Urban Parks: Visitors

Figure 1--Here we see an unidentified father and son out for a park stroll during the 1930s. We are not sure where the photograph was taken but suspect Bulgaria. The boy wears a school cap, but we do not think his father is taking him to school because he does not have a book satchel. The phitograph was probably taken by an outdoor commercial photographer.

The idea of an urban park, green spaces within the city was a novel idea in the mid-19th century. And the idea at first was a far cry from the modern concept. The initial concept was a rather formal one. Some kind of fountain or other water feature surrounded by immaculately kept gardens. There were also often heroic often equestrian monuments to great leaders, but water features proved the most popular. The idea was for sedate strolls by couples or families through establish paths. 'Keep off the grass' signs were common. They were not for children, especially unaccompanied groups of children to run loose. The only place where we tend to see groups of children were around the water features where they could bring their and test out their sail boats. Feeding the ducks and other water fowl was also popular. Actually getting in the water was not at first encouraged. Here there was an exception. Italy had many piazzas. These were not precisely parks and not green spaces. But they had public water features including famous fountains where children could run and play. Over times the idea of public parks changed, especially after World War II. The idea of playing sports in a park is a very modern phenomenon.


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Created: 6:45 PM 6/19/2017
Last updated: 6:45 PM 6/19/2017