Contrary to the commissioners’ expectations, by midcentury it was necessary to plan the area north of 155th Street. In 1860 the state legislature created the Washington Heights Commission to develop a plan. They created an elaborate topographical survey and map, but no definitive plan was presented. Finally, in 1865, the legislature transferred the Washington Heights Commission’s authority to Andrew H. Green’s Central Park Commission, and things began to move.
This map of 1868 records Green’s preliminary scheme. It is a compromise between the vision of 1811 and the rocky realities of uptown topography. A rectilinear grid fills the flatlands, but angled and curving streets run around the hills.
Green also created two new scenic waterside parks, today’s Fort Washington Park and part of High Bridge Park, and redrew the bulkhead line so that the island’s edge could be extended to accommodate a road along the shoreline. MM