1860 Rubstein View of New York City from the Great Hill, Central Park

MountProspectCentralPark2-rubstein-1860
$200.00
View from Mount Prospect [Central Park], Looking East. - Main View
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1860 Rubstein View of New York City from the Great Hill, Central Park

MountProspectCentralPark2-rubstein-1860

Early view of what would become New York City's Central Park.
$200.00

Title


View from Mount Prospect [Central Park], Looking East.
  1860 (undated)     5.5 x 14.25 in (13.97 x 36.195 cm)

Description


This is an unusual c. 1860 Augustus Rubstein view looking east from Mount Prospect (the Great Hill), Central Park, New York City. In the foreground, we see a couple and a child standing on what is today the known as the Great Hill, looking toward the East River and beyond to pasture lands. A train can be seen crossing a bridge. McGowan's Pass and the Mount St. Vincent Convent - which was subsequently relocated to the Bronx, where it still exists, can be seen in the center.
The Creation of Central Park
In 1853 the New York State Assembly passed the historic legislation that would lead to the creation of the first planed urban recreation area in the United States - New York City's Central Park. With the grounds for the future park officially delimitated, the years that followed were marked by a struggle between city officials and the 'rapacious occupants of the cabins which deface the ground.' The lands designated for the park were, for the most part, rocky swampland, the home of some 1500 disenfranchised individuals (former slaves, poor immigrants, vagrants), and various undesirable businesses such as 'piggeries.'

While the work of acquiring the land and displacing the current residents fell to the City Council and New York Police Department, the work of preparing the grounds fell to the radical civil engineer Egbert Ludovicus Viele. Viele, who was completing a topographical survey of New Jersey under William Kitchell, was assigned to be the first 'engineer-in-chief' of the Central Park Commission. Viele held the radical though not unfounded belief that epidemic level disease evolved from excess moisture in the soil. His topographical experience combined with his passionate advocacy for open public spaces, proper drainage, and clean air, made him the ideal force to define New York City's proposed Central Park.

By 1856, with most of the former inhabitants cleared out, Viele assembled a team to survey and define the future park. He divided the reserved lands into five sections to which he sent separate teams to survey, identifying every standing building, rock, hill, stream, valley, road, and pasture and subsequently prepared submitted his findings in his 1857 First Annual Report on the Improvement of The Central Park, New York.
Publication History
This view, from a later Report of the Commissioners of the Central Park dating to c.1860, was drawn from nature by Augustus Rubstein and engraved by Ferdinand Mayer and Company.

CartographerS


Ferdinand Mayer (c. 1817 - c. 1877) was prosperous lithographer based in New York during the latter part of the 19th century. Mayer was born in Germany but fled to the United States following the 1848 March Revolutions that swept through the German Confederation. Initially Mayer was associated with various partners including Nagel and Korff - also German immigrants. By 1855 he has established himself at 96 Fulton Street and, within a few years, expanded to the neighboring property at 98 Fulton Street. Meyer produced an enormous corpus of varied work that included music sheets, bank notes, broadsides, maps, and views. His career was probably jumpstarted through an early partnership with the important cartographer Henry Walling, many of whose maps and atlases bear the Ferd. Mayer imprint. His most important publicaiton is mostly likely Egbert L. Vielé’s 1865 Topographical Map of the City of New York, one of the most important and influential maps of New York City ever published. The Mayer imprint appears on documents as, variously, Ferd. Meyer, F. Mayer, and Mayer and Sons.


Ferdinand Mayer (c. 1817 - c. 1877) was prosperous lithographer based in New York during the latter part of the 19th century. Mayer was born in Germany but fled to the United States following the 1848 March Revolutions that swept through the German Confederation. Initially Mayer was associated with various partners including Nagel and Korff - also German immigrants. By 1855 he has established himself at 96 Fulton Street and, within a few years, expanded to the neighboring property at 98 Fulton Street. Meyer produced an enormous corpus of varied work that included music sheets, bank notes, broadsides, maps, and views. His career was probably jumpstarted through an early partnership with the important cartographer Henry Walling, many of whose maps and atlases bear the Ferd. Mayer imprint. His most important publicaiton is mostly likely Egbert L. Vielé’s 1865 Topographical Map of the City of New York, one of the most important and influential maps of New York City ever published. The Mayer imprint appears on documents as, variously, Ferd. Meyer, F. Mayer, and Mayer and Sons.

Condition


Very good. Even overall toning. Light wear along original fold lines. Blank on verso.