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baby—that is the part above Fourteenth- ing, that is, a good old-fashioned worsted street, while all below that noble avenue inanufacture, must have observed that the may be compared to the round fat foot of lines of the leg are regular and symmetrino particular shape, the principal features cal, and easily comprehended, while those being the toe and the heel. Morse's map of the foot are hopelessly inexplicable, of “ New-York City and the Vicinity," except to the eye of the practised knitter. contained in his North American Atlas, Here they run round the heel, there they gives a clear and complete view of the are parallel to the sole ; again they diverge whole island; you may there see that the at the toes, and slide by ingenious strataaforesaid leg is by far the finest part of gems into the ascending leg. And so it the city. It was laid out in 1807 by three is with our good city. For in the upper commissioners, appointed by the State to part, as we have seen, the streets are relay out the city into streets and squares. gular, straight, and easily seen to be beau“These commissioners were De Witt tiful; but on the lower part, though you Clinton, Gouverneur Morris, and John may with some assurance navigate the Rutherford. Josiah Randall, Jr., was instep, and are not wholly beyond hope their engineer and surveyor. Their re in the heel, yet none but an old-fashioned port was made in 1811, and accepted by New-York pig or policeman can ever be the Corporation. That report, accom perfectly at home in the sole of the mepanied with a map, laid out the whole tropolitan foot. The triangle, whose two city in noble avenues and spacious streets, inland sides are formed by Grand-street numbered up to 176th street, and de and Broadway, contains the most irregular signated, as to their corners, by marble and confused part of the city. Within monuments firmly fixed in the ground. this boundary, the unhappy stitches of These commissioners had no authority to streets cross and recross one another, as alter or regulate the level of the future if they were playing a game of " Puss avenues or streets, but simply to run and in the corner.” Pearl-street runs cirmark the level by permanent monuments; cuitously from Broadway to Whiteand to that magnificent plan we owe it hall, like a dropped thread, but it is that there are no lanes nor alleys in the the most flagrant example, only because new city, but that twelve noble avenues, it happens to persevere longest in its ireach 100 feet wide, running parallel, and regularity. It is a haunting nightmare in the direction of the island, give access to to a stranger in town, this long narrow the city, and that these are cut at right alley, meeting him at every turn and leadangles by numerous streets, every tenth ing him into inextricable confusion, but one of which, is also a hundred feet wide, there are other streets quite as bad in their and the narrow streets sixty feet in width, way; the difference is, as we have said, or ten yards wider than the boast of that they are smaller, and have not the Philadelphia-Chestnut-street." *
intrepidity to keep up the game quite as Below Fourteenth-street the city is long William-street would do it if it quite irregular. This irregularity, how dared, and so would Beaver-street. Fulever, is in the position of the streets, rath ton-street has a leaning that way, and er than in their direction. We had an Maiden Lane is quite disposed to join excellent comparison ready on the tip of John-street and Gold-street, in the comour pen, by which to illustrate this, but mission of nearly equal improprieties. having a strong faith in the unities of Indeed, if the baby's foot aforesaid would composition, we shall adhere to the one ori by any fortunate accident be set upon a ginally presented. Continue, then, if you large hot coal, and the crooked stitches please, oh admiring reader! to regard the and patched portions of the sole of the island of Manhattan as the beau ideal stocking above mentioned be wholly burnrepresentative of a Dutch baby's foot. If ed away---in other words, if a great but you ask what we have to say in excuse for discriminating fire could clear up and dethe lines which score this unhappy mem stroy the badly built and crooked streets ber up and down, and in every direction, of that part of the city, we have no doubt, and which never appeared, and we hope although the present loss of property never will appear upon the leg of any would be terrible, and the evil severely baby whatever, we answer, that the leg felt, yet the city and business would be and foot are encased in an excellent brick materially benefited thereby. No calamand mortar stocking, covering neatly the ity is ever wholly a calamity. Always whole member, from toe to knee, and taste some good springs out of the worst seemfully confined at the latter point by the ing evil : the thunder clears the air, the Harlem River, by way of garter. Now, volcano's eruption defers the final conflaevery one who has ever examined a stock gration, the destroying floods of Nile and
* President King.
Mississippi fertilize Egypt and the Great old order of things once disturbed, the Western Valley; wars and plagues, say revolution once begun, young New-York the wise and cruel, make it easier for the armed itself with bricks and mortar, found lives they spare to live; and the city of New out quarries of freestone with which to York has never had a more beneficial astonish old fogyism, and went energetimanure than the ashes with which her great cally to work, tearing down and building conflagrations have covered her streets. up. Still, though there was a movement, We make no question that the crop of pro it was a slow one, and the energy displayfits has been increased on that soil to five ed was not at first manifested in beautiful hundred times the number of bushels to the buildings. It was necessary, first of all, acre, which our merchants formerly stored to prove the value of the change. Thus away into their barns.
the pioneers who pitched their tents in the It is owing to this irregularity in great then new streets which we have mentionmeasure, that the old haunts of business ed, built plain, substantial, unhandsome are being slowly transformed in character, stores of brick, or accepted those which and that the western side of the town, they found ready for them, and went to for many years neglected, is becoming the work to establish their position. It seems promised land to which the heavy business almost absurd to talk now of enterprise, of the city is slowly migrating, from the in connection with such a movement; but land of bondage in the southeastern part let not our shopkeepers, who exult in of the island. In the part of the city their marble palaces, and behind their west of Broadway the streets are arranged freestone posts, despise the work of their with nearly all the regularity of which the predecessors. From all present appearanland admits. We have there three great ces we do not hesitate to predict, that in ten avenues, running parallel to the North years the finest buildings now in NewRiver side of the town, two of them long York will be far surpassed, by the grower than Broadway, and the other a great ing taste and wealth of builders. We deal wider than that central street. The have seen the last of the plodding business streets which intersect these avenues are life, which, even within our recolleclaid out with much regularity and judg- tion, bought and sold contentedly in the ment. Half way up Broadway we have primitive regions of Pearl-street and CoenCanal-street, a magnificent avenue, broad, ties Slip. No magnetic attraction, which sunny, and straight, and which must, at draws the iron particles to itself from no very distant time, become one of New every adjacent quarter, and makes itself York's proudest business streets. The felt by those which it cannot move, is surer urchin who has just been kept in all the than the spell which has drawn the business afternoon, to study his Natural Philos of New-York within the last few years, ophy lesson, which he failed to recite in away from the old channels and time-halthe morning, will understand me when I lowed abodes. Gladly would we rescue speak of capillary attraction. He will from oblivion the name of the first adalso understand me when I say that a venturer, who launched his frail shallop sponge absorbs water by the aid of this of a jobbing store on the yet untried principle. Very well, my little fellow, waters of Broadway or Dey-street. Gladly New-York city is just like a sponge ; and would we register the jeers with which the water, that is, the business, is creeping his determination was received by the gradually up into all the hitherto dry and merry old merchants, with their portcontracted pores. To be sure it had a ter ly figures, working in blind security by rible squeeze in the great fire of 1845, and candle light, on the terra firma of the old was left rather shrunken by the operation, established haunts. What an addition to but capillary attraction, like the good our histories of business science would be faithful principle that it is, rushed to its the names of those first green shoots aid, and filled it fuller than ever with the which, after being confined for years enlarging fluid. The dried and contracted within the cellars of business conservapores above alluded to were situated in the tism, crept, thin, pale and meagre, through northern and western parts of the city. the first crack they could discover, into For many years no drop of a dry goods the warm cheerful sunlight, and have now jobbing house, or other sign of large busi grown into a flourishing verdure, putting ness-life, crept up in that direction. Atlast out new branches of beauty day after it slowly began to move. Gradually the day. overflowing abundance of wealth and busi Many of our readers will remember ness left the dark corners of Pearl-street, when the whole of Broadway was conHanover Square, and Exchange Place, and secrated to the dwellings of the wealthy, showed itself in Cedar-street, Pine-street, and when the Battery, or rather StateMaiden Lane, and John-street. These street, was the selectest part of the city were the first notes of preparation. The
proper. We shall have occasion in a
future paper, to speak of some of the old to be the favorite building material for mansions, and stately dwellings which shops, churches, and residences; we shall adorned that aristocratic quarter; for the see hereafter that in some parts of the present we merely hint at their existence, city, and in a few instances, other materiin order to show how rapidly since the als are preferred, but they are exceptions, first inroads were made, the whole char and the prevailing tint of New-York is acter of that part of the city has changed. fixed, whether for better or worse, there Aristocracy, startled and disgusted with may be conflicting opinions, as a warm the near approach of plebeian trade which brown which takes the sunshine with a already threatened to lay its insolent quiet elegance, and would take the shahands upon her mantle, and to come dow, if our architects would give it tie tramping into her silken parlors with its chance by a bolder treatment, with all heavy boots and rough attire, fled by dig desirable clearness and nobility of effcct. nified degrees up Broadway, lingered for Moreover, the freestone, admirably suited a time in Greenwich-street, Park Place, as it is for large and massive buildings, and Barclay-street, until at length find such as stores and churches, is of so fine ing the enemy still persistent, she took a a quality and so delicate a tone, that no great leap into the wilderness above fine work is thrown away upon it, and Bleecker-street. Alas for the poor lady, we rejoice to see that in many of the new every day drives her higher and higher; stores recently erected, the work which Twenty-eighth-street is now familiar with has been bestowed upon them is of very her presence, and she is already casting fine quality, and shows a daily advance her longing eyes still further on.
in our architectural ability, if not to origiOld New-York was built entirely of nate, at least to copy well. brick. The first Dutchmen imported The freestone used in building Newbricks from Holland, with something of York city is not all the product of one the same sagacity with which we import quarry. That of the best quality is iron from Wales. None of these bricks brought from Little Falls, in New Jersey, adorn the present city, nor have any ex on the Passaic River, a short distance frorn isted on the island within our memory.* Patterson. It is light in color, and deli
The City Hall was commenced in Sept. cately shaded, and takes shadow with 1803 and built on three sides of white mar greater distinctness than the darker varieble, the fourth was of brown freestone. ties. There is no finer specimen of this It is stated, and we have never seen the freestone than that used in Trinity Church, story contradicted, that freestone was in Broadway, to which we shall allude at used on the north side, because the sage some length in our article on the Churches builders were firmly persuaded that no
of New York. Much of the brown stone one would ever see it, since it was so far used in the city comes from quarries in Conup town, that the city could never extend necticut, but the color of this variety is above it; but such stupidity and blindness much darker than that from Little Falls, is too serious a matter to be laughed at; and we think less desirable. It has alit is therefore a very poor piece of wit, if ways been a maxim with good architects, it is intended as such, and a very out that stones used in building should be rageous slander on the intelligence of our laid upon their natural beds; that is, that most worthy ancestors, if it be not true. the stone should always be placed with We therefore hope that some persevering its grain in the same position in which it historian will set this matter right as lays in the quarry. Yet we find in almost soon as possible. However, be the reason every building which is in the course of what it may, this must have been nearly erection, where the rough brick walls are the first instance of an extensive use of being faced or veneered with plates of the brown freestone in the city. It has ashlar freestone, four or five inches thick,
as all our town readers know, come that this principle is almost entirely neg
* We have seen thom bowever in our younger days, when at school in Tarrytown, where still stands the ancient Reformed Dutch Meeting-House, like an old man whose trunk is all that remains to him of his body, but whose hair, teeth, color, and perhaps a leg and arm or two, are either borrowed from his dead neighbors, or added by the skill of some cunning workman, for all that remains of this building, rendered sacred and immortal as it is by being embalmed in the amber of Irving, is the foundation and some of the principal timbers. All the rest is new. The Holland bricks, of a warm yellow tint, and rather frinble texture, are replaced by walls of rough granite, and some Vandal has abused the good old grandmotherly building, by putting out her reputable and becoming eyes or windows, albeit they were square and small-paned, and replacing them with others which the farmers and their daughters thereabouts have agreed to call gothic. The same mischiefmaker who did the old dame this harın, has robbed her of her ancient pinafore or porch, which perhaps was becoming a little faded and seedy, and rigged ber up instead with an aboininable, ill-angled affair, wbich is positively disreputable; but not content with this, he has stuck on her venerable head a little pert cap, or beltry, which gives the old lady a truly ludicrons appearance, that makes us laugh in spite of ourselves. We have no time nor place to say more on ihis unhappy topic; but may we not ask of the historian of Sleepy Hollow, that in some future edition of his works he will devote at least one chapter to holding up the abuser of this most respectable mother in Israel to public detestation.
lected, and that the slabs, instead of being upright and well-informed builder will cut thicker, and laid with the grain run confess. And more especially with regard ning parallel to the horizon, which is to freestone, which is very soft and friable, nearly the natural position, are, as we in the direction of its grain, but suffihave said, cut very thin, and set up with ciently tough and durable in the other the grain perpendicular to the horizon. direction; so that, when laid in the wrong Now this fact, which seems to the careless way, not only is it more exposed to the reader a merely whimsical objection, is in corroding influences of the atmosphere, truth a very important matter, as any allowing the dampness of our rains and
Liberty-street, in process of re-building. 1852. snows more easily to penetrate its exposed of veneering, which is so much in vogue pores, but it is liable to crack and fall off in our good city ; but in truth the objecin scales, under the ordinary work of tion has never been fairly stated, since time, thus rendering the building an un there is no objection to the greater part sightly and discreditable object. Much of a wall being faced in this manner, if ridicule has been expended upon the man two points are carefully and conscientiousner of employing freestone in thin slabs ly attended to. The first is, that all such
slabs shall be firmly and faithfully secured to the wall which they hide, and that this wall shall be a structure whose workmanship shall be solid and scientific; and the second is, that in every course of slabs there shall be either solid blocks of stone, forming a part of the wall, and extending from front to back, placed in sufficient numbers to serve as binders, or that iron shall be substituted for such blocks; these precautions, however, will be of little avail, if the stone is not properly laid, a fact which
Broad-street in Dutch times. should be carefully considered on the part of the architect the builder, time-would hardly recognize in the handand the employer, but which we fear will some, fresh, and almost palatial Libertycontinue to suffer neglect, so long as it is street of 1853, the dusky, tumble-down, a inethod which demands a greater outlay and seedy lane, which bore that title in the of money in the commencement.
spring of 1852. We appeal to the oldest White marble is also coming into ex Dutch resident, and even to the surliest tensive use in the city, especially in some resistant to the rebuilding of the street of the new streets. This marble comes itself, in defence of our comparison of the from quarries in Tuckahoe, Westchester city's growth with that of Aladdin's PaCounty ; but we are told that a new and lace. Which of them was most like a a very fine one has just been opened near mushroom? * Sing Sing, which is of a superior quality Our artist, Döpler, has admirably repreto any hitherto offered to the public. We sented the confusion into which the wholerejoice to see these new materials employ- sale repairs and alterations going on in ed in building; the aspect of the city is this street have plunged it. One after greatly beautified by their judicious adop- another the old tenements have disappeartion, and especially when as seems now to ed, the bricks painted and unpainted have be the tendency, uniformity of building pre gone the way of all clay, the narrow winvails in certain quarters. Thus Broadway dows have been looked out of for the last is evidently making up its mind to assume time, and the small doors have followed the rich brown garb of Quakerism, al the high steps to oblivion, and that “unthough even on Sundays, it rejects the quiet discovered bourne" to which all the rubsimplicity of the manners of that amiable bish of this great city is carried. Hardly, sect. Dey-street, also, of which we shall however, had they disappeared, before the speak more at length hereafter, has adopt foundations of new buildings were laid, ed the same garb, and Liberty-street, until at length the whole street, from having been wooed and won by the ad Broadway to Greenwich, is completely vancing spirit of progress and reform, has metamorphosed. Contrast this view of arrayed herself in white marble, as the Liberty-street, unfinished as it is repremost becoming material in which to con sented, with the engraving of Broad-street, secrate her nuptials. This street, moreover, which is here shown, and who that comis an excellent example of the benefits of pares the rapid growth of our city, with matrimony, even when the parties are the slower development of London and merely bricks and mortar; for the citizen Paris, but will admit that the American who remembers this thoroughfare before has some reason for indulging in his naits alterations—and we, with our first tional pastime of bragging ? Broad-street, beard, find no difficulty in recalling that which in our cut presents a quantity of
Let us do justice even to the city fathers. The improvements completed or now in progress, in John-street, Liberty-street and Dey-street, could never have been effected nor even contemplated, without widening these thoroughfares, and we are indebted to the venerable Corporation for allowing these schemes to be carried out. We commenced this note with sobriety, and with the magnanimous determination " to give the devil his due," but our gravity is disturbed by the reflection, that we can find only this modicum of good, to balance the abundance of evil; and we are tempted to exclaim, with Prince Henry, on reading the bill for Falstaff's supper. " Oh, monstrous ! but one halfpenny worth of bread to this intolerable deal of sack!"
What would he have said if he had seen the bill for an Aldermanic series of Tea Room Entertainments ?