The Real Deal New York

History buffs rejoice: early maps of NYC’s original street plan go on display

The exhibition is free and open to the public today

October 17, 2015 10:00AM


The Commissioners’ Plan of 1811

New Yorkers have a way of getting obsessed with their streets. Some marvel at the logic of the grid, some bemoan the loss of the Old World charm from back when much of the city felt like Greenwich Village. Well now, history junkies have a rare chance to see the original documents that created modern New York City.

The Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, the original plan for the streets of Manhattan that introduced the grid system, is going on display with a collection of other early maps of the city, according to the New York Post.

The exhibition was put together at the request of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who is the keeper of the Commissioners’ Plan collection by surveyor John Randel Jr. The 92 hand-drawn and colored panels that compose the 1811 map can be viewed in a 16-by-60-foot room at the Municipal Building on Centre Street.

The exhibition is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. [NYP]Christopher Cameron