So come along over to the corner of Ann-street, as there we can get a better view than from
any other point.

William Bobo, Glimpses of New York City, 1852

This 1848 steeple view from St. Paul’s Chapel represents one of several methods used to visualize New York’s already chaotic and vibrant street scene. Whereas earlier artwork provided quaint depictions of city life, Henry Papprill’s view argues for city streets to be read as part of a complex urban whole when seen from the highest buildings in the city. Here St. Paul’s Chapel is front and center, serving as the vantage point from which the viewer experiences the burgeoning city spreading out in all directions.

Map of Broadway and Anne Over Time

Henry A. Papprill, after John William Hill. New York from the Steeple of St. Paul’s Church, Looking East, South, and West. 1848. Color aquatint and etching, second state of three, published by Henry Megarey, New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Edward W. C. Arnold Collection of New York Prints, Maps and Pictures, Bequest of Edward W. C. Arnold, 1954 (54.90.587).