Living here in Nueva York for some years, it is easy to forget that this city was a wild place just 400 years ago. I’ve often wondered what it looked like before Europeans landed here in the 17th century. You get a sense of it when driving even a short distance from the city into a place that hasn’t been entirely paved over. Even parts of Staten Island, particularly the southern end, still feel touched by that old wildness.

With that in mind, I found this particularly interesting.

The Mannahatta Project

The Wildlife Conservation Society has attempted to recreate the island of Manhattan as it would have looked just hours prior to the landing of Henry Hudson in 1609. Especially striking is the outline of the island now versus the outline of the island 400 years ago. Landfill has been quite a dramatic force in the reshaping of the land. It’s pretty neat to learn that much of the Upper East Side was swamp land back then. And is still today, just, you know, in a different way.

Click the link to go to the site that features an interactive map of Manhattan. I hope they do Brooklyn next.