The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011
Museum of the City of New York
Curator and Book Editor: Hilary Ballon
Special Exhibit: Dec. 6, 2011 - July 15, 2012


Six Maps and Views Lent by George Glazer Gallery
George Glazer at the Greatest Grid exhibition

George stands in front of two views lent by our gallery: 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue looking North and South, lithographed by Robert A. Welcke after two 1879 photographs by John Bachmann. Illustrated in the book on pp. 133-134.

The George Glazer Gallery has loaned several maps and views of Manhattan to the Museum of the City of New York for the special exhibition The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the plan laying out the streets of the city and how it developed over the 19th and 20th centuries. The maps and views are also reproduced and described in the accompanying exhibition book. Historian Hilary Ballon of New York University served as guest curator and as lead author and editor of the book.  An introduction to the show on the Museum of the City of New York's web site explains the exhibition's premise:

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.

Most of the items on display were lent by libraries, museums and archives; the George Glazer Gallery is the only antiquarian map dealer among the lenders.  All of the works we lent are featured on this webpage, some photographed at the exhibition.  Click on the images or links for more information about individual items, which will be available for purchase after the exhibition closes.  We have also included a few maps available at the George Glazer Gallery similar to ones from other lenders in the Greatest Grid exhibit, as another chance to buy a museum piece from us.

For more information, visit the museum web site, read the New York Times review, or order the book based on the exhibition, published in 2012 by The Museum of the City of New York and the Columbia University Press.

John B. Holmes map of midtown Manhattan Exhibition catalog page

Far left: This lithograph map, lent by the gallery, produced in 1870 by John B. Holmes, shows a portion of the Upper East Side in the Beekman Hill neighborhood between 49th and 65th Streets.  Ours was chosen for the exhibit since among known examples in various collections, it is in the best condition. Illustrated in the book on p. 129 with a full-page detail on p. 126.

Left: The gallery’s rare 1832 edition of a large wall map of Manhattan Island by David H. Burr, published under the direction of the Surveyor General of New York State. The map is discussed in the exhibition book on p. 157.

Left: We lent an example of Hermann Bollmann's 1962 pictorial map of midtown Manhattan, an intriguing map executed in isometric perspective, showing the shape of each building. Illustrated in the book on p. 180.

Right: At the center of this display, one photographic map, from our gallery's large collection of Hamilton Aerial Maps of Manhattan produced in 1927, demonstrates how much shorter blocks are on the East Side than the West Side.

Exhibition Entrance Exhibition catalog page
Anthony J. Bleecker Real Estate Broadside The Greatest Grid Book

Fifth Avenue view from George Glazer Gallery in the book (above).

Left: An 1852 Anthony J. Bleecker real estate broadside in on our inventory is similar to one in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York that was included in the exhibition. Their broadside, from 1853, is illustrated and discussed on pp. 89 and 90 of the exhibition book. Bleecker was heir to the oldest real estate brokerage in the city, respected by his peers as an astute businessman and civic leader.

The Greatest Grid (exhibition entrance shown left and book cover and pages shown below) has proved to be an extremely popular exhibition, drawing the biggest audience in the history of the Museum of the City of New York. Due to the public's response the show's run was extended by two months.

Order the book from us for $40 plus $10 shipping. To place an order see our reference book page.


The Greatest Grid Book
The Greatest Grid Exhibition Entrance The Greatest Grid Book

Bollmann map from George Glazer Gallery in the book (above).


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