Midtown, click for larger image

Dave Hughes. Midtown, Oct 2011


Notes about the site

NYC 99 (.org because .com wasn’t available) began as a series of map posts on my history/design blog Codex 99 after a trip to New York in 2011. I had intended to do some touristy posts – like about watching the NYU kids make out in Washington Square Park after the chess hustlers left for the night, or looking at the Etruscan Study Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art or stealing a menu from Per Se. But everyone writes about that so instead I wrote about subway tiles and maps. You know how that goes.

Over time, as I came across more maps and information, I realized that rather than just update the Codex 99 posts I could put together this mini-site. How long could this possibly take, right?

The idea of NYC 99 is to present significant and/or interesting maps of the city with enough historical background to provide at least some context (I know, context on the Internet – jejeje). The history of NYC is, ultimately, the history of pretty much everything and there is certainly no shortage of material, both in print and online. To make up for my severe and probably over-simplified condensing I’ve included references to original sources.

For each of the maps I’ve tried to include, wherever possible, at least one example large enough to actually read. As more and more cultural institutions (read: libraries) put their collections online this part is becoming increasingly easier. It's rather gratifying that so far every library I've contacted has given me permission to use their materials.

“How long could this possibly take?” – famous last words.

NYC99.org is produced at the offices of Codex 99 in Cincinnati, Ohio at a desk designed in New York City and a chair designed in Santa Monica, California – both of which were manufactured in Zeeland, Michigan.

The site is written on a computer designed in California and assembled in Shanghai, China using software written in Mountain View, California (and probably Bangalore, India), Boston, Massachusetts, Bedford, Massachusetts, W├Ârth am Rhein, Germany and Portland, Oregon.

The site includes a script written in Austin, Texas and uses typefaces designed in New York City.

The site is hosted on servers in Columbus, Ohio.

Contact me at:
jim at nyc99.org

The site is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

Note however that most of the images are not similarly licensed. You'll have to seek permission from the holding institutions just like I did.

Finally, if you do something interesting with any of the stuff here I’d love to hear about it.