By  on April 25, 2018

In 1811, the Commissioners’ Plan laid out the grid system of streets and avenues between 14th Street and Washington Heights that would become the literal skeleton of New York. A year later, New York City Hall was built, and five years after that, the New York Stock Exchange was unveiled.

All those dates show how nascent the future metropolis of Manhattan was in 1818, the year the 45-year-old Henry Sands Brooks opened a men’s haberdashery, H. & D.H. Brooks & Co., in a small wooden storefront on the northeast corner of Catherine and Cherry Streets, within blocks of the East River and the site of the future Brooklyn Bridge, which wouldn’t be built for another 52 years.

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