Wednesday, March 11, 2015


The Marietta Register, December 29, 1898

It is evident that the present City Council will not consent to appropriating Quadranaou Square for county buildings. It is clearly within the power of the City Council to erect city buildings on Quadranaou or on Capitolium Square. Possibly on Sacra Via, all of which lie in territory ceded by the Ohio Company. Whether the right to erect city buildings is broad enough to permit their use for county buildings which are for both city and county, is perhaps one of construction. The Council did not bring out, in our opinion, the strongest reason for not assenting to the use of Quadranaou, which is, what two contributors have brought out, viz., the greater necessity of preserving it to public park purposes.

They are ideal spots on which to build, but clearly too far away from business for Court House. The county is able to buy all the ground necessary, but it did not authorize as much money as would be required to buy an ideal site as the proper location. If the new buildings shall be moved altogether away from the business district, then surely the square of Campus Martius is an ideal spot, has the sentiment and is not too large. But besides being too far away, it would take perhaps all, or nearly all that can be realized from the present locations and leave the county barely $125,000 to build with, which is not enough.

The grounds bounded by Butler, Front, Wooster and the Muskingum River never were under control of the Ohio Company and therefore never passed, as the other squares did, into the control of the City Council. This ground, by the State, was vested in the Ministerial trustees. Still there has been a good deal of common authority exercised over them. The permission to use a portion for private purposes, when the mill was built upon them, could not come from Council and perhaps was of doubtful legal right from any other power. But it was acquiesced in. When a county bridge was built the right to run a street across, or build to the bridge was assumed, but not granted, and save for the public necessity might not stand the test of the courts. So the Council probably could not consider granting an easement for county buildings above the monument on the park although it would be no worse than to appropriate Quadranaou on Third Street. That is to day, this Park is not more sacred not more needed for park purposes.

The ground below Putnam is entirely different. An enactment of last March put it directly under control of the Council for city buildings and structures for public use. It might be no stretch of the meaning of words to say "and other structures for public use" (not city public use) would clear the title for county use in common with the city. If this should not be accepted then it could only be acquired by condemnation; the right to condemn Quadranaou may exist also, but we doubt it. But the county should not strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. It made a street approach across the city commons without saying so much as by your leave. Now if the city consent to its building in common on the ground below the bridge approach, who could object?


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