin No. I).
land and fence, was about $200,000. It is governed by a board of direc A proposal is under consideration for tors composed of eighteen members, the iederation of all these organizations elected at the annual meeting, and the above mentioned.
above mentioned. This, if carried Chairmen of the several standing com through, will prevent much working at mittees. President, John M. Hol cross purposes, and insure a greater combe; Secretary-Treasurer, Henry unity of interest. Also, in the event of Robinson Buck.
the accomplishment of this federation, The Wadsworth Athenaeum, while a clubhouse will probably be bought, not a club, may well be mentioned or built, which will adequately house here. This building, situated on Main these various societies. Street, contains the rooms of the Con In Hartford there is, perhaps, as necticut Historical Society and of the much natural beauty as in almost any Art school; and a Public Art Gallery other city of equal size. Foresighted which, having occupied its present lo- persons have preserved many trees, cation since 1842, is soon to be moved even in the center of the city, and in into the new Morgan Memorial build- places on the outskirts are thick woods. ing, to be treated of later in this article. while all the residential streets are The Athenaeum was begun in April, lined on both sides with trees. The 1842, and completed in July, 1844. A ornamental and economical value of large brick addition was built in Janu trees is, of course, a well-known fact. ary, 1893, to accommodate the Hart
A stranger, introduced to Hartford for ford Public Library on the first floor the first time and getting his first and the Watkinson Library on the
the glimpse of it from the hills round about,
would find it difficult to believe that a readable from a distance, at night they city of 100,000 inhabitants nestled are quite illegible unless a street lamp there among the greenery.
shines directly upon them. It was The Municipal Art Society,numbering proposed to find some type of sign now some five hundred members, and which should be more satisfactory in the other societies already mentioned, both the above-mentioned respects, and are working valiantly, each in its re- at the same time be artistic. To this spective field, to augment these natural end the Committee on Street Fixtures resources. To make a city beautiful, and Advertising Signs, of the Municiconvenient and healthful—all these pal Art Society, opened correspondence compose the duties of such societies, with the city engineers of other large and to accomplish it in harmony with cities, at home and abroad, to ascerthe city officials and with the least tain what had been done in this line possible expense to the city should, of elsewhere. The inquiries invariably recourse, be their aim; and with these ceived prompt and kind attention, and ends in view large work has been un- sample street name-plates were supdertaken and some really striking re- plied, and even in one case the model sults have been obtained.
of a sign-post. Having a collection of One thing under consideration is the this kind at hand, it was exhibited and selection and adoption of a uniform the case presented to the public in street marker which shall be both use- open meeting, and finally to the Street ful and ornamental. The present sign Board. As a result permission was obis metal, enameled black, with alum- tained to erect six signs at such street inum letters about three inches high. intersections as the Committee should While neat in appearance when new, choose. The marker selected as bethese rust quickly and are not easily ing in every way most suitable is of
ultramarine enamel with three-inch bordered "beer-sign”! But Hartford white block letters.
has a city ordinance which reads, in In this connection also arose the part, as follows: question of the naming of new streets. Until recently the property owner cut
"The following acts are dehis street to suit himself and named
clared to be acts of nuisance: the it after a like manner. We are told
placing of any business sign, withthat great minds run in the same chan
in the limits of any street of the nel, and it often happened that two
city, otherwise than parallel to and streets in very different sections of
against or as near as is convenient the city received names phonetically
to the face of the building, wall similar or differing in no way but in the
or fence whereunto the same shall "street," "avenue" or "place" portion of
be attached.” the appellation. For instance, there is The penalty for its violation is a fine of Allyn Street and Allen Place, the for- not less than $1.00 or more than $25.00. mer in the very center and the latter Prosecutions are being made on the about twenty minutes by trolley out to basis of this law and results are being the southwest; also Meadow Street obtained, and there can be ultimately (south) and Meadow Place (west), but one outcome. and, again, Park Street, Park Terrace In line with this mode of advertiseand Park Avenue (south center, west ment may be mentioned the omniand extreme northwest, respectively), present billboards. These have no rebesides numerous other instances. spect for majesty of scenery or artistic
Now, under the amended charter, beauty. Painted on rocky precipices in new streets are to be named in ac this country's greatest mountain syscordance with a specific scheme, and tem are to be seen advertisements of their lay-out, etc., approved by the City Carter's Little Liver Pills, Hood's Plans Commission before being adopted Sarsaparilla, and kindred things. Popby the city, so much of this confusion ular disgust at such displays is steadily will be avoided in the future.
increasing While street name-plates of suffi In the country natural beauty is decient prominence are at a premium, faced or quite hidden from view by advertising signs in many cases run huge signboards. It gives one a disto the opposite extreme, particularly tinct sense of physical shock to come the electric ones. As everybody knows, suddenly upon one of these multino method of illumination and evening colored monstrosities in the midst of an decoration offers more diverse oppor- otherwise peaceful and quiet landscape. tunities than electricity. But, like Hartford has many of these nuisances many other things of beauty, when within the city limits, but in the near turned to private ends it becomes a future they bid fair to be reduced to glaring nuisance. Competition enters the minimum. in, and each sign-owner strives to out On the main artery of traffic between shine his neighbor. And when flat the center and the fashionable residensigns, electric or painted, fail to attract tial "Hill" section was a towering attention, they are turned out end-wise, "double-decker” signboard, and by its and there they hang, over the heads of side one of ordinary proportions. the long-suffering populace, like the These were eyesores for years, and, at sword of Damocles about to descend. last, was organized the United ComAnd, like the sword, they are apt to mittee for Bill Board Regulation, and descend, with consequent loss of life it began to agitate the subject. In this or limb. The craze has spread from the case the owner showed himself very saloons even up to one of the churches, considerate, for without being apthough nothing more incongruous proached personally he had them recould be imagined than a church flying moved when he learned the general at its bow a blue and white electric- drift of public opinion.
At the corner of Pearl and Ford Art Society, the lease was not renewed, streets, and overlooking beautiful Bush- and great was the public rejoicing. nell Park, is a row of very unattractive This illustrates the power of public low wooden shanties. These had, until opinion. A bill has recently been very recently, a fringe of billboards passed which will at least restrain the along their base, and were crowned with use of billboards within the city limits, another along the edge of the roofs. and it would be a very welcome deparIn response to public opinion the com- ture, here and in other states, if the mittee has been able to persuade the outlying districts also could be proowner of the buildings and the lessee of tected. the advertising privilege to remove Traffic in the city streets is becoming most of these billboards, and a serious more and more congested as the city eyesore has thus been largely elimin- grows in size. It has been found necated.
essary within two years to station On the roof of the building at "Ex- policemen at five of the principal street change Corner," in the very center of intersections in order to protect pedesthe city, stood for a number of years trians while crossing, and also to ena huge round sign, on which appeared force the rules of the road. The Muthe picture of a man, many times life nicipal Art Society is agitating the size, mixing something in a glass, while question of locating isles of safety at large letters informed the shuddering such points. In order to arouse public watcher, "Highball. That's all.” Most interest in this subject, there has been everyone thought it was quite enough, held a competition, recently closed, if not one too many. And so after designs of isles of safety with electromuch agitation by individuals through liers being submitted, for vote and the public press and by the Municipal adoption by the Society, and the suc
cessful design is "to be presented to Park, equipped with sand boxes, swings
cedent. It is largely in a state of na and evening classes for adults have
$600 to pay the salaries of four physical
There is, also, a children's play The total number in attendance last ground at the East end of Bushnell season on all the above classes of out