Browse NYC Evolved: 25 Maps Showing The Changes. NYC wasn’t always so big.
In 1764, New York was a small fort and trading post on the tip of Manhattan.
By 1776, it had expanded slightly further up the island.
In 1829, NYC had moved further up the island and small cities were growing across the East River.
By 1834, Brooklyn had become its own city.
1836 saw cities develop in New Jersey too.
By 1856, the NYC grid system was fairly well established.
Although, as of 1856, there were still no bridges and boats were the only method of transportation off of Manhattan.
By 1863 Brooklyn was heavily populated, Astoria was becoming a city in its own right, and Central Park existed.
1868 saw the further expansion of the grid into the Bronx.
Long Island City existed by 1873.
In 1891 almost all of Manhattan was developed, at least with roads.
By 1895, good quality roads crisscrossed most of the city.
In 1909, the part of Queens east of Astoria was still green and mostly untouched.
In 1916, an idea was floated to dam the East River, and increase the length of Manhattan.
Grand Central Station was a major hub by 1918.
The subway was in use by 1924.
The subway expanded quickly by 1926.
By 1939, plans were already drawn up to expand public transit.
In 1948, a number of new lines were added.
In 1967, the USSR commissioned a map of the greater New York area.
By 1971, the subway was huge.
NASA took a satellite photo of NYC in 2002.
In 2006, NYC matched multiple states combined in population.
NYC in 2010 was a melting pot, though still surprisingly segregated.
In 2011, someone made a map of NYC based on Twitter and Flickr information.
The latest form of the subway in 2013.