Central Park from the Air

In 1879, surveying from hot-air balloons and church steeples, the mapmaker and chief draughtsman Will L. Taylor created a ten-sheet view of the city in its entirety, from the Battery to Spuyten Duyvil in the Bronx. Here we see Central Park in its youth, and the relatively undeveloped West Side of Manhattan. The Midtown East segment of the map highlights the reservoir site on which The New York Public Library would later be built and, at Grand Central, the earlier station, not yet a terminus, and the aboveground railroad tracks, soon to disappear under Park Avenue. The map features illustrations, an index to points of interest, a directory, a view of "Manhattan Beach," and a map of "New York & Manhattan Beach R.R. & branches."


Will L. Taylor. The City of New York. Lithographs, glazed (10-sheet set). New York: Galt & Hoy, 1879.
The New York Public Library, The Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division.


Treasures Video: Watch a Short Film About the Map Division

Collection Guide: Early Real Estate Atlases of New York

About the Map Division

Library Catalog Record