200th birthday for the map that made New York

March 21, 2011 |

Two hundred years ago, New York City’s street commissioners certified the no-frills street matrix that heralded the city's transformation.

The grid certified by the city’s street commissioners on March 22, 1811, spurred development by establishing seven miles of regular, predictable street access. It also laid the groundwork for nearly 2,000 acres of landfill that would be added to the island over the next two centuries. The commissioners concluded that New York “is to be composed principally of the habitations of men, and that straight-sided and right-angled houses are the most cheap to build and the most convenient to live in.”

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Source: The New York Times

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