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Nelson Evening Mail. MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 1901. PUBLIC BUILDINGS IN NELSON. FUTURE USE OF MILTON'S ACRE.

It ie satisfactory to note that somewhat more activity than usual is being displayed in regard to the filling in of Mil* ton's Acre, or Milton's Eyesore. At the present rate of progress ifc should not be long before the last vestige of the kitchenmidden aspect of the area disappeared and wbeMhe whole " acre " is reclaimed and levelled it will be a very valuable addition to the business si tes of the city. We .ay .buflihe.s sjteß advisedly, for it is fair to assume that, while the larea will always bo a " lung " of the town laid out fo. publio recreation, it would be folly to abstain from utilising a portion for some public buildings. With the reclamation of thoJJailwfty Swamp also proceeding, j and the promise of private owners to fill in their low-lying holdings in this vicinity, it Bhould not be long bef ore the approach to Nelson from its port is so improved in appearance as to render the unsightly conditions now prevailing a memory of the past. il .'■ In regard to Milton's Acre, it is obvious that the site is the befit and most rcdmmahdirig in Nelson. : It. stands a squaro or oblong in .the midst of the most important arteriet;of traffic, which here converges on its %ay to and ifem the Port and to and from the country by the [ Rocks Boad. All persons having business at the Custom House Come within a Stone's throw of it, and it isAmidi?ay between the city and suburb of Washington Valley on one side and the suburbs of the Wood viA Halifax-street on the other When the Barbour works are fit progress the tiraffie converging on the Acre will be greater than ever ; while when harbour improvement is completed it will be the most important locality in the city. In these circumstances, it cannot be expected that the whole area bliouJc. be devoted to

purposes of mere recreation, yet it must not be too closely built upon. What it to be done with it?

• •

The answef jto the question is co easy, and the purposes to which the Acre might be applied with public profit are so numerous, that wohavean"cu_bftrras3_aenb of . riches.'' '> It is jnst tho site for a post office, a town ball, a Harbour Board . office, Governmentoffices, publio library— any public building that oan be suggested. The problem for solntion is how to make J the most of this valuable asset in view of the nnpleasanb facts tbat the city bas not much money to sparo, a strong disfnclihation to borrow, and need for reproductive works, which must be provided for before expenditure in somo degree merely for ornamental purposes can be undertaken. In those ci rcumsl&nces, it seems to us that there is only ono means by whioh Milton's Acre can be utilised for a muriicipaf building in the near future, viz., by soiling tho present Council Chamber site to the Governmont for a new Post Offico, and utilising Lho money so obtained, together with a grant from tho Harbour Boa**d and a balanco borrowed, fOr tho erection of a Town Hall and Harbour Board offices combined.

This suggestion was ventilated at Ihe j time Post Offico improvement was "i_ the t air." But veiy 1 ttle has been heard of a now Post Office during tho past few montbs, and it now seems clear that tho omission of the Member for the City in hiß post-sessional address to refer tothe Post Office matter was not so unintentional as many of his hearers wore led at the time to suppose. It is fair to assume, therefore, that the Government does nob intend to Bpend more than tho i>9_Q or so orgihally voted to make some absolutely necessary improvements in the present office, and the question arises wheher the citizens should not start an agitation to claim better recognition of their requirements. The existing accommodation, even with suoh extension as the £900 can secnre, is utterly inadequate to the current and growing neodß of the city and district ; but with the introduction of the penny postage the business of tho office will increase more rapidly Btill. Consequently, ib will not be long before the* negative inconveniences now suffered by ' both officials and public will become positive hindrances. Hence the question of a new Post Office is likely to be a very vital one before many months are over, and it would be well if the citizens kept in view the subjeot of tho most Builable site. * # #

The present Council Chambor site may not be the best in the oity for a Post Office. It has the advantage, however, of being in the immediate vioinity of the present bidding, thns preventing any dislocation of old habits. It is central enough so far as two of the main business streots are concerned. And, most important of all, if the site could bo sold to the Government tho money thus available would serve two public purposes in the erection of a new Post Office, and in f umi_hin{f nearly half ihe snm needed for, say, a Town Hall and Harbour Board offices on the reclaimed Milton's Acre.. Of course the subject at present is only in the stage of discussion* but fche point should not be ost sight of, or overborne by the mere rivalry between one Post Office sito and another As in the matter of harbour improvement schemes, we would .oo_er give up the point than have no new Pose Cfflce, or suffer the question to be "hnng up" till the battle of sites was fought out. But, all other things being equal, the best use to which Milton's Acre can be put is to devote it for the pu poses of a combined Town Hall and Harbour Board offices, with surrouonding gardens. The only means by which this project can be achieved in the near future is to induce the Government to pay a substantial sum

for the present Counc 1 Chamber site for Post Office purposes.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NEM19010114.2.8

Bibliographic details

Nelson Evening Mail. MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 1901. PUBLIC BUILDINGS IN NELSON. FUTURE USE OF MILTON'S ACRE., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXV, Issue 11, 14 January 1901

Word Count
1,017

Nelson Evening Mail. MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 1901. PUBLIC BUILDINGS IN NELSON. FUTURE USE OF MILTON'S ACRE. Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXV, Issue 11, 14 January 1901

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