CHOICE OF A SITE FOR TIIE GREAT "EXPOSITION." but to
remove the project from a good site to a wOree, would re- quire very strong and dearly-stated grounds.
Several other sites have been suggested,--Vietoria Park in the East, Regent's Park in the North-west, and the unprepared site of Battersea Park in the South-west. Let us compare the advan- tages offered by these places : premising that the great objects for such an exhibition are, accessibility to the public, and a convenient neighbourhood for the visiters attracted from a distance. Viewed in its popular aspect, the immense gathering of visiters is as im- portant as the colleotion..of goods ; and in the attraction of visiters from a distance much will depend on the immediate circumstances by which the exhibition is surrounded.
Victoria Park was only mentioned as a splenetic sally of indivi- dual contempt for the project: Lord Brougham wished to relieve a lung of this crowded metropolis; he was convinced that an East- ern lung is as much needed to be kept free as a Western lung ; and people have thought no more of Victoria Park. It is indeed. perfectly unsuited as to accessibility and neighbourhood.
Battersea Fields are an open space of flat land, below the sur- face of the river, opposite Chelsea. Although diked out, they are not quite secure against partial flooding. The drainage is in the worst state; the impurities of the atmosphere are aggravated by the vicinage of factories of various kinds more useful than pleasing, and by the large tract of suburb, extending from Lambeth West- wards, which is occupied in great part by the ruder portions of the labouring &autos. Probably when Battersea Park is formed, the drainage will be improved, and also the neighbourhood: as it is, Battersea Fields constitute a large tract of waste land, which the unsightly builder is gradually conquering from the common-squat- ter; the suburb is one of the great back-yards of London. To the South lies Claphain, over the hill and not very near; to the West, Wandsworth, a village of singularly impeded ventilation, between a hill and a railway embankment, with humble Battersea • to the North, the river, with stagnant Chelsea and odious Itanelagh. The only solid advantage of the neighbourhood is the easy carriage for goods, by water. The only attraction is the fashionable resort of Cremorne Gardens!
The Regent's Park is well situate ; and it has a convenient water-way for goods, by the Regent's Canal. But all the objec- tions to be fairly urged against Hyde Park are valid against this : it is still further from the centre of the Metropolis ; it is approached only by one great thoroughfare, the New :Road; and it is not so completely surrounded by a well-housed district.
Hyde Park is the open ground nearest to the body of the Me- tropolis,—always execpt i ing the Green Park, which s in every i
way less suitable. It s approached by the three great thorough- fares—the New Road, Oxford Street, and Piccadilly; also by the paths from Westminster and VauxhalL Its space is ample. It is surrounded on every side by a district well furnished with houses of every class, from the most magnificent to the humblest. In the matter of goods-carriage there can be no difficulty; and for the heeviest goods the West London Railway- would offer a con- venience. Omnibuses reach Hyde Park or its immediate neigh- bonrhood from every quarter of London. What would be the effect of transferring the Exposition to Bat- tersea, the present "favourite " with the discontented party ? ,Com- paratively few would go to see it—very few indeed would go a second time. As an attraction to resident visitors, its force would be materially weakened. The general effect upon the aspect and gayety of the Metropolis would be destroyed. ' In short, London tradesmen and house-dealers may "write off" their speculatiVe gains; holyday folks not Merely interested in patents and manufac- tures may stay at home in the country ; for, exiled to the waste' building-lands of Battersea, the Exposition, as a popular jubilee, would be "barked."