In 1797 the Common Council hired Common Lands mapmaker Casimir Goerck and fellow city surveyor Joseph François Mangin to make the first official post-Revolution map of the city. Goerck died in the 1798 yellow fever epidemic, and the resulting map was largely the work of Mangin.
The map conveyed Mangin’s ideas about how to organize the city’s disorderly street pattern: he straightened the colonial streets, placed new streets on river landfill, and proposed a patchwork of small, rectilinear grids at varying angles north of the city proper. The Common Council rejected his map, ordering subscription copies destroyed. Only a handful of copies survive; the original six-foot-square manuscript map disappeared long ago.
Mangin’s map, despite its rejection, prompted the city to begin thinking about its street system and stimulated the establishment of the street commission four years later, which led to the iconic grid. GK