A City Beautiful Dream: The 1912 Vision for Colorado Springs
The city’s potential was clear to civic architect Charles Mulford Robinson, though he acknowledged the city’s previous planning mistakes and ill-conceived design choices, like the grid of wide streets and the “unfortunate spacing” of median “parking strips” on Cascade Avenue. Robinson’s recommendations, reproduced as this book, were formed from his observations described in two reports. More
The year 1912 was an important milestone for Colorado Springs. Still a young city of only 40 years, the easy-going Little London began the journey to become a metropolitan presence on Colorado’s Front Range. The city of Colorado Springs faced choices that would patently impact its future. The numerous trains created unsightly air pollution, the extremely wide streets presented challenges for pedestrians and costly paving, and the deficiency in developed neighborhood parks was in contrast with the abundant city park acreage. It is interesting to read about the concerns of 1912 in the context of the choices the city faces now, 100 years later.
Reading Robinson’s 100-year-old observations and recommendations, you may find some of them remarkable and others ridiculous. Looking at Colorado Springs today, the evidence of his vision and the City Beautiful movement philosophy are visible in the landscaping of the streets, the numerous neighborhood parks, and the preservation of the mountain views. Perhaps you will appreciate the forethought of those who cared about the growth and planning of the city. Knowing that you and others care about these issues today, the year 2012 can mark the beginning of another era “characterized by a general civic awakening.”
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