Happy Birthday New York City!

A map of the “Greater New York” issued by the Merchants Association of New York in 1897.
A map of the “Greater New York” issued by the Merchants Association of New York in 1897.
Photo: David Rumsey

On this day 117 years ago, the five separate cities in Greater New York — Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island — were consolidated into the sprawling metropolis we know and love today.

January 1st, 1898, marks the first day in the life of the five boroughs of “Greater New York“. The referendum started in 1895, around a decade after the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. The consolidation plan made New York the second largest city in the world behind London. Before the consolidation, bronx was mocked as the “annexed district,” Queens was made up of factories and farms, and Staten Island was pretty much wilderness. Brooklyn, however, was known as “the City of Churches” and it was actually the third largest city in the country.

Brooklyn is still a little bitter about it...

via Untapped Cities

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