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1801 Mangin-Goerck Plan or Map of New York City


Plan of the City of New York, Drawn from Actual Survey by Casimir Th. Goerck and Joseph Fr. Mangin, City Surveyor.
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Title:    Plan of the City of New York, Drawn from Actual Survey by Casimir Th. Goerck and Joseph Fr. Mangin, City Surveyor.

Description:    An interesting and unusual map, this is an 1856 reissue of the 1801 Mangin-Goerck Plan. Those who know New York’s shoreline will pause at the perfect blocks and ridged angles of this plan no more accurate today than it was in 1801 when Joseph Mangin first presented it. Mangin, a talented French architect, and Casimir Goerck, an established New York Surveyor, were commissioned by the Common Council of New York to prepare a new regulatory map of the city. Though Goerck passed away before the plan could be completed, Mangin finished the plan on a grand scale, re-envisioning New York City in his own image. Mangin even added streets such as Mangin Street and Goerck Street which would have been submerged under the East River had they actually existed (as a side note another of Mangin’s Street’s, South Street, did eventually appear). The Mangin-Goerck plan went far beyond the Common Council’s dreams of an administrative plan and, due to its inclusion of 'intended improvements', new streets, and idealized block structure, enjoyed a short lifespan. This example of the unobtainable Mangin-Georck plan of New York City was issued in 1856 for Valentine's Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York.

Date:    1856 (dated)

Source:    Valentine, D. T., Manual of the Corporation of the City of New-York, (New York) 1856.

References:    Augustyn, R. T., Cohen, P., Manhattan in Maps 1527 - 1995, p. 96. Haskell, D., Manhattan Maps A Co-operative List, 623

Cartographer:    Throughout much of the 19th century David T. Valentine edited and published a series of New York City almanacs and fact books entitled Manual of the Corporation Of The City of New York. Valentine's Manual, as it came to be called, included facts about the City of New York, city council information, city history, and reported on the progress of public works such as Central Park. The production of this annual manual was the responsibility of the Clerk of the City of New York, a position held at different times by D. Valentine by Joseph Shannon, who also produced a similar manual. Valentine used his manual to reproduce some of the rarest and most important maps of New York City ever created. Click here for a list of rare maps by David T. Valentine.

Cartographer:    Joseph-Francois Mangin (fl. c. 1750 - 1812) was an architect, city surveyor, and civil engineer active in New York during the late 18th and early 19th century. Mangin was born and educated in France where he apprenticed under Ange-Jacques Gabriel in the design of the Place de la Concorde, Paris. He moved to New York city in 1786 and was admitted as a Freeman of New York on May 9, 1796. He submitted several projects to the Common Council of New York, including a recommendation to drain the Collect Pond and various improvements to the port facilities. In 1799 he was commissioned to make a large scale plan of New York City. He presented the plan to the Common Council in 1801. The council was appalled by the plan, which reimagined New York City in an idealized from complete with non-existent streets and other improvements that never came to pass. Mangin even added streets such as Mangin Street and Goerck Street which would have been submerged under the East River had they actually existed. Mangin Street did eventually appear and still partially exists under the Williamsburg Bridge between Baruch Place and East Houston. South Street, another of Mangin's inventions, is far better known. Mangin designed this map in partnership with Casimir Goerck, a well-known New York Surveyor active in the late 18th century. Goreck died before the plan could be presented to the council and, to us it is highly doubtfully that he would have allowed such an inaccurate production to bear his distinguished name - setting the responsibility for the failed Mangin-Goerck plan, as it came to be known, squarely on Mangin's shoulders. Mangin also claimed at various point to have designed the New York City Hall while in the employ of the hall's true designer John McComb. McComb unilaterally denied Mangin's claims which are generally regarded as spurious. Despite his failed plan and dubious claims, Mangin was a favorite with the Common Council and was commissioned to work on the 1811 Comissioner's Plan of New York City, a truly meritorious work that laid out the permanent street grid for most of Manhanttan. Click here for a list of rare maps by Joseph Mangin.

Size:   Printed area measures 20.5 x 16.5 inches (52.07 x 41.91 centimeters)

Scale:    1 : 10500

Condition:    Very good. Some wear and repairs on original fold lines, especially at fold intersections. Minor damage near folds in upper left quadrant. Backed on archive tissue for stability.

Code:   NewYork-mangingoerck-1859 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)


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