Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two Hundred Years of Mean, But Regularly-Spaced Streets

The Manhattan grid was 200 years old on Tuesday!
The grid was the great leveler. By shifting millions of cubic yards of earth and rock, it carved out modest but equal flat lots (mostly 25 by 100 feet) available for purchase. And if it fostered what de Tocqueville viewed as relentless monotony, its coordinates also enabled drivers and pedestrians to figure out where they stood, physically and metaphorically.