New York History
June 15, 2012 7:59 AM   Subscribe

New York finally starting to reveal her secrets to me as I walk around, thanks to past and present contrasting pictures at Manhattan Unlocked and a collective block by block history.
posted by J-Do (4 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Interesting stuff, I like Scouting NY for stuff like this too, although recently it looks as if he's taken a road trip down south.
posted by phirleh at 8:22 AM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also of interest for New Yorkers or visitors this summer is "The Greatest Grid" exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. It runs through mid-July, and I highly recommend it for those interested in NYC history and map geeks.

You can check out the historic Randel Farm Maps here. Interactive map.
Drafted between 1818 and 1820 by John Randel, Jr., this set of one-of-a-kind documents has long been in the care of the Office of the Manhattan Borough President. The maps, which are hand-drawn and hand-colored, document the island of Manhattan--stretching from today’s Houston Street to the northernmost tip--in meticulous detail. Drawn at an impressively large scale of 100 feet to 1 inch, the so-called “Farm Maps” display the island’s natural and manmade features down to individual buildings. They provide an incomparable online record of the young, growing city.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:26 AM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

Wow, that Randel map is amazing.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:14 AM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Excellent post.

That Manhattan Unblocked is a brilliant site. I love to read and learn about the history of NYC blocks. So cool to learn some of the nifty details of my 'hood, Hell's Kitchen. Huh, had no idea Bat Masterson lived around here. Oh wow, 409 West 49th Street: In the musical Guys and Dolls, this is the address of the Save-a-Soul Mission? Quite a few details need updating, though I can well imagine how hard it would be to update the info details of every building or block in NYC.

Some details are incorrect, like this one: "326 [West 49th Street] : Poet Frank O'Hara moved to a tenement here in 1952; his poor housekeeping habits led one visitor to dub his apartment "Squalid Manor." A mugger shot O'Hara here in 1956. The current 15-story condo dates to 1962." Number 326 West 49th is a 5 story tenement walk-up building, not a 15 story condo. There is a 5 story condo building on West 49th, 344.

And yes, that Randel map is way cool.
posted by nickyskye at 10:58 AM on June 15, 2012

« Older Why the British are on average 3 stone (42 lbs)...   |   In 'unusual' turn, Cook County state's attorney... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments