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Map of Columbus, Georgia, in 1886

Map of Columbus, Georgia, in 1886

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. The Geography and Map Division of the library “has custody of the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection in the world with collections numbering over 5.5 million maps, 80,000 atlases, 6,000 reference works, over 500 globes and globe gores, 3,000 raised relief models, and a large number of cartographic materials in other formats, including over 19,000 CDs/DVDs” (from G&M History).
Perusing the LOC’s archives will show that up until the early 20th century the orthogonal grid was the street network of choice for both municipalities and developers. Periodically, The Great American Grid will post some illustrative examples of the American grid as depicted in these early maps.
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About The Great American Grid

Rediscover your orthogonal heritage: inquiries into contemporary city planning and the lost art of the grid plan. Learn more

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