Waitt’s Mountain Park – Malden MA

Description

“In the 1930’s the Works Progress Administration (WPA) undertook a series of improvements including the construction of the loop road around the summit [of Waitt’s Mount].” A 1937 WPA Bulletin reported:

In 1934 Waitt’s Mount in Maiden looked like a quarry-workers’ nightmare. It was a huge, bald and jagged granite ledge whose slope was covered with twisted, stunted trees and tangled underbrush; probably the most useless piece of land in this section of the state. Today the Mount is a beautifully terraced park which commands a 15-mile panorama of metropolitan Boston. The park, built by the WPA, has landscaped slopes, shade trees, rustic bridges, rock gardens, bird baths, stone walks, fireplaces, picnic benches, a complete drainage system and a 20 foot roadway which winds from the base to the top of the hill. There, the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey has a station for communication with coastal defenses and other governmental signal stations. When the project first started many observers said it was a foolish gesture; that nothing could ever be done with the waste land. To sum it up — Sponsor’s Agent George Blakeslee says: “They said it couldn’t be done but we’ve done it.”

Between 2012 and 2014, the park underwent renovations while protecting some preexisting elements, such as WPA-build stone walls. The renovations were focused closer to the Mount’s summit area, whereas, the actual park boundaries extend out a bit further. In these extended areas of the park, one can find many more existing remnants/structures that were part of the original 1930s WPA project.

Source notes

https://www.shadleyassociates.com/article?article=17

Works Progress Bulletin, Massachusetts: Oct. 1, 1937 (pg. 2)
https://archive.org/details/worksprogressbul3637unit

Site visit, 2017.

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish & Dana Smith on October 14, 2014.

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Location Info


Waitt's Mountain Park
Malden, MA 02148

Coordinates: 42.43396001986777, -71.06570238360598

One comment on “Waitt’s Mountain Park – Malden MA

  1. Hello,
    My name is Jeffrey Stanton and I grew up for many a year atop the mount! As a young lad,I roamed all about throughout the year in a all weather condition’s. It does this old mans heart good to see the area has finally been given the respect it has deserved for so many years! Many,Many happy memories attached to the Mount as we youngsters used to call it. My grand parents lived in Malden for over 80+ years up at Wallace St, for over 60+years. As a youngster,for a time,I would wander all about the Hill,Tremont,lenoard,Marion,Whipple streets and the surrounding wooded areas from early morning till sunset or when the street lights came on at dusk in the Fall and Winter months. I am looking forward to a visit to the site very soon to enjoy the improvements and remissness about the past boyhood memories.

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