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Riverrun Books & Manuscripts

Report in Favor of the Enlargement of the Battery

Report in Favor of the Enlargement of the Battery, in Accordance with a Map or Plan accompanying the same

NEW YORK CITY] Board of Assistant Alderman, Document No. 9. October 9, 1848. 15 pages, numbered [111]-125. Hand-colored folding lithographed map (31 x 52 cm). Red morocco, spine gilt, by The Club Binery, original printed wrappers bound in. Provenance: W.B. Blackwell (contemporary ink ownership signature on front wrapper); Edwin B. Holden (bookplate; sold at his sale, American Art Association, 28 April 1920, lot 1210). Holden formed a very sizable book collection and was an early member and president of the Grolier Club; his bookplate was created by Edwin Davis French (1851-1906), one of the most respected bookplate engravers of his era. The report was prepared by Alex. Hamilton Schultz, Jedidiah Miller, and Timothy R. Hubbard, special committee representatives tasked with detailing the plan for the enlargement of the Battery in New York City. The city's elite had publicly called for the construction of a new large park in Manhattan to aid in good health, improve the behavior of the (can you believe it) "disorderly classes" and showcase the refinement of the city's wealthy inhabitants. (The more things change, the more they stay the same.) There was opposition to the plan by those who thought this would disrupt maritime traffic, and ultimately they park was only expanded by 24 acres, and attention was shifted to the development of a much larger park in the center of the island: what is now Central Park. The committee was also asked to have a map and plan for the enlargement made, and used the study made by City Surveyor Daniel Ewen. The map is oriented with the Hudson River at the top, and shows the area from Castle Garden to Bowling Green, including sections in lower Manhattan of West, Washington, Greenwich, State, Whitehall, Moore, Broad, Pearl, Stone, Marketfield, and Beaver Streets, and the termination of Broadway at Bowling Green. Ewen drew all three maps for the commtitee based on actual surveys, both his and those of earlier surveyors. Quite scarce: Worldcat/OCLC locate only two copies of the full report with map (Columbia, NYHS), and the lone copy of the map at NYPL. See NYPL Map Div. 81-3157. Some pale foxing, light rubbing to joints. The map is in clean and bright condition