|Image: Allee of mostly ginkgos|
William Penn envisioned Philadelphia as a "greene countrie towne." His urban design included four squares, now parks, one in each of the city's quadrants. In the center of the city one also finds other green spaces: street trees, window boxes, and sidewalk planters.
The green countrie towne concept is also found in the naming of streets. While walking to and from Rittenhouse Square (a future post) I noticed that several streets are named for trees. Cypress. Pine. Lombard (as in the Lombardy poplar). Locust. Walnut. Chestnut.
Roberta Alotta has written a book titled Mermaids, Monasteries, Cherokees and Custer: The Stories Behind Philadelphia Street Names about the history of Philly's street names. This book is now on my wishlist. Lawrence Kentenbaum at potifos.com has written a brief description and bibliograpy of street naming in U.S. cities. Kentenbaum notes that the "idealization" of nature in the late 1800s is reflected in street names and street design.
I wonder when Mariposa (Spanish for butterfly) Street in Berkeley was named? Did a lot of butterflies once live here?