PBS documentary on NYC

Charles Brown CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Fri Nov 19 09:32:38 MST 1999

>>> Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> 11/15/99 10:38AM >>>
The second hour focused on the period between the revolutionary war and
1825, when Mayor DeWitt Clinton lead NYC into the front ranks of global
commercial urban centers. Clinton and his city planners made a decision
around this time that not only would have guaranteed NYC's success in years
to come, but would define its capitalist essence. They decided to create a
grid on the island that would divide it into 12 avenues ranging from Hudson
River on the West to the East River. From north to south, it would be
divided into 255 streets. By doing this, the city fathers would facilitate
real estate transactions. This would also make things easier for immigrant
laborers who would find such a simple grid structure easy to navigate on
their way to jobs.

In addition, Clinton's planners decided that there would be no place for
nature. Every obstacle to this grid would be removed. Hills would be dug up
and the dirt would fill the island's plentiful ponds. There was to be no
exception, not even parks. Central Park was only conceived years later.


Charles: My real ( i.e. land) property law class taught that this rectalinear grid is
imposed on the entire territory of the U.S. by the bourgeois private property regime.


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