This is a rare and important 1871 example of Kellogg and Pollard Map or plan of Union Square, New York City. The Commissioners' Plan of 1811 united Bowery Road (now 4th Avenue) and Bloomingdale St. (now Broadway), and the former potter's field was designated as Union Place. It opened to the public in 1839, and as the city expanded northward, the area quickly became a desirable commercial and residential center for wealthy New Yorkers. Over the years, Union Square became the choice location for various public meetings, parades, protests and celebrations.
In 1871, Parks Engineer in Chief M. A. Kellogg and Acting Chief Landscape Gardener E. A. Pollard created a new plan for Union Square. Famous landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux redesigned the park. They removed the fence and hedge and planted a variety of trees, widened the sidewalks and created a muster ground and reviewing stand 'to meet the public requirement of mass-meetings.' Like their most famous works, Central Park and Prospect Park, Vaux and Olmsted were meticulous in their design of the park, with every tree, pond, and bench planned. Today, because of Vaux and Olmsted's efforts, and the plan of Kellogg and Pollard, the citizens of New York City have the privilege of enjoying what is, without question, one of the finest examples of a planned urban public recreation and meeting places in New York City.
This plan was created by M. A. Kellogg and E. A. Pollard for the First Annual Report of the Board of Commissioners of the Department of Public Parks for the Year Ending May 1, 1871. Maps of Union Square Park are exceptionally scarce, making this a rare find and an important addition to any serious collection focusing on New York City.
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Calvert Vaux (1824 - 1895) was a British architect and landscaper who is best remembered for his co-design, with Frederick Olmstead, of New York City's Central Park. Born in London in 1824, little is known of his early life, though it is recorded that, at 9 he was apprenticed to London architect Lewis Nockalls Cottingham, a proponent of the Gothic Revival Movement. Vaux worked for Cottingham until he was 26 years old, honing his skills and building a reputation as a skilled draftsman. During an exhibition of his watercolors in 1851, Vaux caught the attention of landscape designer Andrew Jackson Downing. Downing was looking for a partner to fulfill his revolutionary vision of urban architectural-landscaping. Dowing recruited Vaux to design buildings, bridges, and structures, while he focused on the overall landscape design. Vaux accompanied Downing to the United States where, in 1854, he gained U.S. citizenship and founded the American Institute of Architects. Vaux's partnership with Downing lasted approximately two years and resulted in a number of significant works, including the grounds of the White and Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. In 1852 Downing passed away in a tragic accident. At the time Downing was working on a landscape design for New York City's Central Park. In a decision that would forever change the American urban landscape, Vaux called in the fledgling landscape designer Frederick Olmstead to fill Downing shoes. Though Central Park was their first joint project, Vaux and Olmstead proved a magical combination, creating what many consider to be the finest planed urban recreation area in the world. Following the completion of Central Park, Vaux and Olmstead formed an official business partnership and went on to design Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Morningside Park in upper Manhattan. They planned one of the first suburbs in Chicago, Riverside, and were commissioned to design parks for Buffalo, NY, Milwaukee, WI, and Rockwood Park in Canada, among others. Vaux ended the partnership in 1872 and went on to collaborate with George Kent Radford and Samuel Parsons. However, in 1889 he again joined forces with Olmstead to design Downing Park, as a memorial to his mentor. Vaux tragically passed away on November 19, 1895, when he drowned in Brooklyn, NY.
William C. Bryant & Co., First Annual Report of the Board of Commissioners of the Department of Public Parks for the Year Ending May 1, 1871.
Very good. Typical age toning. Minor spotting at places.