This photo is was taken on June 11, 1904, and shows that the Park Board’s viewing platform wasn’t holding up as well as one might hope. This looks like a combination of vandalism and deterioration, with groundwater probably playing a part in the crumbling edge. The land where this platform was looks like this today:
The slumping visible here shows just how unstable the land is. Vegetation might be used to secure the side of the gorge, but has not succeeded on its own. There has never been any sign of the Park Board putting deliberate plantings here.