March 21, 2011

Happy 200th Birthday Manhattan Street Grid!

This week marks the official 200th anniversary of the introduction of the grid map to the previously wild island of Manhattan.  It was in 1811 that a young surveyor quite literally made his mark on New York City as, through meticulous surveying, created the grid that would come to define and help make the city the metropolis it is today.

It's a fascinating story and, in todays' TIMES, there are two articles about it in the Metro section.  One details the grid itself while the other talks about 21 year-old John Randel, who was hired by the city to tame its wilderness and farms north of what was then called North Street and is now known as Houston Street....and is also the street where I live. :)  It's a great exploration of New York's history and, what the paper calls, the citys most important document in its 400 years plus existence.

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