Parc Monceau, Paris


Parc Monceau
Postmarked 1908

Google Street View.

The Hector Berlioz Website (more old views of park)

When France’s royal family want an absurdist Anglo-Chinese garden filled with an architectural pastiche from around the globe, who dares say no? Parc Monceau was built in 1778 at the request of King Louis XVI’s cousin – the Duke of Chartres, Phillippe d’’Orléans – who dreamt of opening a park that would amaze and surprise all who passed through its gates by foregrounding his eclectic taste in landscape design and architecture. What resulted was a monumental act of public folly, albeit one that possessed a tender charm all its own.

Constructed with a distinct lack of care for either the epoch or people from which he was borrowing, Parc Monceau originally contained a Roman colonnade, a miniature Egyptian pyramid, a Tartar tent, a Dutch windmill, a water lily pond, an enchanted grotto, a temple of Mars, an Italian vineyard and numerous antique statues, all within arms’ reach of each other. At the time of its debut, the garden also featured servants in flamboyant dress and exotic animals like camels. Taken as a whole, none of it it made much sense, but that had never really been the Duke’s point; unlike the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale which was built to mimic foreign cultures for spectatorship, Parc Monceau was built as pure fantasy.
Atlas Obscura.

Parc Monceau had its beginning in 1769 when Louis Philippe, the duke of Chartres, who was also the cousin of Louis XVI and the father of King Louis-Philippe I and who would later become the Duc d’Orléans and be known as Philippe-Egalité, purchased a hectare of land on Boulevard de Courcelles. At this time he had architect Louis-Marie Colignon build a pavillion in the middle of a French-styled garden. During 1773-1778, he acquired twelve more surrounding hectares. He built on this property, with the designing help of painter Carmontelle, a windmill, a minaret, a pyramid, a Chinese pagoda, a Roman temple, a waterfall and the “Naumachie” which is a pond half-encircled by broken Corinthian columns. . . In 1793, the now Duc d’Orléans bought more of the surrounding properties and landscape architect Thomas Blaikie transformed the garden with trees and lawns into an English-styled garden. This was one of the first landscaped parks in Paris and it become a place of festivities.
Paris Walking Tours

After the monarchy was restored, the park was returned to the family of the Duke. During the Second Empire, the family sold lots within the park to real estate developers, who built luxurious town houses, reducing the size of the park by half. The remaining part of the park was purchased by the city of Paris in 1860. All that remained of the original folly was the water lily pond, the stream and the fantasy “tombs”, including the Egyptian pyramid.

In 1860, the park was purchased by the city, and in August 1861 Parc Monceau became the first new public park in Paris to be created by Baron Haussmann as part of the grand transformation of Paris begun by Emperor Louis Napoleon. Two main alleys were laid out from east to west and north to south, meeting in the center of the park, and the alleys within the park were widened and paved, so carriages could drive the park. An ornamental gate 8.3 m (27 ft) high was installed along a newly created avenue, boulevard Malesherbes, curving paths were laid out around the park for strolling. The pavillon de Chartres was also modified by the architect, Gabriel Davioud, who had a graceful classical dome added to the structure. He also built a bridge modeled after the Rialto bridge in Venice over the stream to replace the Chinese bridge by Carmontelle that had once been there. He preserved the other follies remaining from the original garden. Haussmann embellished the park with a rich collection of exotic trees and flowers from around the world.

The park is unusual in France due to its “English” style: its informal layout, curved walkways and randomly placed statues distinguish it from the more traditional, French-style garden. It includes a collection of scaled-down architectural features, or follies — including an Egyptian pyramid, a Chinese fort, a Dutch windmill, and Corinthian pillars. A number of these are masonic references, reflecting the fact that Philippe d’Orléans was a leading freemason. Parc Monceau includes statues of famous French figures including Guy de Maupassant, Frédéric Chopin, Charles Gounod, Ambroise Thomas, Alfred de Musset, and Edouard Pailleron.
Wikipedia.

Mitchell Park Zoo, Durban, South Africa


Mitchell Park Zoo, Durban
c.1910
Publisher: A. Rittenburg, Durban

Named after Sir Charles Bullen Hugh Mitchell, the park was established in the early half of the century as an ostrich farm. That venture did not go as well as planned, so it was transformed into a zoo instead. Back then, a large variety of animals, including lions, leopards, crocodiles and many varieties of bird, occupied a large part of the zoo. The remainder consisted of beautifully landscaped gardens.
Mitchell Park Zoo

Horticultural Hall, Audubon Park, New Orleans


Horticultural Hall, Audubon Park, New Orleands, LA
1907-1911
Published: The Rotograph Co, New York (In operation, 1904-11)

The nascent park accommodated a World’s Fair soon thereafter, the World Cotton Centennial of 1884. After the closing of the fair, the park’s development began in earnest. Most of the fair’s buildings were demolished, with the exception of Horticultural Hall – which remained in the park until destroyed in the 1915 New Orleans hurricane.
Wikipedia.

Street view, approximate location (hall stood between the end of the Alley of Oaks and the bandstand)

Statue of Dom Pedro I, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


ESTATUA D PEDRO I
(Statue of Dom Pedro the First)
c.1910
Published: A. Ribeiro, Rua Ambrosina 25 Aldeia Campista, Rio De Janeiro

Street View

This statue, erected in 1862, was the first civic monument in Rio de Janeiro. The sculpture features Emperor Pedro I on horseback. Around the base are four figures in bronze, representing Brazil’s four major rivers. The sculpture was designed by Joao Maximiniano Mafra, a painter and professor at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, and cast in France. The statue is located in Tiradentes Square, also known as Constitution Square.
World Digital Library entry

St Stephen’s Park, Dublin, Ireland


St Stephen’s Green Park. Dublin.

Published: Lawrence, Dublin
c.1910

Google Maps.

The name St Stephen’s Green originates from a church called St Stephen’s in that area in the thirteenth century. Attached to the church was a leper hospital. Around this time the area was a marshy piece of common ground, which extended as far as the River Dodder and was used by the citizens of the city for grazing livestock. In 1663 the City Assembly decided that the plot of ground could be used to generate income for the city and a central area of twenty-seven acres was marked out which would define the park boundary, with the remaining ground being let out into ninety building lots. Rent generated was to be used to build walls and paving around the Green. Each tenant also had to plant six sycamore trees near the wall, in order to establish some privacy within the park. In 1670 the first paid gardeners were employed to tend to the park.

By the nineteenth century the condition of the park had deteriorated to such an extent that the perimeter wall was broken, and many trees were to be found in bad condition around the park. In 1814 commissioners representing the local householders were handed control of the park. They replaced the broken wall with ornate Victorian railings and set about planting more trees and shrubs in the park. New walks were also constructed to replace the formal paths previously found in the park. However with these improvements, the Green then became a private park accessible only to those who rented keys to the park from the Commission, despite the 1635 law which decreed that the park was available for use by all citizens. This move was widely resented by the public.

Sir Arthur Guinness, later known as Lord Ardilaun, grew up in Iveagh House located on St Stephen’s Green, and came from a family well noted for its generosity to the Dublin public. In 1877 Sir Arthur offered to buy the Green from the commission and return it to the public. He paid off the park’s debts and secured an Act which ensured that the park would be managed by the Commissioners of Public Works, now the OPW. Sir Arthur’s next objective was to landscape the park, and provide an oasis of peace and tranquility in the city. He took an active part in the design of the redeveloped park, and many of the features in the park are said to have been his suggestions. The main features of the redeveloped park included a three-acre lake with a waterfall, picturesquely-arranged Pulham rockwork, and a bridge, as well as formal flower beds, and fountains. The superintendent’s lodge was designed with Swiss shelters. It is estimated the redevelopment of the park cost £20,000.
St Stephen’s Park

Access to the Green was restricted to local residents, until 1877, when Parliament passed an Act to reopen St Stephen’s Green to the public, at the initiative of Sir A.E. Guinness, a member of the Guinness brewing family who lived at St Anne’s Park, Raheny and at Ashford Castle. He later paid for the laying out of the Green in approximately its current form, which took place in 1880, and gave it to the Corporation, as representatives of the people. By way of thanks the city commissioned a statue of him, which faces the College of Surgeons. His brother Edward lived at Iveagh House, which his descendants gave in 1939 to the Department of External Affairs (now the Department of Foreign Affairs).

During the Easter Rising of 1916, a group of insurgents made up mainly of members of the Irish Citizen Army, under the command of Commandant Michael Mallin, his second-in-command Kit Poole, and Constance Markievicz, established a position in St Stephen’s Green. They numbered between 200 and 250.[ They confiscated motor vehicles to establish road blocks on the streets that surround the park, and dug defensive positions in the park itself. This approach differed from that of taking up positions in buildings, adopted elsewhere in the city. It proved to have been unwise when elements of the British Army took up positions in the Shelbourne Hotel, at the northeastern corner of St Stephen’s Green, overlooking the park, from which they could shoot down into the entrenchments. Finding themselves in a weak position, the Volunteers withdrew to the Royal College of Surgeons on the west side of the Green. During the Rising, fire was temporarily halted to allow the park’s groundsman to feed the local ducks.
Wikipedia

Zoo, Buenos Aires, Argentina


BUENOS AIRES, Jardin Zoológico

Street View

Although the historic Buenos Aires Zoo is in the process of being transformed into a modern eco-park, visitors can still appreciate its original Victorian-era architecture. The pavillions, which have been declared national historic monuments, reflect the traditional architecture of the countries that the different animals came from – with Moorish, Indian, Chinese and Greek/Roman-style buildings.
Buenos Aires Ciudad

President Domingo Sarmiento was responsible for the laying out of the Parque Tres de Febrero in land previously owned by Juan Manuel de Rosas. The project was begun in 1874; the park was opened on November 11, 1875, and included a small section dedicated for animals. This area was owned by the Federal Government until 1888 when it was transferred to the City of Buenos Aires. In that year, Mayor Antonio Crespo created the Buenos Aires Zoo, and separated it from the rest of the park.

Its first director Eduardo Ladislao Holmberg was appointed in 1888 and stayed in that position for 15 years. He was the major designer of the zoo. Holmberg completed the assignment of the different parks, lakes and avenues, and began the exhibition of the 650 animals that the zoo had at that time. In that period zoos around the world did not have the same function as they do today; their main goal was recreational, and they had less space for animals and a large recreational area for visitors.

Clemente Onelli was the director from 1904 to 1924 and promoted the Zoo Gardens. Onelli added pony, elephant and camel rides to the zoo and increased the number of visitors (from 1,500 to 15,000) during his first year of office. He is also responsible for most of the Romanesque buildings at the zoo.
Wikipedia

1890 map.

Groudle Glen, Isle of Man


The Water Wheel, Groudle Glen, Isle of Man

On the back is printed:
British Empire Exhibition
Manx Kiosk, London —– 192-
Having a good time here but expect to have a better when I meet you in the Isle of Man.

Issued by the Isle of Man (Official) Board of Advertising and Information Free from C. P. Clague, Secretary.

1920s. (British Empire Exhibition was 1924-25)

Google Maps.

From Isle of Man: Groudle Glen, via the Wayback Machine:
In the year 1890, an enterprising businessman by the name of Mr. Richard Maitby Broadbent who owned the Bibaloe Beg farm in Onchan, purchased the lease for the whole of the Groudle Glen area from The Howstrake Estate. At that time the glen was in its natural state with grass, ferns and very few trees, indeed when the glen first opened to the public it was known as “The Fern Glen of the Isle of Man”.

The development of the glen continued with trees being planted and the trademark rustic bridges built across the river. A pathway was made from the entrance beside the hotel to a rocky inlet approximately half a mile around the headlands. The inlet was a perfect natural bowl, sheltered from the winds and it was decided to use it to its full potential by creating a sea-lion pool. To achieve this, the inlet was dammed and closed off, so creating a lovely pool area in which to house not only the sea-lions but even a polar bear. …
Broadbent then hit on the idea of introducing yet another attraction, a narrow (two-foot) gauge railway to run from the inner glen to the sea-lion pool. The little railway was completed in 1896, using entirely local labour. Shortly after, Mr. Broadbent took delivery of a small locomotive, aptly named the “Sea-lion”, along with three small coaches, which had arrived from England. It was to be advertised in the local press and guide books as the world’s smallest railway.

The polar bears were retired during the Great War. Their keeper at the time, Mr. Fred Kelly who lived in the cottage, the ruins of which can still be seen at the lower entrance to the glen, he had been under instructions to shoot them, but was unable to face the task, however we do not know the final outcome. The second World War saw the closure of the pool, and the sea-lions released.

Unfortunately when the line reopened in 1946 the Groudle company suffered badly at the hands of what had become a new post-war phenomenon, vandals. With a landslide on the headland making it impossible for the trains to reach the pool and the added fact that the sea lions were not replaced, it was decided to close the line.

Water Wheel

The glen has a water wheel and wheelhouse, which were first operated in about 1895. The wheel provided power for the glen’s fairy lights, and water was pumped up the glen to the hotel at the top. Later in its life, it was to become a feature in a well known 1986 BBC TV series called ‘Lovejoy”.

Images on Wikipedia Commons (more recent photos)

Isle of Man: Things to do

Rotten Row, Hyde Park, London


London – Rotton Row

Caption on back:
ROTTEN ROW, HYDE PARK
Is the fashionable Equestrian Promenade of London. It is 1 1/2 miles long, is approached from Hyde Park Corner, S.E. and extends along the side of the Serpentine.

Published: London Stereoscopic Company

Above View–Rotten Row is the sandy track

Street View from South Carriage Drive

Wikipedia


Rotten Row, London


Rotten Row, Hyde Park, London