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Maps: Layers of Lower Manhattan (text-only)

  Back to Introduction | 1650s | 1760s | 1880s | 1990s 

Map of lower Manhattan, 1650s - 1990s If Peter Stuyvesant could visit Manhattan today, he wouldn't recognize it.

For centuries, human interventions have made their mark on the natural geography of the world's cities, including New York, Boston, Venice, and Hong Kong. Motivated by commercial or defensive interests, countless urban projects divert rivers, dig canals, reclaim land, dredge channels, build seawalls, and otherwise alter the landscape.

This schematic illustration shows how Lower Manhattan's shoreline has been moved outward into the harbor since the 17th century. Explore each of the four maps to read about changes through the years."

1650s: Dutch Fortified Settlement
1760s: British Colonial Town
1880s: American Industrial Metropolis
1990s: Global Financial Hub

page created on 8.22.2003
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