Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Commissioners' Plan of 1811
The Commissioners' Plan of 1811 was a proposal by the state legislature of New York 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. It is often credited for giving New York City much of its distinctive lifestyle.
The plan called for a regular grid of streets and property lines without regard to the topography of the island itself. The plan called for twelve numbered avenues running north and south roughly parallel to the shore of the Hudson River, as well as 155 orthogonal cross streets.
Each avenue was to be one hundred feet (30 m) wide. The avenues in the center of the island were to be separated by 922 feet (281 m), and the avenues along the waterfront were to be slightly closer.
The east-west cross streets were to be only 200 feet (61 m) apart, resulting in a grid of approximately 2000 long, narrow blocks.
- The Commissioners' report of 1807, with a modern introduction and an 1811 map
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