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Thread: Streets that Bend - Before there was a grid

  1. #31

    Thumbs up Superb !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    Doyers Street

    This tiny street in the heart of Chinatown has no less than three bends.


    Another famous bend, the “Bloody Angle” on Doyers Street becomes notorious for murderous ambushes. Even as late as the 1980's, clashes between gangs in today's Chinatown occured here.


    Down to the Bowery



    THE LOWER EAST SIDE

    Allen Street

    Wide Allen Street with a median bends from the East Village grid to the Lower East Side grid.


    Manhattan Bridge in the background


    Cherry Street

    Under the Manhattan Bridge overpass, Cherry Street bends to follow the East River shoreline



    Hope you enjoyed. There are more streets in the Lower East Side along Division Street that I have not yet visited, and Downtown needs a whole other day.
    I enjoy driving through those streets even more now... And that house on Commerce bend before it meets Barrow, you know, the one with the Red Bricks.. She is mine the minute I hit the Megga....

  2. #32

    Default 30th Street between Broadway and the Avenue of the Americas

    The alignment of buildings on 30th Street between Broadway and the Avenue of the Americas is off from the grid alignment.

    By CHRISTOPHER GRAY
    Published: December 5, 2008

    The angled Bijou Building, above, at West 30th Street and Broadway, as it was in 1938 and, below, as it appears today. It follows the line of a vanished street, laid out before the establishment of a grid.
    The block was not part of a park, but a street — Stewart Street, created by an estate owner who sought to redevelop his land before Manhattan’s grid plan existed.

    In the early 19th century, three irregular north-south roads went up Manhattan Island past what is now 30th Street: Middle Road, roughly at Lexington Avenue; Broadway, in its present location; and Fitz Roy Road, at about Eighth Avenue.

    ...

    Full text at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/re...ref=realestate

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
    Last edited by Edward; July 22nd, 2011 at 06:38 PM. Reason: Removed full text

  3. #33

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    Thanks for posting, finally an answer to this.
    Quote Originally Posted by brianac View Post
    [
    The Bijou Building at 1239 Broadway, built in 1915 and 16 stories tall, is particularly striking. Flanked by much lower buildings, its high, angled form, 39 feet wide, is the only trace left of Stewart Street.
    Not true, there are other angled lots across Sixth Avenue, between 29th and 30th.

  4. #34

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    785 Eighth Avenue is also built on a partly angled lot. What's the explanation there?




    Btw, I'm glad this thread got bumped. One of my favorites.

    Gives you a vision of how all of Manhattan could have turned out if they hadn't adopted the Commissioners Plan. Labyrinth.

  5. #35

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    Thanks for the info, Derek and Ablarc.

    A few photographs would be good. Anyone?

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    785 Eighth Avenue is also built on a partly angled lot. What's the explanation there?
    Fitz Roy Road started in Greenwich Village, at Southampton Road (about 14th St between 7th and 8th). It ran north, crossed to the west of 8th Ave at 22nd St, swung back and crossed again at 33rd. It ran north just to the west of 8th, and ended at 42nd St between 8th and 9th.



    Plot #92 is the estate of James Stewart.


    As it looks today.



    The buildings to the south didn't front Stewart St, but they follow the alignment of the property that once occupied the vacant lots.

  7. #37

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    Thanks Zippy, good information.

  8. #38

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    So how come Fitz Roy Rd. disappeared and Broadway didn't?

    And what was the mechanism whereby the city took land to build the street grid?

    And who did the subdivision into lots: government or landowner?

  9. #39
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Broadway is an ancient Indian footpath that runs along the high point of Manhattan.

  10. #40
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The grid plan (which spelled out the not-so-immediate end of Fitz Roy Road) was the result of the Commissioner's Plan of 1811 enacted by the NYS Legislature.

    The Commissioners' Plan of 1811 was a proposal by the New York State Legislature adopted in 1811 for the orderly development and sale of the land of Manhattan between 14th Street and Washington Heights. The plan is arguably the most famous use of the grid plan and is considered by most historians to have been far-reaching and visionary ...

    The plan was formulated by a three-member commission made up of Gouverneur Morris, the lawyer John Rutherfurd, and the surveyor Simeon De Witt.

    The plan called for a regular grid of streets and property lines without regard to the topography of the island itself ...

    The old Bloomingdale Road (which is pictured on the original 1811 map) became part of what is now known as Broadway.
    Before 1807 many parcels had been sold or granted to private individuals, and the configuration of the plots were at odds with a strict grid.

    The Commissioners' report of 1807 (with a modern introduction and an 1811 map) addressed the issue ...
    Under the terms of the Dongan Charter of 1686 the little English colonial city of New York that then occupied only the southernmost tip of Manhattan became the governing authority for the entire island. Equally important, the Charter conferred on the new municipality ownership of all land in Manhattan that had not previously been granted or sold to individuals. Most of this enormous public domain -- probably several thousand acres -- lay north of what is now 23rd Street and included the central spine of Manhattan Island.

    From time to time during the next century the city sold parts of its public domain to raise funds for municipal purposes while keeping taxes low. New York faced new needs following the Revolution. At that time at least 1300 acres of municipal land remained of the so-called Northern Commons whose irregular boundaries lay between the modern Third and Seventh Avenues. In 1785 the City Council ordered its surveyors to divide this tract into plots of 5 acres to be sold at auction. Middle Road, now Fifth Avenue, provided access to these parcels.

    It was the time to buy real estate in Manhattan. In 1789 nine purchasers bought just under 200 acres for about $70 an acre. One of these areas was bounded by what are now Broadway, Lexington Avenue, and 32nd and 42nd Streets. Another occupied the rectangle formed by the future Third and Fifth Avenues and 42nd and 48th Streets.

    The city changed its policy in 1796, directing its surveyor, Casimir Goerck, to locate two additional roads -- now Park and Sixth Avenues -- parallel to Middle Road. Additional five-acre parcels were laid out like the first in long rectangles with their narrow ends fronting the north-south roads. Half of these were put up for sale, and the other half--arranged to alternate with the parcels for sale--were made available for 21-year leases.

    While the city's jurisdiction over the Common Lands was absolute, its powers to determine street alignment and widths where private ownership prevailed were less clear. Several maps recorded the existing street pattern early in the l9th century and included unofficial proposals for how new streets and squares might be developed. Evidently these suggestions created a good deal of controversy.

    Finally, in February, 1807 the Common Council asked the state legislature for help in planning future streets. In a memorial sent to Albany the Council set forth its ultimate goal as "laying out Streets ... in such a manner as to unite regularity and order with the public convenience and benefit and in particular to promote the health of the City ...." They described their difficulties. One was the lack of authority of the Council to bind its predecessors to follow any plan. Other problems they stated were:
    "equally palpable and of very considerable magnitude.
    The diversity of Sentiments and opinions which has
    heretofore existed and probably will always exist among
    the members of the Common Council, the incessant
    remonstrances of ... [land owners] ... against plans
    however well devised or beneficial wherein their
    individual Interests do not concur and the Impossibility
    of completing those plans thus opposed but by a tedious
    and expensive course of Law are obstacles of a serious
    and very perplexing nature."
    Attached: A Map showing Manhattan as it appeared in the early 1800s; the somewhat winding Fitz Roy Road no longer exists, but its former configuration is nearly apparent to the west of "The Parade" (an open square which lies in the vicinity of today's Madison Square) ...

    *
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #41
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Here is a LINK to a the map from 1852 (part of which Zippy posted previously). It clearly shows almost the full length of Fitz Roy Road from where it starts down in Greenwich Village (near the intersection of today's W 14th Street / Eighth Avenue, the site of a much-discussed Deli ) and then north, somewhat along the path of Eighth Avenue to ~ West 38th Street, where the map ends.

    Also found at that web page is a chart which identifies the owners of farms / properties which fronted onto Fitz Roy Road and which are specified on the map by number ...

    73. Estate of Bishop Moore, late of Dr. Clement C. Moore.

    74. Clarke estate.

    92. Estate of James A. Stewart. Stewart street divided it in the centre, running westerly from Bloomingdale road, parallel with the northerly fronting on Broadway, together with Nos. 97, 98 and 99, formed the farm of Peter Van Ordens; that part lying on Fitz Roy Road, was part of Jacob Ordens' farm.

    98. Arden estate.

    98˝. Estate of Citizen Genet.

    99. Estate of Cornelius Ray.

    100. Estate of Richard Harrison, Esq., a distinguished lawyer, some fifty years since, late the property of the Hon. David S. Jones, now deceased.

    101. The property formerly of Decatur, now, or late, of James Boorman, Esq.

    102. Late of George C. Schropel.

    103. Formerly of Thomas Tibbett Warner, afterward of Rem Rapelye.

    103 b. Late of Isaac Moses.

    104. Estate of I. Moses.

    105. Codman.

    106. John B. Murray.

    107. Glass-house farm. Estate of George Rapelye, formerly belonging to Sir Peter Warren; at the northerly boundary line was the Great Kill, so called.

    108. Samuel N. Norton.

  12. #42
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    The link is very interesting as it shows the Village before it was raped by the avenues being pushed through it.

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    So how come Fitz Roy Rd. disappeared and Broadway didn't?
    In the post colonial period, Broadway's importance was that it connected to the Bloomingdale Road, one of the two principle north-south roads on Manhattan island - the other being the Eastern Post Road (southern section of the Boston Post Road), which ran up the east side. Chatham Sq, the Bowery, and 4th Ave are remnants.

    These roads connected to the two principal villages in northern Manhattan, Harlem and Manhattanville. The villages were connected by Manhattan St, now 125th St. At that time, Harlem was populated by wealthy farmers, and Manhattanville was a shipping and manufacturing center, the first stop on the Hudson River Railroad to Albany.

    For a time before the entire road was named Broadway, the section of Bloomingdale Road in the Upper West Side was called The Boulevard.

  14. #44
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I nominate this best WNY thread ever.

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Other problems they stated were:
    "...The diversity of Sentiments and opinions which has
    heretofore existed and probably will always exist among
    the members of the Common Council, the incessant
    remonstrances of ... [land owners] ... against plans
    however well devised or beneficial wherein their
    individual Interests do not concur and the Impossibility
    of completing those plans thus opposed but by a tedious
    and expensive course of Law are obstacles of a serious
    and very perplexing nature."
    What else is new?

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