The existing through streets of Norwood, as shown above, were laid out in times before the construction of the steam railroads, before the large industries were established, and, of course, long before the development of modern housing and the beginnings of motor vehicle transportation. These through streets belong to the epoch of the chaise, the stage coach and the activities of the farmer and the village tradesman. Public ways were built primarily for convenient access to wood lots, hay fields and farms, and secondarily to connect scattered houses and villages with one another and with Boston. No plan was prepared which attempted to place these main ways in the most favorable position for the best future development of the Town. In fact the only consideration given to the location of streets was to find sites which were near at hand, and sufficiently cheap for development by hand labor.

For the accommodation of foot-passers, pack horses, and light horse drawn vehicles, streets which were narrow, steep and sharp in curvature were not considered objectionable.

If no plan is prepared for the development of Norwood, the construction of streets will not cease. Streets in great number will be built, in any case, and much money will be spent for construction and for improvement by individuals and by the Town, but this work will result inevitably in confusion. Without a plan, streets will continue to be built, until this confusion and its consequent cost becomes intolerable. This has been the experience of all cities and towns whose street plans have grown piecemeal without adherence to a general predetermined scheme. Experience has shown that opportunity can be seized and money saved in such matters only by laying out the street .structure in advance of actual work to meet all exigencies that can be foreseen. Adherence to such a plan does not force a community to build streets sooner than required or in greater number than necessary. Such a plan guides in a rational course street building activities which are inevitable to a growing community.

A glance at the accompanying map of Norwood is sufficient to show that the main north-south thoroughfares which have come to the community as a legacy of the past are confined to the site if the ancient village. These thoroughfares do not cross the upper or lower portions of the Town where active housing developments are occupying grounds which were formerly regarded as “back pastures” or wastelands, but which are now held to be residential districts of an exceedingly desirable kind. Road building in these tracts has become a matter of necessity, and the time is now ri|»o to guide these isolated and haphazard building operations in a manner to create new main lines of through streets for convenient communication.

1923 Norwood Planning Board Report


This Day In Norwood History-May 19, 1923-Planning Board Has Done Excellent Work

NORWOOD TOWN NOW BEAUTIFUL NORWOOD, May 19—The marked improvement in the physical appearance of the town of Norwood, since the establishment of a Planning Board, here, as well as the pride and interest which its townspeople have in the civic…



Published and Presented With the Compliments of George F. WillettChairman Town Planning Board1912 – 1923 Report of ARTHUR A. SHURTLEFF, Town Planner SUPPLEMENTARY REPORTS :Zoning, by JOHN P. FOX, ConsultantCivic Center, by HARRY J. CARLSON, ArchitectandLegal Aspects, by FLAVEL SHURTLEFF,…


1923 Planning Board Report-Plan for the Vicinity of Center of the Town

The plan on pages 20 and 21 for the center of Norwood is an integral part of the general plan proposed for the Town as a whole. The development of the center cannot be considered separately from the development of…


1923 Planning Board Report-Vicinity of High Bridge

The complicated and dangerous arrangement of roadways, railway tracks for electric and steam cars, in combination with a narrow underpass in the High Bridge district illustrates forcibly the costly results of allowing important road junctions to “happen by chance.” It…


1923 Planning Board Report-Streets Near Norwood Railroad Station

In the course of the general program of the state for the abolishment of railway grade crossings, the present dangerous crossing at Railroad Avenue will be abolished. This work should be undertaken, however, not only with an eye to the…


1923 Planning Board Report-Proposed Additional East-West Through Streets and Diagonals

In the wide interspaces between the existing east-west thoroughfares there are many local streets already built, and many more contemplated or actually under construction. Gradually, in a long term of years, all these wild lands will be traversed by roads…


1923 Planning Board Report-Proposed Additional North-South Through Streets and Diagonals

In the outlying districts of the Town where new houses and new streets are springing up, the individual land owners have used and are still using customary skill and foresight in the planning of individual lots to meet the desires…


1923 Planning Board Report-Development of Clark Swamp District

The built-up area of Norwood is gradually approaching the margins of the Clark Swamp district. Under good or bad planning this entire neighborhood is destined to be crossed by streets and built up with dwellings. The cost of this work…


This Day in Norwood History-January 22, 1948-Norwood 25 Years Ahead Of Dedham In Master Planning

But Many Phases Of Shurcliff Report Never Carried Out Here The neighboring town of Dedham has received the spotlight of publicity since the appearance, four weeks ago, of an Attractive 100-page booklet, profusely illustrated with diagrams, maps, statistical charts, and…


1923 Planning Board Report-Schools, Parks and Playgrounds

On the accompanying map are shown the public schools of Norwood. They are grouped most closely near the center of the Town with scattered buildings on the outskirts. Evidently school locations will follow the centers of new growth, but the…