1149 WordsMar 27, 20155 Pages
Brooks Rogers Professor Carson History 2057 February 10, 2015 Amusing the Million Paper In John Kasson’s book Amusing The Million; Kasson creates an image of Coney Island that is an escape from the increasingly urban lifestyle where people were expected to follow strict social codes of conduct. Throughout the nineteenth century a polite and courteous norm was considered as the ‘official’ culture of America. This proper group of reformers took matters into their own hands to try to control and end the debauchery caused by the public. These reformers built museums and libraries to influence a culture based on integrity and morality. Kasson, however, points out that this social disagreement is never fully installed into American society…show more content…
To prove this point, Kasson compares the two most important projects during the turn of the century: Central Park in New York, and the Columbian Exposition in Chicago; also known as the world’s fair. “Despite important differences in philosophy and form, the two projects represented an effort to provide cultural leadership for an urban-industrial society; to present a model of social order..” (Kasson 11). He described the reformation using the opinions from Frederick Law Olmstead. Olmstead saw the recklessness of the public due to narrow-minded interests, so he designed Central Park as a rural escape in the urban environment. The park provided a serene environment boasting the scenery of woods, hills and lakes that otherwise could not be found in the city. Although Olmstead’s original plan for the park was to refine social leisure to a calm and relaxing norm, there were still limitations to his overall goal. “..Central Park proved enormously popular, attracting an average of 30,000 visitors a day…the park was located so far uptown that great majority of citizens could only afford the expenses on special occasion” (Kasson 15). Olmstead was originally not worried about the location due to the continuous settlement of the northern parts of the city, but soon became overturned due to political takeovers, which clashed with the original plans for the park. These takeovers allowed the park to have accommodations such as

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