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Open City: London, 1500-1700
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London ca. 1700




Morden and Lea. This Actuale Survey. London, ca. 1725


“Divers churches, the stately Guildhall, many Halls of Companies, and other Publicke Edifices; all infinitely more Uniform, more Solid, and more Magnificent than before: So that no City in Europe (nay, scarce in the World) can stand comparison with it.”

 

- John Strype, Survey of London, 1720

 

 

The triumphant rebuilding of London in the last quarter of the seventeenth century is displayed in the scale and composition of this map, first published in 1690. The outline of the city is familiar. But the reach of the organic whole that is coming to be greater London has extended: in the west to Arlington House (the precursor of Buckingham Palace), in the north to Sadler’s Wells and St. Pancras, in the east to Mile End Road and Stepney (not far from the 2012 Olympic Park). The many informational tables function as an extensive set of “keys” by which one can locate buildings. Beyond that, they are a statement of civic pride and strength.

 

London had risen from the ashes of the Great Fire and was on its path to modernity.

 


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