In the early 17th century, this was the land of the Lenape people. In 1609, English navigator Henry Hudson explored the region on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. His voyage was used to claim these lands for the Netherlands. In 1624 the Dutch established New Amsterdam as part of the colonial province of New Netherland. In 1664, New Amsterdam came under English control and it was renamed New York.
The City expanded rapidly in 18th century. Streets were improved, new roads and avenues were laid out. After the Revolutionary War, New York was established as the capital of the United States. On April 30, 1789, George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of United States at the Federal Hall, in New York. In 1790, the national capital was transferred to Philadelphia, but the City of New York continued its accelerated development.
In the early 19th century New York was the largest city in the United States, with more than 60 thousand inhabitants. Industrial expansion and population growth radically changed the face of the City. Large investment in infrastructure was made to support the growth. By 1860, several newspapers competed for space in the Printing House Square and in the area around City Hall Park, where the new Post Office building was completed in 1880. By this time the early skyscrapers were also competing to be the tallest one and the City was the financial center of the United States. In 1898, New York became a vast city, incorporating five boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. In 1900 New York, with 3.4 million inhabitants, was the busiest port in the world.
The 20th century brought new challenges and many more immigrants. A culturally diverse population helped build a magnetic city.
More: Historical maps of New York City ►
Copyright © Geographic Guide - Old NYC.
Hansom cab in Central Park in a vintage postcard by Herbco Card Co. Photo Ewing Galloway.
More Old City of New York:
• Old 5th Avenue ►
• Old 42nd Street ►
• Old 59th Street ►
• Old Battery ►
• Old Bowery ►
• Old Broadway ►
• Old Central Park ►
• Old Chinatown ►
• Old Ellis Island ►
• Old Park Avenue ►
• Old Park Row ►
• Old Sixth Avenue ►
• Old Times Square ►
• Old Union Square ►
• Old Wall Street ►
Brooklyn Bridge and New York City skyline (1915).