How New York City became a Grid

New York City by Monica Goslin
New York City

How New York City became a Grid

Did you ever wonder how the plan for New York City came about? How the streets were formed? Why central park has huge boulders? Why the west side is hillier than the east side?

If you are in New York City from now until July 15, 2012 you should go visit the Museum of the City of New York and see the exhibition titled “The Greatest Grid” to learn about the history of how New York City was planned and formed.


“The Greatest Grid” exhibition shows old maps and plans for the city, where you will discover the original names of streets and see how much the city has changed. I found the old photographs of the construction particularly interesting as they showed the hilly and rocky terrain that was leveled to implement the grid system of streets. It is truly a fascinating exhibition, perhaps even more compelling to locals, but fascinating for tourists as well.


The exhibition highlights how many had to sell their land, when stately farms were transformed into rows of streets. There is mention of James Beekman whose property and colonial mansion were transformed into what is now Beekman Place, an exclusive few square blocks of a quiet neighborhood in the middle of a bustling city.

The 3T walking tour I have written covers Beekman Place, Sutton Place, and other exclusively distinctive and hidden neighborhoods of the city and how they were transformed from rural land to the grid of the city today. For more information on my walking tour, which can be downloaded right onto your phone, click here for the 3T tour of New York City.

* If you like the photo above and would like to see more artistic photos of New York City that are perfect for home or office decoration visit The Monica Store by clicking here.


The Museum of the City of New York is located  at 5th Avenue and 103rd street

How to get there —- By subway it is best to take the green line (4,5,6) to 96th street and from the metro stop get out and walk over to 5th Avenue and then up to 103rd. On this walk you will notice when crossing Park Avenue that you can see the train tracks that emerge from underground.

Open 10am to 6pm seven days a week

Until April 7, 2012 the Museum will be open until 8:30pm on Saturdays.

Admission price is suggested.

Visit the museum website for more information by clicking here for the Museum of the city of New York.


Published by


I love to travel and I love taking pictures.

One thought on “How New York City became a Grid”

  1. This was a really cool exhibit. So neat to see how they designed the city. You won’t believe it until you see the old photos.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s