The Heart of the American Theatre in the 1870s & 1880s

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342. [MAP]. [NEW YORK CITY: BROADWAY]. WINDWART, H[einrich]. Map of Property Situated West of Broadway and Fourth Ave. between Fourth & Thirthieth [sic] Streets in Two Parts. Second or Northern Part from Fifteenth to Thirtieth Streets Comprising the different estates named in the Appendix Compiled from official documents by Dr. H. Windwart Map Clerk of the Registers Office, City of New York Revised by A.F. Shyrma Civil Engineer. Formerly Map Clerk of the Dep. of Public Works. Scale 100 Feet = 1 inch. [below title on left, list of detail maps used in the creation of the present map] Appendix... [lower left, printer’s pictorial device] Joseph Laing Lithographer JL 107 & 109 Fulton St. New York [above neat line at lower left] Drawn by A. Dulon City Surveyor. New York, n.d. [187-? (per New York Public Library)]. Lithograph cadastral map mounted on original cartographical linen, remains of original blue cloth selvages, original pastel coloring with estate of John Horn outlined in original rose; neat line to neat line: 97.2 x 60.2 cm; overall sheet size: 99.2 x 62.3 cm. Horizontal crease with slight split (no losses), selvage chipped and mostly wanting, overall mild age toning, and a few very minor stains. Overall very good. OCLC locates one copy (New York Public Library).

     First edition. At the time of this map, the area of Union Square, Madison Square, and Broadway Street was the heart of American theatre. This large-scale finely lithographed map with restrained original color was used in litigation regarding the estate of John Horn on the west side of Broadway. The map shows the area north to south from 29th Street to 15th Street, and east to west from 6th Avenue to Broadway (“Formerly Bloomingdale Road”). Landmarks include parts of Union Square and Madison Square at right. Among the property owners is John Jacob Astor, grand patron of the arts and the first multi-millionaire in the United States, who made a fortune in the fur and opium trade, and went on to the more lucrative game of New York City real estate.

Other maps by Heinrich Windwart include Map of Different Estates Situated in the 22d Ward between 42d and 59th Streets, and the 6th Avenue and Hudson River (New York, 1878; Phillips, America, p. 539); Map of the Corlear’s Hook Farm... (New York, 1880); Map of Delancy Farm... (New York, 1880); Map of the Trinity Church Property... (New York, [1867]); Maps Showing all the Farms and Boundary Lines [between Great Kill Road & 19th Street, Hudson River & Fitzroy Road, etc.] (New York, [1867]); etc. The latter two maps are in Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island 64-H. In 1881, the New York Board of Estimates and Apportionment recommended that New York City purchase the archives of the late Dr. W. Windwart, “knowing by the experience gained during their connection with the Register’s office how important the acquisition of the maps, indices, and other articles...would be to the said office.” The recommendation to purchase was made by the Register’s Office on the basis that the maps and other material “are valuable aids to searchers and to all persons doing business with this office” (pp. 334-335 in Journal of Proceedings... 1882).

     A. Dulon’s other maps include Map of Oceania including Australia... (Sydney 1886); A Survey of the Settlement of New South Wales, New Holland... (N.p., n.d.); the Trinity Church map, preceding; etc. Civil Engineer A.F. Shyrma’s maps seem to have been done in conjunction with those of Windwart. Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers (revised edition, Vol. III, p. 82) lists the firm of Lang & Laing, run by Joseph Laing on Fulton Street in New York, active between the 1850s and 1880s, with clients including Colton. Laing did great work, as evidenced by the present map. See also, Peters, America on Stone, p. 260.


Auction 23 Abstracts

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