10. Printed Report of the Committee on the Widening of Main Street
The Committee on the Widening of Main Street submitted a report for inclusion in the printed annual Concord town report for the year from March 1, 1871 to March 1, 1872. Prepared before the March 25, 1872 town meeting at which taxpayers were to approve or refuse a municipal appropriation of two-fifths the cost of William Munroe's plan to widen Main Street, the report addressed several objections that critics had raised: the necessity of taking down four large trees; the cost of the project; the injustice of taxing residents outside the town center for improvements within the center; the land damages; and the suspicion that the major motive behind Munroe's plan was a desire to better display his library building.
The committee answered the criticisms one by one, emphasizing among other points that widening the street was necessary to handle increased traffic, that the proposed improvements would benefit all the town's residents (not just those in the center), and that it was perfectly natural for William Munroe to want to show off his generous gift. And so the citizens of Concord voted in favor of Munroe's request. Trees were cut down, buildings moved, and Main Street took on the proportions with which we are familiar today.