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The craftsman
Vol. V, No. 4 (January 1904)

Warner, John Dewitt
The importance of municipal improvements,   pp. 362-367 PDF (2.1 MB)


Page 362


THE CRAFTSMAN
which argues well for the intellectual and
moral attitude of republican France. It
also abounds in quotable passages which
deserve place beside certain chapters in
Ruskin's latter-day gospel. Such, strong
and exquisite in their simplicity, are expres-
sions of pure, generous thought like these:
            "The people have the right,
not only to knowledge, but also, and to a
still higher degree, to beauty. To socialize
science is well, but beauty also demands and
requires to be socialized."
            "Society, if it imposes duties
upon the individual, also contracts toward
him obligations: the first of which is to
associate him in the general progress."
            "All human beings have need
of casting aside the material cares of exist-
ence; of raising the soul toward the Ideal;
of refreshing it at that source of pure de-
light which is the art-sensation."
            "The enjoyment afforded by
beauty is no sterile pleasure. It is, on the
contrary, the mother of intellectual force
and of moral purity."
   From such encouraging beginnings as
are made by the papers of Mr. Warner and
M. Gans, it is hoped that The Craftsman's
sympathy with one of the greatest of mod-
ern movements will be productive of a good
appreciable and measurable; that it may be
translated from words into action.
   The series of papers upon cognate sub-
jects will continue throughout the year
1904, and, as now proposed, stands as fol-
lows as to subject, each paper to be written
362
by a recognized authority in his own field:
              FIRST GRoUP
I. The Importance of Municipal Improve-
   ments.
II. The History of Village Improvement in
    the United States.
III. The Commercial Value of Design.
             SECOND GRouP
IV. City Plan.
V. Parks.
VI. Street Fixtures.
              THIRD GROUP
VII. Architecture; foreign point of view.
VIII. Architecture; American   point of
    view.
IX. Painting; foreign point of view.
X. Painting; American point of view.
XI. Sculpture; foreign point of view.
XII. Sculpture; American point of view.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MUNICIPAL
IMPROVEMENTS. JOHN DEWITT
WARNER
N its essentials, the city, as an institu-
     tion, is as old as the race. But the
     present problem is peculiarly a Twen-
     tieth Century one. Not but that great
and beautiful cities have existed, by whose
experience we may be guided as to one or
another of even the more important items
with which we have to deal; but that, until
now, municipal development, so far as con-
sciously planned, has been but an incident
of self-defense, government, religion, or
commerce. Indeed, in their more important
aspects, most cities now existing are the un-
calculated "survival of the fittest" in the


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