#MapMondays – 1821 Manhattan Grid
#MapMondays 1821 John Randel map of the 1811 Commissioners Plan that surveyed the Manhattan street grid. The map was designed and surveyed by master surveyor John Randel Jr. who at the request of the New York City Commissioners spent over a decade measuring and placing posts and monuments on every corner of 12 Avenues and 155 blocks that would become the Manhattan grid. The grid of rectangular blocks helped bring regularity and order to the chaotic metropolis.
Traveling through swamps, forests, hills, and rivers, Randel was able to map out the entire grid, corner by corner so it Manhattan could develop northward. He was often chased by property owners or wild animals. In 1821 Randel released the map for commercial sale, placed in a regional context, including Philadelphia and the northern seaboard. Randall placed the surveying tools he had invented to take precise measurements. Created before Central Park the grid in the 1821 map runs straight through what is today's, Central Park. To this day some of Randel's surveying bolts he used to mark the corners of the streets and avenues can be found in Central Park.
Purchase a fine-art print of the map below: