1887 Burleigh Bird's-Eye View of White Plains, New York

White Plains, N.Y. 1887. - Main View

1887 Burleigh Bird's-Eye View of White Plains, New York


Magnificent 19th century view of White Plains - one of only 3 known examples.


White Plains, N.Y. 1887.
  1887 (dated)     15.5 x 29 in (39.37 x 73.66 cm)


A fine example of Lucian Burleigh's extremely rare 1887 view of White Plains, New York. The map is oriented with the top of the paper oriented to the northeast. It extends from Kensico Street (Now S. Kenisco Ave) to the conjunction of Banks Street and Fisher Avenue, and from the Bronx River to Old Post Road (Maple Ave). The viewpoint is from a low perspective somewhat southwest of the city. In an unusual exception to Burleigh's style, which restricts presentation to buildings and landscapes, and does not include people, animals, or carriages, the present map features a train entering the city form the southwest. Streets are labeled directly and important buildings are identified numerically via a key in the lower margin. The view identifies 5 churches, public schools, the County Jail and Courthouse, a soldier's monument, and the railroad station.

During the great age of American viewmaking only two views of New York City were produced, the presently offered view by Burleigh and a later view issued in 1901 by Hughes. Both are extremely rare. This present view, by Burleigh, is known in only two other examples, one housed at the Library of Congress, and a second in the archive of the Pennsylvania State University. This the only example known in private hands.


Lucian Rinaldo Burleigh (February 6, 1853 – July 30, 1923) was an American lithographer and view maker active in the latter part of the 19th century. Burleigh was born in Plainfield, Connecticut and studied civil engineering at Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science (Worcester Polytechnic). There he studied under George E. Gladwin who specialized in field sketching. Burleigh became one of Gladwin's prized students and this no doubt influenced his choice to become a viewmaker. Burleigh's view work stands out for two reasons. One, most of his town views are drawn form a lower than usual point of view enabling him to take greater advantage of profile perspectives. Two, his views do not integrate people or animals – most late 19th century American view artists added horses, people, carts, dogs, and even chickens to their views. Between the years of 1883 and 1885 Burleigh produced some 28 views of New York towns and cities. Most of these were published by either Beck and Pauli of Milwaukee or C. H. Voght of Cleveland. After 1886, Burleigh established his own Troy press and subsequent views were published in-house. Burleigh also worked as a lithographer for other view makers including J. J. Stoner and Albert Ruger, among many others. Burleigh contributed to the production of about 228 lithographic city views and personally drew about 120, marking him one of the most important and influential viewmakers of the 19th century. Learn More...


Very good. Professionally cleaned and backed on linen. Some restoration and acid discoloration around title and long bottom of margin. Some spotty soiling in margins.


Reps, John, Views and Viewmakers of Urban America (University of Missour, Columbia, 1984), #2984.