The O’Connell Organization put together an informative article on Red Hook’s history and its changing landscape visible through historic maps.
Below is the Ratzer Map, called the “Plan of the City of New York”, and drawn by the “Da Vinci of New York Cartography”, Bernard Ratzer. The map shows Red Hook’s original shoreline, which has changed quite a bit since 1770. From a New York Times article about the restoration of the Ratzer Map:
“Manhattan, at least the part shown here, was mapped as precisely as any spot on the Earth at the time,” said Robert T. Augustyn, co-author of ”Manhattan in Maps: 1527-1995” (Rizzoli International Publications, 1997). “There was no more beautiful or revealing a map of New York City ever done.”
“It’s one of the ways we know about how this place looked before the grid really took hold,” said Matthew A. Knutzen, geospatial librarian in the New York Public Library’s map division.
For more maps and history, including images of the 1892 Core of Engineers map and the Sanborn Company map, visit the O’Connell Organization website.