1609-1825 Began as a Dutch trading post, New Amsterdam › Was transformed into the amazing city it is today › New York City defines urban living in America today › The entire colony was owned by the Dutch West India Company Most successful enterprise for 200 years Hudson was first attracted to the harbor and location › One of three greatest harbors in the world › Natural location for a great city, geographically › 1624 first arrivals landed to establish a post › The Bronx and Brooklyn were named by the first arrivals › Broadway was originally an Indian trail Bought Manhattan from the Native Americans › Less than $600 for all 14,000+ acres › Modern capitalism was invented in Manhattan › People in Holland were not interested in moving to Manhattan
By 1650’s they established a flourishing village with their own “Great Wall” › Keep out Indians and the English › Schools, windmills, piers, canals, etc. Chronic labor shortage resulted in dramatic diversity › People from all over were settling in New Amsterdam, and the Dutch were the minority in their own colony › This was its greatest strength and also its greatest weakness Even in the mid 1600’s, the Jews were being discriminated against › Locals wanted to turn away ship of 24 Jewish › The Company said no › They resolved that this was a business colony, not a colony based on religion New Amsterdam was turned over when the English arrived and renamed New York in 1665 › The citizens of the colony did not want to fight and felt the English could run the town just as well › New Amsterdam was a gift to the Duke of New York given by his brother › British destroyed the native population and induced a rampant spread of disease Slavery was a public works infrastructure work force in the city › It was a cosmopolitan city that was founded on salve labor › Hysteria broke out in Manhattan and some think the Irish Catholics instigated it › The punishment for the insurrection was abhorrent › Blacks had to join with British forces during the Revolution to earn their freedom
Taxes were the touchstone for the Revolution against the English › Stamp Act was repealed after riots Alexander Hamilton arrived in New York – was not born in America › As a teenagers, In 1774, he published inflammatory ideas to incite New Yorkers to rebel › “It is in war that a man makes his reputation” › He was one of George Washington’s closest aides › After the Revolutionary way, he opened a law firm, established the Bank of NY, and worked to free slaves › He wanted to keep the capital in New York city 80% of population fled New York in the face of the British coming › They had no way to defend themselves › George Washington confronted the British from Brooklyn, not Manhattan › To save his forces, Washington evacuated 10-12,000 troops across the river In 1790, the debate over the capital climaxed › The state’s debts after the war were a primary focus in the midst of the debates › In order to get the Federal Government to accept the state’s debt for the war, Hamilton had to agree to move the capital to Washington, D.C. › New York City continued to grow and surpassed Philadelphia in the 1820’s
New York was slow to emerge as a truly cosmopolitan city › During this period it was still part country and part city › New York City had grown 50 times from 1800 to 1900 › No city had grown so quickly or so large with so much diversity › During 1825-1865, the citizens grappled with whether they could create a new kind of order or if chaos would rule › There was metropolitan industrialization taking place Fierce, imminent competition and rivalries › New york City was home to the first: slums, police force, public transit system, apartment buildings, and aqueduct › The city was the embodiment of America › New York was viewed as a vortex Literally and poetically NYC was chaotic and unsettling for all Some people embraced it and some were rattled by it
Within a relatively small area there was great diversity: poverty, government, financial sector, entertainment › American Museum opened in 1840 by P.T. Barnum He understood the oddities of the time He was the first person to capture the spirit of New York It was as if he was the first “magician” He appealed to all varieties of people from different classes and backgrounds › Within the museum, he built a 3,000 seat moral lecture room for middle class › He featured a mermaid, a bearded girl, a midget named Tom Thumb, a pair of Siamese twins, and even a dwarf negro This was all to entice a paying crowd › During the very successful 27 year run, he sold 42 million tickets This was during a time when the entire U.S. population was only 35 million
Number of immigrants rose › Thousands and thousands from all over Europe › Even more from Ireland Impoverished farmers 100,000 – prompted anti-Catholic bigotry › Faced harsh discrimination The Irish were considered the blacks of the 19th century 1845-1855, The Great Migration took place › It was the result of the great potato famine in Ireland › 2.1 million leave Ireland - 1.5 million migrated to U.S. Over 1 million died during the famine › They completely overwhelmed the city’s resources The Irish competed with the blacks for the lowest paying jobs and the worst living conditions Cholera attacked their population › It was a humanitarian issue like none other experienced before
The author is arguing that NYC is the premier city for any industry and that all commerce will default there due to NYC’s superiority › He believes the erosion of NYC as the “once-unquestioned position as cultural and economic center of the worlds most influential nation” is the result of dramatic growth on the West Coast, in addition the use of cable television, personal computers and the internet › Having a strategically placed port and expanding capital markets are not key elements in today’s global environment The author believes NYC has another advantage › The vision of the city’s leaders to envision a new reality Reality is that NYC is not the only place that new ideas are created › Within the article he cites that Silicon Valley and Southern California are both establishing and maintaining industries that have not been enticed by NYC › The author believes that a unity of vision is required to prevent the cable television, internet, computer, and movie industries from moving to NYC… right?
Should a city be planned around its ability to be beautiful or its ability to earn a profit? › Chicago was the city of focus because it was created by the industrial and commercial expansion of the late 19th century The Great Fire created a clean slate on which to plan a build an amazing city Structural steel and the elevator allowed the city to expand upward! The grid that was used in NYC was applied in Chicago too The Loop was added to the grid Suburban neighborhoods sprouted around the edges of the city to accommodate the working class Public transportation was an inexpensive way to transport the workers in and out of the downtown area Downtown was the centralized area where people worked, played, and shopped They lived outside of the downtown area though
Most cities were formed near a waterway, port, or railway Railway stations became an expression of civic values It signaled the arrival into a city The primary purpose of a city was commerce That is what New York City was established for too The downtown area developed – never happened before Just like NYC’s Central Park, Chicago planners saw the need for beautification of the city Open and green spaces were needed Not just for beauty, but for the health of the citizens and the city too Industrialized cities were dirty and overcrowded The green spaces served both purposes well
The best way to develop a city was to host a World’s Fair or Exposition The Columbian Exposition was “the first effectively planned complex of public buildings built in America since the Jeffersonian era” This gave the architects a chance to show off their city and how urban planning could be perfected The White City inspired the planners and developers in Washington, D.C. Many debate arose over how high to build, what to allow, what to prohibit North Michigan’s transformation into a modern-day Champs Elysees “would see the construction of some of Chicago’s most significant individual works of architecture,… yet at the same time this would result in a highly inconsistent pattern of urban design.” Of all the cities I have visited, Chicago has some of the most dynamic architecture and is a favorite for me because of it!