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ê City on a Grid: How New York Became New York ↠ Gerard Koeppel
Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM By Gerard Koeppel

You either love it or hate it, but nothing says New York like the street grid of Manhattan Created in 1811 by a three man commission featuring headstrong Founding Father Gouverneur Morris, the plan called for a dozen parallel avenues crossing at right angles with many dozens of parallel streets in an unbroken grid Hills and valleys, streams and ponds, forests and swampsYou either love it or hate it, but nothing says New York like the street grid of Manhattan Created in 1811 by a three man commission featuring headstrong Founding Father Gouverneur Morris, the plan called for a dozen parallel avenues crossing at right angles with many dozens of parallel streets in an unbroken grid Hills and valleys, streams and ponds, forests and swamps were invisible to the grid so too were country villages, roads, farms, and estates and generations of property lines All would disappear as the crosshatch fabric of the grid overspread the island a heavy greatcoat on the land, the dense undergarment of the future city.No other grid in Western civilization was so large and uniform as the one ordained in 1811 Not without reason When the grid plan was announced, New York was just under two hundred years old, an overgrown town at the southern tip of Manhattan, a notorious jumble of streets laid at the whim of landowners To bring order beyond the chaos and good real estate to market the street planning commission came up with a monolithic grid for the rest of the island Mannahatta the native island of hills became a place of rectangles, in thousands of blocks on the flattened landscape, and many thousands of right angled buildings rising in vertical mimicry.The Manhattan grid has been called a disaster of urban planning and the most courageous act of prediction in Western civilization However o
  • Title: City on a Grid: How New York Became New York
  • Author: Gerard Koeppel
  • ISBN: 9780306822841
  • Page: 214
  • Format: Hardcover

Comments

Scott Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
I ve always been a little claustrophobic living on the island Now I have a name to my pain While the author claims neutrality about the grid in the beginning, he is clearly an anti griddy and makes a strong case for his not so hidden biases with regards to traditional concepts of urban beauty, the incompetence of the original planners, and the evil machinations of Aaron Burr, the man who may ultimately be responsible for it all On the other hand, the author s avenues of thinking often flow only [...]
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Steve Solnick Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
Prodigiously researched history of New York s street grid alternately fascinating and frustrating At times it feels like the author is mining a dissertation on Manhattan s earliest urban planning days, going down rabbit holes about how an early city surveyor was paid At times, it reads like a mild polemic against the tyranny of the grid At times, it zooms by utopian visions of the mid 20th century with just a glance Taken as a whole, the book offers some fascinating background on the unique urba [...]
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Sean Rowland Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
The history and story of how the grid came to be is an interesting one It shows the decisions that were made and not made that put NYC in a straitjacket that is almost impossible to escape The narrative does get bogged down in too much minutiae at times, but this is still a good view into how urban planning can greatly impact the lives of people that live in cities.
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Sara Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
A comprehensive history of New York City s grid system, this historical volume starts off strong but gradually falls into a recitation of minor historical personages and events.
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Robert S Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
City on a Grid is a comprehensive well researched look at the creation of the street grid of Manhattan in New York.Koeppel discusses the creation of the grid, the individuals who helped shape it, and some of the many opinions about it Individuals tend to fall in the love it or leave it camps with the grid, either wishing it was a part of their own town or being thankful that their cities were allowed to grow a bit organically Koeppel s discussion showcases the merits for both sides ultimately, [...]
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Lalitha Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
An interesting book by Gerard Koeppel on how the Island of Mannahatta became the present day Manhattan Although a bit dry, the book is engaging for someone who moved recently to this bustling city It is a detailed account of the challenges and controversies surrounding the making of this gridded city and its many avenues.
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alphonse p guardino Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
I found the book interesting Lots of things about the history of NYC that I did not know But in some ways I think the book could have been better organized It could also have used better quality illustrations
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Rich Grech Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
Well researched recap of the process under which the NYC street grid plan came to be If you re not interested in things like this, it probably won t get you interested but for anyone with a passing interest in city planning or NYC history I say give it a read.
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Michelle Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
Bleh Not one interesting tidbit And the writing style was so inconsistent Frustrating and jarring when writers do that.
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George Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
Interesting history of how Manhattan got its unique grid shape
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Richard Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
New York City is the first city I got a chance to know, and I ve always been familiar with, and comfortable with, its grid of numbered streets and avenues, which made a logical sense, kind of like a metric system of urban planning If you re planning to meet someone at Second Avenue and 79th Street, for example, even if you ve never been to that part of town, you know exactly where it is and how to get there The grid makes it easier to feel that you know the city.But New York City didn t necessar [...]
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Mark Robertson Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
This is an interesting history of New York City s physical layout, explaining how the city adopted and implemented the grid system of wide avenues and narrow streets that describes most of the island above Houston Street While explaining the grid, Koeppel also discusses proposals that were floated to fill in the East River, among other things Most New Yorkers will probably find this book thought provoking.The author points out correctly that you either love or hate the grid system I m firmly in [...]
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Shelley Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
The story of how the grid came to dominate NYC The grid is a love it or hate it thing I m a fan, because I m so directionally impaired and it helps me immensely The author is not, because of how it completely trampled and erased the island s natural beauty, with very little consideration It s true, they did They didn t even try to do their jobs, they mostly went the easy way, using past ideas, even though they weren t fully planned or fleshed out And because they had full legal authority, everyt [...]
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Deidre Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
Growing up outside of Boston, I was always struck by the differences between my city and New York New York s grid, unrelenting as it is, at least made a kind of sense compared to my city s network of one way streets with names that spoke to history, not practicality New York s grid has a relentlessness to it that seems to suit the city s ethos However the real Mannahatta under Manhattan was a hilly, marshy, beautiful place nearly obliterated by the grid forced onto the city by a few city planner [...]
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Tom Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
This one started strong and tapered off, with a few murmurs of life toward the end Koeppel is a master of the subject matter and clearly a capable writer as well perhaps the problem is just that the subject matter gets a bit dull after the grid is proposed in 1811 One beef I had the repeated vilification of the grid s ugliness eventually came to feel like a dismissal of the entire borough as a grotesque eyesore Lots of people hated the grid, I get it The grid created lots of problems, especially [...]
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Elizabeth Millard Whitman Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
This is a fascinating explanation of why most of Manhattan s streets are laid out on a boring and monotonous grid pattern Basically, the grid design was the default choice when it was decided on in the early 19th century Most fun are the descriptions of what Manhattan might have been had the early city planners not been so prosaically inclined Imagine a Manhattan with grand boulevards with not just one but a few diagonal avenues with hills, crooked streets, curves, and circles everywhere with bl [...]
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Lorraine Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
The reader definitely needs to be familiar with New York to best enjoy this book An interesting history of how the grid came to define New York.
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Howard Sundwall Jun 17, 2021 - 01:48 AM
If you ve ever wondered why Manhattan is laid out in a relentless right angled grid well, you can read this book and learn the history It s fascinating.
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City on a Grid: How New York Became New York By Gerard Koeppel You either love it or hate it, but nothing says New York like the street grid of Manhattan Created in 1811 by a three man commission featuring headstrong Founding Father Gouverneur Morris, the plan called for a dozen parallel avenues crossing at right angles with many dozens of parallel streets in an unbroken grid Hills and valleys, streams and ponds, forests and swampsYou either love it or hate it, but nothing says New York like the street grid of Manhattan Created in 1811 by a three man commission featuring headstrong Founding Father Gouverneur Morris, the plan called for a dozen parallel avenues crossing at right angles with many dozens of parallel streets in an unbroken grid Hills and valleys, streams and ponds, forests and swamps were invisible to the grid so too were country villages, roads, farms, and estates and generations of property lines All would disappear as the crosshatch fabric of the grid overspread the island a heavy greatcoat on the land, the dense undergarment of the future city.No other grid in Western civilization was so large and uniform as the one ordained in 1811 Not without reason When the grid plan was announced, New York was just under two hundred years old, an overgrown town at the southern tip of Manhattan, a notorious jumble of streets laid at the whim of landowners To bring order beyond the chaos and good real estate to market the street planning commission came up with a monolithic grid for the rest of the island Mannahatta the native island of hills became a place of rectangles, in thousands of blocks on the flattened landscape, and many thousands of right angled buildings rising in vertical mimicry.The Manhattan grid has been called a disaster of urban planning and the most courageous act of prediction in Western civilization However o

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  • ê City on a Grid: How New York Became New York ↠ Gerard Koeppel
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City on a Grid: How New York Became New York