Milroy: Philadelphia’s Park Neglect Long-Standing

In a recent story in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Elizabeth Milroy, professor of Art History, professor of American Studies, professor of Environmental Studies, comments that the city’s ignominious tradition of neglecting its parks actually began with city-founder, William Penn. Penn, who was not a fan of cities in general, felt that public parks led to “temptations” among other things. Philadelphia’s parks subsequently became places for dumping trash, burying paupers and hanging criminals until the city began to exert some oversight in the 1820s.