Here’s the perfect follow-up to our recent post on bird’s eye view maps of the Croton Aqueduct—an interactive mashup of an 1836 map of Manhattan, georeferenced with satellite images of the city today.1 Using a “spyglass” map viewer you can switch back and forth between the two maps and explore 177 years of growth and … Continue reading The Ultimate Bird’s Eye View of Manhattan
Here are two priceless “bird’s eye” views of the Croton Aqueduct, made eight years apart during the period when New York City was rapidly outgrowing the capacity of what we now call the Old Croton Aqueduct. One map looks north, showing the burgeoning metropolis in 1879—straining the water supply system with its unrelenting growth. The … Continue reading Bird’s Eye Views of the Croton Aqueduct, 1879-1887
In 1857 the Central Park Commission held a contest to improve the landscape design of the newly opened park. Thirty three entries were submitted, only five of which have survived today. Two of the rejected designs are currently on display at the New-York Historical Society, giving us a look at the Central Park that might … Continue reading Croton Reservoir in Central Park, Rejected Design
This image of the Croton Reservoir in Central Park is from a stereoview, taken as part of Deloss Barnum's "Views in Central Park" series. Barnum, who during his career was referred to by several variant names, was a photographer in Boston and New York in the mid-19th century. This rare stereoview is currently for sale on eBay, and the … Continue reading Croton Reservoir, circa 1865
A detail from an exquisite map of Central Park, published in 1865. The map appeared in A picturesque Guide through the whole Park showing all the improvements up to June 1865, published by L. Prang, Boston. The reservoir was drained in 1931 and filled with excavation material from Rockefeller Center and the Eighth Avenue subway. Today it … Continue reading Croton Reservoir in Central Park, 1865
A detail from Watson's New Map of New-York and Adjacent Cities. Published by Gaylord Watson, 16 Beekman St., 1874. Another detail showing the distributing reservoir at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue (where the New York Public Library is today) is below. The entire map is available online at David Rumsey.