The Greatest Quid
“What is the history of the New York grid? How did it come into being and what was
the intention of its inventors? Why is it not entirely regular? What were its shortcomings and how were they solved? What are, in your opinion, the advantages and advantages of this kind of modernist city planning?”
A gridiron can be described as a framework of parallel lines, typically used in sets of two running perpendicular to one another forming a grid pattern. Manhattan’s streets and avenues can be likened to these two sets of perpendicular gridirons forming a regular grid work which creates the predominantly uniform blocks upon which the famous Manhattan metropolis has risen. I am of the inclination that the advantages gained by this kind of modernist city planning are outweighed by ﬂaws fundamental to the commissioners plan of 1811. It is known that at the beginning of the 1800’s, the main city of New York was on the Southern tip of Manhattan and it was comprised of a collection of warehouses, homes, docks, churches and government buildings, with the preceding 100 years mostly a competition between the Dutch and British for control of the New York Harbour.1 As the population grew, the need for a plan to be laid out to ensure the City’s prosperous and potentially proﬁtable future arose.
The years 1790 to 1800 saw the population of manhattan rise quickly, with the total inhabitants almost doubling from 33 000 to 60 000.2 People were pouring in from Europe and the commissioners estimated Manhattan was going to grow to a city the size of Paris over the next 50 years.3 During this time of early rapid expansion, homes were being erected on the nearest free land and streets were being positioned
"Streets and Avenues: A History of the Grid System | Become A New Yorker." Become A New Yorker
. http://becomeanewyorker.com/streets-and-avenues-a-history-of-the-grid-system/ (accessed May 10, 2013).