Mapping Boston

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To the attentive user even the simplest map can reveal not only where things are but how people perceive and imagine the spaces they occupy. Mapping Boston is an exemplar of such creative attentiveness—bringing the history of one of America's oldest and most beautiful cities alive through the maps that have depicted it over the centuries.The book includes both historical maps of the city and maps showing the gradual emergence of the New England region from the imaginations of explorers to a form that we would recognize today. Each map is accompanied by a full description and by a short essay offering an insight into its context. The topics of these essays by Anne Mackin include people both familiar and unknown, landmarks, and events that were significant in shaping the landscape or life of the city. A highlight of the book is a series of new maps detailing Boston's growth.The book also contains seven essays that explore the intertwining of maps and history. Urban historian Sam Bass Warner, Jr., starts with a capsule history of Boston. Barbara McCorkle, David Bosse, and David Cobb discuss the making and trading of maps from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Historian Nancy S. Seasholes reviews the city's remarkable topographic history as reflected in maps, and planner Alex Krieger explores the relation between maps and the physical reality of the city as experienced by residents and visitors. In an epilogue, novelist James Carroll ponders the place of Boston in contemporary culture and the interior maps we carry of a city.

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Editorial Reviews

Stefan Schuber
Casual readers will not only appreciate the illustrative materials, which alone are worth the price of the book, but also more than likely to find themselves devouring whole chapters and becoming willing students in the bargain. Mercator's World
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262611732
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Pages: 292
  • Sales rank: 967,493
  • Product dimensions: 12.00 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Krieger is Chairman of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a principal of Chan Krieger & Associates.

David Cobb is Head of the Harvard Map Collection at the Harvard College Library.

Amy Turner is a Boston-based architect.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Revealing a City/Exploring Its Maps
I Shaping Boston 1
1 A Brief History of Boston 2
2 Diagramming the Growth of Boston 15
II Mapping New England: A Region and City Come into Focus 21
3 The Mapping of New England before 1800 22
4 The Boston Map Trade of the Eighteenth Century 36
5 Windows to Our Past: Mapping in the Nineteenth Century and Beyond 56
6 The New England Plates 69
III The City of Boston Takes Form and Transforms 117
7 Gaining Ground: Boston's Topographical Development in Maps 118
8 Experiencing Boston: Encounters with the Places on the Maps 146
9 The Boston Plates 173
IV Epilogue 229
10 Map of Good Hope: Boston in the American Imagination 230
V Appendix 237
Timeline of Boston's Land Making 239
A Boston Chronology 243
A Glossary of Map Terms 247
For Further Reading 253
An Index of the Maps Illustrated 255
About the Contributing Authors 257
Illustration Credits 259
Index 265
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