Curated by Fine Print Art

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History101.NYC is an ad-free learning resource available to the public at no charge. The project is dedicated to exploring New York’s fascinating past. We restore vintage photographs and prints that document the City's history and heritage. We also research the natural forces that shaped the environment, along with the people who formed the landscape and culture.

History of NYC - 1800-1850

During this period, the Erie Canal begins operating – a game changer for the City and its place as a nexus of trade and economics. The New York Stock & Exchange Board is established and City Hall is built, along with the Staten Island Ferry, Madison Square Park and Fulton Fish Market.

1802: City Hall Design Concept

A conceptual sketch of a design proposal for New York's City Hall by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1812: Aerial View of Manhattan

A bird's eye view of downtown Manhattan and New York Harbor with plenty of ships.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. New York Public Library

1812: Harlem, New York

An illustration of the Harlem Plains in 1812 when it was a rural settlement.

Artist Credit: G. Hayward & Co. Reprinted with permission. New York Public Library

1823: The Palisades

A painting of the Palisades - a line of steep cliffs along the west side of the lower Hudson River in Northeastern New Jersey and Southeastern New York.

Artist Credit: John Hill. Reprinted with permission. New York Public Library

1825: Manhattan's Skyline from Brooklyn

Drawing shows lower Manhattan across the East River with sailboats, sailing ship, and steamship in the river.

Artist Credit: William Guy Wall. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1842: Murrays Hill

View of the Murrays Hill Reservoir - the terminal, or distributing, reservoir of the original Croton Aqueduct.

Artist Credit: Currier & Ives. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1827: Central Park Scene

Illustration of pedestrians walking near Central Park.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. New York Public Library

1830: City Hall

An engraved perspective of City Hall in New York taken from Wall Street.

Artist Credit: Cornelius Taibout. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1830: City Hall, New York

Black and white illustration of City Hall in New York.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1831: Broadway and Bowery

Engraved illustration depicting the corner of Broadway & the Bowery in downtown Manhattan.

Artist Credit: James Smillie. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1831: New York from Weehawken

Panoramic illustration of Manhattan's skyline, taken from the perspective of Weehawken, New Jersey.

Artist Credit: William Guy Wall. Reprinted with permission. New York Public Library

1846: City Hall

An illustrated view of City Hall and the park fountain.

Artist Credit: Currier & Ives. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1836: Union Square Park

An aerial view of people, horses and wagons crossing Union Square Park.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. New York Public Library

1849: Aerial View of New York City

Black and white etching of Manhattan looking south from a bird's eye perspective. Union Square Park is visible in the foreground.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. Library of Congress

1849: Manhattan and Brooklyn

An illustrated perspective of Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Hudson River from the Navy Yard.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission. New York Public Library

Next Chapter: History of NYC - 1850s

By the 1850s, New York City's ports handled more goods and people than all other American ports combined. In 1855, Fernando Wood was elected as the first mayor. Continue Reading

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