Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The History of New York's Grid Map

In 1807 the New York state legislature appointed Gouverneur Morris, John Rutherfurd, and Simeon De Witt to devise an orderly street plan for Manhattan. So began the formation of New York's grid street plan.

Part of the purpose of the new map of New York, as the New York City Council stated, was "laying out Streets... in such a manner as to unite regularity and order". This is how New York became the orderly and restrained city that we love today.

The Interactive 1811 Plan allows you to explore an original map of the 1811 plan overlaid on top of a modern map of New York. One of the delightful features of this interactive version of the map is the option to learn about key features of the map.

If you click on the 'Key Features' button at the top of the map you can explore some of the decisions made in devising the 1911 plan. For example, decisions made about the width of New York's streets, the length and width of blocks, the limited provision of parks and the numbering system of New York's roads.

You might also like: The History of New York in 50 Maps

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