The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011
The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011 celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, the foundational document that established Manhattan’s famous street grid. Featuring an original hand-drawn map of New York's planned streets and avenues prepared by the Commission in 1811, as well as other rare historic maps, photographs and prints of the evolution of the city's streets, and original manuscripts and publications that document the city’s physical growth, the exhibition examines the grid’s initial design, implementation, and evolution. The Greatest Grid traces the enduring influence of the 1811 plan as the grid has become a defining feature of the city, shaping its institutions and public life.
The exhibition is accompanied by a book of the same name, edited by Hilary Ballon of NYU, who also curated the exhibition, and co-published by the Museum and Columbia University Press.
Weekday mornings between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm and weekday late afternoons between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm are the best times of day to visit The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011 to avoid crowds.
Read the New York Times review of the exhibition here.
For the first time, the Randel Farm Maps can be digitally explored here.
The Greatest Grid is a co-presentation of the Museum of the City of New York, the New York Public Library, and The Architectural League of New York and is sponsored by the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.
Amanda M. Burden
Chair, City Planning Commission and Director,
New York City Department of City Planning
Scott M. Stringer
Manhattan Borough President
Richard T. Anderson
President, New York Building Congress
Founder and Chairman, Community for Education Foundation
CEO, STUDIOS Architecture
Chairman, Phipps Houses
Mitchell S. Steir
Chairman and CEO, Studley, Inc.
The exhibition is supported by generous grants from
The Durst Organization
Andrew Farkas/Island Capital Group
Lily Auchincloss Foundation
New York State Council on the Arts
The Rockefeller Foundation
Major sponsorship is also provided by
Jill and John Chalsty
Todd DeGarmo/STUDIOS Architecture
Peter S. Kalikow
Ronay and Richard L. Menschel
Nixon Peabody LLP
Vornado Realty Trust
Additional support has been received from
American Continental Group, Inc.
AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
Benchmark Builders, Inc.
Suzanne Davis and Rolf Ohlhausen
Cooper Joseph Studio
The 42nd Street Fund
Gardiner & Theobald
New York Building Foundation
The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation
Robert Derector Associates
The Solow Art and Architecture Foundation
Structure Tone, Inc.
Taconic Charitable Foundation
VVA Project Managers & Consultants
Weidlinger Associates, Inc.
The exhibition is also made possible with funds from
Manhattan Delegation, New York City Council
New York Council for the Humanities
The companion book is supported by
Furthermore: A Program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund
Featured image: William Bridge's adaptation of the Commissioners' Plan, 1811.
Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division