Volunteer Hill Parkway (unrealized)

In 1903, Olmsted wrote that one of “the most desirable, and probably one of the most immediately profitable, branch parkways would be that which would connect Washington Park with Volunteer Park.” A portion of this, “to include a considerable area of beautiful woods on ridges and in the ravines” later became Interlaken Park and Boulevard. From the western point of this wooded section, the parkway would continue “to the bluff northwest of the end of the Broadway electric car line,” and then continue “southward along the bluff west of Tenth avenue,” crossing a ravine at East Howe Street. From there, the “pleasure drive should be carried on curving lines, close to the crest of the bluff, except where to do so would make it excessively crooked.” As the roadway approached a second, deep ravine north of East Highland Drive, it would turn east to ascend the hill to Volunteer Park.

Along the crest, Olmsted recommended the west boundary line “at least be far enough below the crest of the bluff to enable the view to be controlled.”

By 1908, the idea to link Volunteer Park via this parkway had been abandoned, and a shorter scheme was depicted that concluded the pleasure drive at the north end of the bluff.  The 1908 map proposes a park at this location, which today is Roanoke Park. Over the next few years, Olmsted suggested some grading and alignment improvements along the western portion of Interlaken Boulevard, which was built to generally incorporate the bicycling route that ran along these slopes.  He also proposed a view concourse, today known as Bagley Viewpoint, as the western terminus for Interlaken Boulevard.

The route shown on the map is approximate and based on current topographical information and the written description.

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