Saturday, November 27, 2010

traces of farm property lines - still visible!

I've been researching the footprint the buildings on the block where La Mama Galleria is located, because some of them seem rather odd.

In a earlier post I illustrated the progression of the intersection at Bowery and Houston using aerial photographs from 1924, 1996, and 2008 from the interactive maps site.  La Mama is on the north side of 1st Street, Near the Bowery.  Looking at it from above, I noticed some of the buildings nearby were built at a weird angle.  Not just on that block, but the pattern seemed to extend across Second Avenue.

I did some digging though the NYPL digital archives, and learned that the weird angle actually relates to old farm property lines.  I'm not entirely sure why the buildings from 1867 seem to follow the lines so closely, my guess is that the grid was still relatively new and the plots of land were being sold in parcels to individuals by the farm owners.  I find the fact that even new buildings follow this footprint fascinating.

Click, then click again to enlarge:

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