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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

1827: Central Park Scene

Illustration of pedestrians walking near Central Park.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1830: City Hall, New York

Black and white illustration of City Hall in New York.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

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.

1846: City Hall

An illustrated view of City Hall and the park fountain.

Artist Credit: Currier & Ives. Reprinted with permission.

1836: Union Square Park

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

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

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.

1849: Manhattan and Brooklyn

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

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1849: Grace Church

Black and white etching of Grace Church at its uptown location. The church was initially organized in 1808 at Broadway and Rector Street.

Artist Credit: Charles Burton. Reprinted with permission.

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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History of NYC - 10,000+ Years Ago

Learn all about NYC’s fascinating past by exploring the natural forces that shaped the environment and landscape, along with the people who would transform the “Island of Many Hills” into the greatest and most influential city in the world.


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